Recap: Second-half dominance gives Michigan 38-17 win at Wisconsin

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

It was test day in Madison for the Michigan Wolverines, and after a shaky end to the first half, Michigan exploded in the final two quarters to leave Wisconsin with a commanding 38-17 win.

Wisconsin marched 63 yards down the field in 20 seconds to make it a 13-10 game before half, but Michigan put up 25 unanswered in the third and fourth quarters to earn its first victory at Camp Randall since 2001.

Wisconsin's Danny Vanden Boom stops Michigan's Hassan Haskins during the first half on Saturday in Madison, Wis.

Final leaders


UM - Cade McNamara: 17/28, 197 YDS., 2 TD

UW - Graham Mertz: 8/15, 115 yds., TD


UM - Hassan Haskins: 19 atts., 47 yds.

UW - Braelon Allen: 5 atts., 19 yds.


UM - Roman Wilson: 6 recs., 81 yds.

UW - Chemire Dike: 2 recs., 54 yds., TD

Second half

Wisconsin adds touchdown in garbage time

Wisconsin gets it after the J.J. McCarthy touchdown throw, and the drive doesn't last long. Chase Wolf is sacked on third down to give Michigan the ball back.

Then Dan Villari enters at quarterback for Michigan and throws an interception.

Wisconsin adds a touchdown in garbage time.

Michigan runs out the clock, and the Wolverines take the commanding win.

FINAL: Michigan 38, Wisconsin 17

J.J. McCarthy gives Michigan 38-10 lead on long TD throw

Blake Corum rushes for 7, then 2, to open the drive.

Timeout #1 Michigan (6:37 4th)

Haskins rushes for 2 to move the chains.

After a first-down run for no gain, J.J. McCarthy winds up and hits Daylen Baldwin down the sideline for a 56-yard touchdown pass.

Michigan 38, Wisconsin 10 (5:07 4th)

Ojabo another third-down sack to end Wisconsin drive

Wisconsin takes over at the 25, trailing by 21, with 8:56 to go.

Kendric Pryor rushes for 4 yards on first down, and after a second-down incompletion, it's third-and-6. Aidan Hutchinson beats the left tackle like a rented mule, and that causes Chase Wolf to spin right into the loving arms of David Ojabo, who picks up his second sack of the game.

The Wisconsin punt goes out of bounds at the 32.

Michigan 31, Wisconsin 10 (8:04 4th)

Daxton Hill interception helps Michigan to 31-10 lead

Wisconsin takes over at the 25 after the Michigan touchdown. They need a score here to stay in this one.

Aaaaaaand that won't happen: Daxton Hill comes up with an interception on the first play of the drive. He's having his best game as a Wolverine, and the Badgers have turned it over on two straight plays from scrimmage.

Michigan 23, Wisconsin 10 (11:37 4th)

Michigan gets it at the 35 of Wisconsin.

Cade McNamara hits Erick All on second down for a 19-yard gain to the Wisconsin 15.

Blake Corum rushes for 2 on the next play.

Timeout #1 Michigan (10:23 4th)

Corum is stuffed for no gain, bringing up third-and-8: McNamara throws to Cornelius Johnson in the corner of the end zone, and Johnson hauls it in for a Michigan touchdown.

Johnson gets it again on the successful two-point conversion.

Michigan 31, Wisconsin 10 (9:34 4th)

Ojabo's strip-sack helps Michigan to 23-10 lead over Wisconsin

Wisconsin has it first-and-10 at its own 19. The Badgers trail, 20-10, with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.

Kendric Pryor rushes for 13 yards on first down to the Wisconsin 32.

Chase Wolf scoops up 5 yards on the next play, and we'll have second-and-5 when we come back to open the fourth quarter.

END 3RD: Michigan 20, Wisconsin 10

Braelon Allen rushes for a yard on second down. David Ojabo gets to Wolf on third down, strips the ball, and Michigan recovers at the 33.

Michigan 20, Wisconsin 10 (14:01 4th)

A.J. Henning is dropped for a loss of 1 on first down. Roman Wilson's second-down reception comes after he goes out of bounds, so instead of a first down, the Wolverines will have it third-and-11.

Wilson hauls in the third-down reception for a gain of 4, and that'll make the field-goal attempt just a bit more manageable.

Jake Moody's 48-yarder is, again, cash money.

Michigan 23, Wisconsin 10 (12:53 4th)

Michigan gives ball back to Wisconsin up 10

Michigan takes over at its own 10, leading 20-10, with 4:18 to go in the third.

Blake Corum rushes for 3 yards on first down. J.J. McCarthy enters at quarterback, rushes for 6. Hassan Haskins rushes for 8 yards on third down to give the Wolverines a first down at the 27.

Cade McNamara comes up firing on first down, hitting Haskins for a gain of 6. Haskins rushes for 3 on second down, and is stuffed at the line on third down. It's fourth-and-1.

