BLOOMINGTON -- Forget Rose Bowl talk, or postseason opportunity. It was fool’s gold.
Wisconsin proved the lie to Indiana’s bowl optimism. The Hoosiers weren’t ready for prime time, and it showed early and often in Saturday’s 62-14 defeat.
The Badgers did anything they wanted in taking control of the Leaders Division race, especially when it came to the run. They rushed for a school-record 564 yards on 64 carries.
That was the fourth most by a Big Ten team since 1930 behind Michigan State (573 in 1971), Michigan (573 in 1973) and Indiana (564 in 1994). The overall record is 832 yards by Minnesota in 1905.
Wisconsin tailback Montee Ball rushed for 198 yards and three touchdown. James White had 161 yards and two touchdowns.
The Badgers have scored more than 50 points against IU in five of the last seven meetings, including the last three.
IU, which had won two straight games, fell to 4-6 overall, 2-4 in the Big Ten. It ends the regular season at Penn State and at Purdue.
Wisconsin improved to 7-3 overall, 4-2 in the Big Ten, and is positioned for a berth in next month’s Big Ten championship game.
The Badgers didn’t need much from quarterback Curt Phillips, who was making his first career start. He was just 4-for-7 for 41 yards and a touchdown.
IU was led by quarterback Cam Coughman, who was 25-for-46 for 233 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Wisconsin had an extra week to prepare because of a bye and it showed, especially with the multiple looks offensive coordinator Matt Canada (a former IU offensive coordinator) utilized.
After the first quarter, the Badgers had 186 yards of total offense, 176 on the ground. IU had 38 yards total. Ball had 88 of those rushing yards.
Wisconsin jumped to a 7-0 lead on its first possession, going 69 yards on a variety of runs and formations. Ball had two big runs -- the first of 21 yards to set up his 10-yard TD run.
The Badgers ran at will in their second possession before Phillips’ 2-yard TD pass made it 14-0. They added a field goal early in the second quarter for a 17-0 lead.
An IU quarterback Nate Sudfeld fumble gave Wisconsin the ball on the IU 30-yard line. But the defense forced a punt, and then Coffman hit Bolser with a 38-yard complete to set up his 6-yard TD pass to Bolser. Just like that and it was 17-7 and the Hoosiers seemed in business.
Wisconsin was trying to run out the clock to end the half. But White busted through for a 69-yard touchdown run for a 24-7 halftime lead.
Ball’s 1-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter made it 31-7.
The Hoosiers were finished.