EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Corey Clement ran for 106 yards and a touchdown, Jazz Peavy scored on a 46-yard run and No. 8 Wisconsin beat Northwestern 21-7 on Saturday.
Conor Sheehy forced a big fumble when he sacked Clayton Thorson with the Wildcats (4-5, 3-3 Big Ten) threatening early in the fourth quarter.
That led to Clements’ 2-yard TD run that made it a 14-point game and preserved the third straight win for the Badgers (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten, No. 8 CFP). It also gave them a rare victory at Northwestern after they jumped back into the Top 10 by beating Nebraska in overtime last week.
Clement had 32 carries – three shy of his career high.
Peavy’s 46-yarder in the second quarter was the first rushing touchdown of his career. He also had 73 yards receiving and a 24-yard punt return.
Alex Hornibrook played most of the game and completed 11 of 19 passes for 92 yards, and the Badgers rolled up 333 yards while dominating the and time of possession (40:25-19:35).
Northwestern had won six of 10 against Wisconsin, including four straight at home. But after coming up short in a four-point loss at Ohio State last week, the Wildcats lost again to a Top 10 team.
Thorson went 28 of 52 for 277 yards and a touchdown.
Austin Carr added 132 yards receiving, including a 13-yard TD late in the first half, but Justin Jackson ran for 42 yards.
Wisconsin had not won at Ryan Field since 1999. But several big plays by Peavy and a fumble recovery by D’Cota Dixon with Northwestern threatening early in the fourth helped change that.
The Wildcats drove to the 19 early in the quarter, but with the ball on the 30, Thorson fumbled as he was sacked by Sheehy. Dixon returned the recovery 22 yards to the Wildcats 45, and Clement ran it in from the 2. The two-point conversion run by Alec Ingold made it 21-14 with 8:51 left.
Wisconsin: The Badgers solidified their standing in the Top 10 by taking out a team that has been playing better after dropping its first two games.
Northwestern: With three games left, the Wildcats will need to finish strong if they’re going to make a bowl game.
Wisconsin: The Badgers get a bit of a breather when they host struggling Illinois next week.
Northwestern: Like Wisconsin, Northwestern figures to be in for an easier time next week when it visits Purdue.