Brad Robbins' punt is fair caught at the 18.

Michigan 20, Wisconsin 10 (0:55 3rd)

Daxton Hill makes crucial third-down play for second straight drive

Chase Wolf takes over at quarterback with the injured Graham Mertz still in the locker room.

Jalen Berger runs for 6, 3 and John Chenal picks up the first down with a gain of 1.

Berger is stuffed for no gain, then gets 5. It's third-and-5 at the Wisconsin 40. Wolf dumps it off to Berger for a screen pass that'll pick up 9 yards, giving Wisconsin a new set of downs at the 49.

Wolf evades Aidan Hutchinson and makes a great play to just flip the ball out of bounds and avoid a sack. After a second-down incompletion, Wolf throws a perfect ball to the hands of Chimere Dike; unfortunately for the Badgers, Daxton Hill makes an even more impressive play to knock it away.

Wisconsin's punt is fair caught at the 10.

Michigan 20, Wisconsin 10 (4:33 3rd)

McCarthy gives Michigan 20-10 lead over Wisconsin; Mertz taken to locker room

Michigan opens at the 41.

Hassan Haskins rushes for 3 yards on first down, as J.J. McCarthy makes an appearance on second down. He hands to Haskins for a gain of 2. Cade McNamara takes off on third down, only getting to the 50. That'll bring up fourth-and-1: Haskins plows ahead for 2 yards.

Injury update: Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz and WR Jake Ferguson are headed to the locker room, both to be evaluated for injured ribs, per the Fox broadcast.

Blake Corum rushes for no gain on first down; McNamara misses on second down. He is absolutely drilled while letting go of a third-down throw down the sideline, and Roman Wilson makes a terrific play to readjust and come back to the ball for a 38-yard gain to the Wisconsin 10.

Corum rushes for 4, then 3. Michigan brings McCarthy back in to again hand the ball off, and this time Haskins is stopped at the 1-inch-line. It's fourth down.

McCarthy sneaks it in to give the Wolverines some breathing room. That also makes Michigan 4-for-5 on fourth down in this game.

Michigan 20, Wisconsin 10 (8:26 3rd)

Michigan forces 3-and-out to open second half, Mertz hurt

Wisconsin takes over at its own 25 to start the half. The Badgers trail Michigan, 13-10.

Graham Mertz's first-down pass is a shot down the sideline that falls incomplete. He hands to Chez Mellusi for a gain of 1 on second down. Mertz is blown up by Daxton Hill for a loss of 9, and Mertz is in a lot of pain. He points to his ribs while laying on the turf. He'll be helped off by the training staff before fourth down.

Mertz is headed to the medical tent for evaluation.

A.J. Henning returns the punt 12 yards to Michigan's 40.

Michigan 13, Wisconsin 10 (13:55 3rd)

First half

Michigan, Wisconsin trade points before halftime

Michigan takes over at its own 35 after the Wisconsin field goal.

Hassan Haskins rushes for 7 on his first two carries of the drive, and that'll give Michigan a first down at its own 49.

Cade McNamara tries to go back-shoulder to Cornelius Johnson, but he puts it closer to his face mask, and that'll end up in the pass getting knocked away. He dumps it off to Roman Wilson on second down, a gain of 4.

McNamara gets it to Mike Sainristil on third down for a pickup of 13 to the Wisconsin 34.

Next it's Erick All coming up with a reception, a 4-yard gain on first down. Hassan Haskins gains a yard on second down. McNamara's third-down pass is behind his receiver, and Daylen Baldwin gets lit up by a Wisconsin defender to jar the ball incomplete.

Jake Moody's 47-yard field goal attempt is cash money. Would have been good from 57.

Wolverines lead by 10.

Michigan 13, Wisconsin 3 (0:27 2nd)

The Wolverines run a pooch kick, the ball is muffed by Wisconsin, and then recovered by Wisconsin. Looked for a moment like the Wolverines may have it, but alas, it'll be Badger ball at the 37.

John Chenal rushes for 8 yards on first down.

Timeout #2 Wisconsin (0:19 2nd)

Graham Mertz drops a beautiful throw to Chimere Dike for a 36-yard gain to the Michigan 18.

Timeout #3 Wisconsin (0:13 2nd)

Mertz's throw to the end zone is caught by Dike in man coverage, and the Badgers have again cut the lead to 3. What an impressive drive by Wisconsin heading into the half.

Michigan 13, Wisconsin 10 (0:07 2nd)

Hassan Haskins runs the ball to end the half.

END 2ND: Michigan 13, Wisconsin 10

Wisconsin chips into Michigan lead with field 

Wisconsin takes over at its own 6.

Graham Mertz throws from out of his own end zone on first down, finding Jake Ferguson for a gain of 19 to the Wisconsin 25. That's Mertz's first completion of the game.

