Recap: Wisconsin vs. So Florida
Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Melvin Gordon ran for two second-half touchdowns to lead the 19th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers past the South Florida Bulls, 27-10, on Saturday.
Gordon carried the ball 32 times for 181 yards for the Badgers (3-1), who have won 32 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents. The junior running back was coming off a career-high 253 yards and school record-tying five touchdowns on just 13 carries in a 68-17 win over Bowling Green last Saturday.
After blasting Bowling Green with a Big Ten modern-era record 644 rushing yards, Wisconsin was limited to 294 yards on the ground against South Florida.
Tanner McEvoy completed 11-of-18 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown for the Badgers. Alex Erickson caught six passes for 91 yards.
Mike White connected on 8-of-19 passes for 173 yards and an interception for the Bulls (2-3), who have lost three of four since starting the season with a win over Western Carolina.
The turning point of the game occurred on the first play of the fourth stanza, with Wisconsin holding a 20-10 lead. South Florida fullback Kennard Swanson caught a pass and raced 52 yards down the left sideline. But Lubern Figaro stripped the ball from Swanson and Vince Biegel recovered for the Badgers.
Wisconsin followed with an 18-play scoring drive that took 9 1/2 minutes off the clock. South Florida committed two big penalties during the series -- a personal foul and pass interference. Sam Arneson made the Bulls pay with a 1- yard TD catch.
"Well, that game was obviously a tale of two halves," said Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen. "Very proud of the young men in the second half the way they came out, kind of the concept or the idea that we had last week when we needed to get the game flipped in our favor kind of happened a couple times in this game."
The first half was a defensive battle that featured two field goals. The Bulls jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Marvin Kloss made a 26-yard field goal with 6:49 left in the first quarter.
The Badgers responded with a 13-play drive that resulted in Rafael Gaglianone making a 24-yard field goal.
Wisconsin failed to pad its lead after Derek Landisch picked off White. The Badgers had to punt despite starting from the 36-yard line of the Bulls.
The Badgers wasted another scoring opportunity when Gordon fumbled in the red zone with about 30 seconds left in the first half.
Gordon redeemed himself by ripping off runs of 22 and 10 yards to start the second half. He capped the eight-play march with a 7-yard TD run.
After the Bulls went three-and-out, Gordon scored from 43 yards out to make it 17-3. South Florida, however, needed just four plays to score on the ensuing possession. Rodney Adams' 26-yard TD run made it a seven-point contest.
Wisconsin went ahead 20-10 on Gaglianone's 19-yard field goal with 1:04 remaining in the third quarter.
"I told my football team you can't beat a top-25 team with 11 penalties and two turnovers at their place. It's hard to beat a team like that," South Florida coach Willie Taggart said.Game Notes
It was the first-ever meeting between these two football programs ... Marlon
Mack carried the ball 10 times for 34 yards for the Bulls ... Wisconsin plays
at Northwestern next Saturday.