MADISON, Wisc. - Sixth-ranked Wisconsin looks to continue its mastery of non-conference opponents when it hosts New Mexico on Saturday in the first-ever meeting between the teams. The Badgers routed Western Kentucky 34-3 to notch their 23rd consecutive season-opening home win and hope to keep rolling by extending their non-conference winning streak at Camp Randall to 41 games, which would be the fifth-longest streak in NCAA history.
TV: Noon ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Wisconsin -35
"It was good to get the first game under our belt and I thought we did some good things but certainly a number of areas we gotta get better at," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst told reporters. "We're looking forward to a good week of preparation." Heisman Trophy candidate Jonathan Taylor rushed for 145 yards on 18 carries against the Hilltoppers to go over the 100-yard mark for the 11th time in 15 career games, and the sophomore looks to feast on a New Mexico defense which was gashed for 566 yards in its season-opening win against Incarnate Word. Wisconsin has held seven of its last 14 non-conference opponents at home without an offensive touchdown and hopes to put the defensive clamps on the Lobos, who have dropped six of their last seven road games. New Mexico washed away the bitter taste of losing seven straight games to end the 2017 campaign by crushing the Cardinals 62-30 but face their sternest test of the season against a Wisconsin team that is 86-10 at home since the start of 2004.
ABOUT NEW MEXICO (1-0)
Tevaka Tuioti threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns in the win against Incarnate Word to become the first Lobos quarterback to finish with over 300 yards passing since B.R. Holbrook on Sept. 11, 2010. Tyrone Owens added 58 yards and a pair of TDs on the ground to become the 17th player in program history to reach 2,000 yards while Tuioti added 54 rushing yards and a touchdown, but the yards will be hard to come by against a stout Wisconsin defense. "It will be a good test for us," Tuioti admitted to reporters. "I'm stoked about it though, it's not every year that you get to play a big team who also happens to be ranked No. 6 in the nation."
ABOUT WISCONSIN (1-0)
Alex Hornibrook completed 17-of-29 passes for 257 yards - one short of his career high - and pair of TDs while Taylor had touchdown runs of 30 and 47 yards against Western Kentucky. A.J. Taylor stepped up in the absence of top receivers Quintez Cephus and Danny Davis, who were both serving suspensions, grabbing five passes for a team-high 85 yards while Garrett Groshek hauled in the first touchdown pass of his career. Defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk is inching closer to a return after he was medically cleared to play after undergoing knee surgery in the summer while tight end Zander Neuville could make his season debut after suffering a leg injury in fall practice.
1. The Badgers are 46-10 overall since the start of 2013.
2. Taylor ranks second all-time at Wisconsin with a 6.69 yards per carry average.
3. Hornibrook is 11-1 at home as a starter.
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 41, New Mexico 10
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