Chez Mellusi rushes for 4 on first down; Kendric Pryor hauls in a 5-yard reception on second down. Wisconsin moves the chains again with a 2-yard run from Braelon Allen to the 36.

Mellusi rushes for 2. Mertz hits his receiver on a second-down bubble screen that's good for 7. Mellusi is stuffed for no gain on third down, and that'll bring up fourth-and-1: John Chenal rushes for 2 yards to move the sticks.

It's first-and-10 at the Wisconsin 47: Mertz comes up throwing again, this time to Pryor for a gain of 13. He then hits Ferguson for a pickup of 9, and Allen rushes for 7 to move the sticks again. It's first-and-10 at the 24.

Mertz rolls to his right and throws incomplete on first down, then misses on second down. The third-down screen picks up 8 yards, and that'll bring up fourth-and-2.

The 34-yard field goal attempt is good.

Michigan 10, Wisconsin 3 (2:32 2nd)

Michigan pins Wisconsin deep after 3-and-out

Michigan takes over at the 45.

Cade McNamara tries a deep throw to Mike Sainristil in double coverage on first down; it's broken up. He throws over the middle to Roman Wilson on second down; it's way off the mark. The third-down throw is complete, but only for 7.

Brad Robbins' punt is fair caught at the Wisconsin 6.

Michigan 10, Wisconsin 0 (9:29 2nd)

Michigan forces another 3-and-out with sack of Mertz

Wisconsin takes over at the 25 after a touchback.

Jalen Berger runs for 2, then 1, to bring up third-and-7 — which is then turned into a third-and-12 after a delay of game penalty. Graham Mertz is then sacked by David Ojabo for a loss of 8.

Wisconsin's punt is fielded with a fair catch at the Michigan 46.

Michigan 10, Wisconsin 0 (10:45 2nd)

Michigan recovers muffed punt inside Wisconsin 10, adds field goal

Michigan takes over at its own 30 after the punt.

Blake Corum rushes for 2 yards on first down. Cade McNamara hits Roman Wilson for a 17-yard pickup on a comeback route near the sideline on second down, and it'll be first-and-10 at the Michigan 49.

Corum picks up a yard, then 5, then 2, to bring up fourth-and-2 — and bring the first quarter to a close.

END 1ST: Michigan 7, Wisconsin 0 

Michigan will decide to punt, despite going for it on fourth-and-2 twice on the opening drive.

Brad Robbins' punt hits a Badger player and it's recovered by Michigan at the 5-yard-line of Wisconsin. What a break for the Wolverines.

After a couple run plays are stumped, Michigan misses the third-down pass and takes the field goal. The Wolverines lead by two scores.

Michigan 10, Wisconsin 0 (13:17 2nd)

Wisconsin goes three-and-out after Michigan touchdown

Wisconsin takes over at its own 25 after a touchback.

Chez Mellusi runs for 4 yards on first down, and loses 3 yards on second down. Chris Hinton sacks Graham Mertz on third down, and Wisconsin will punt again.

Andy Vujnovich's punt is downed at the Michigan 30.

Michigan 7, Wisconsin 0 (2:13 1st)

Michigan goes up 7-0 on flea flicker

Michigan takes over at its own 40 with 7:08 left in the half.

Blake Corum rushes for 8, and then gets 4 on second down to move the chains. He's stood up hard and takes a pretty tough shot, now heading to the medical tent. It'll be first-and-10 at the 48.

A.J. Henning runs for a yard; Cade McNamara's second-down pass hangs in the air for what feels like a minute, and it's broken up by a Wisconsin defender. Then, Michigan takes a delay of game. It's third-and-14: The pass to Roman Wilson is complete for 12 yards to the Wisconsin 40.

Timeout #1 Michigan (4:56 1st)

McNamara rolls out and finds Wilson again on the next play for a gain of 7 to keep the drive alive. It's first-and-10 at the Wisconsin 33.

Michigan rips a page out of the Michigan State playbook and scores with a flea flicker on the next play to Cornelius Johnson. A great throw by McNamara gets Michigan on the board.

Michigan 7, Wisconsin 0 (4:17 1st)

Wisconsin offense matches slow pace

Wisconsin takes over at its own 34, and does their best Michigan impression by throwing a trio of lame pass plays and getting off the field after three plays.

A.J. Henning returns the punt to the Michigan 40.

Michigan 0, Wisconsin 0 (7:18 1st)

Michigan offense stumbling in early goings

Michigan takes over at its own 1.

Cade McNamara rushes for 2 yards on first down. Hassan Haskins runs for a yard on second down. Cade McNamara finds Blake Corum with a Wisconsin defender in hot pursuit, and Corum runs over a tackler to move the chains. 

McNamara throws two straight incompletions to bring up third-and-10. McNamara's third-down pass isn't remotely close to the first-down marker, and the Wolverines will punt.

Michigan 0, Wisconsin 0 (7:38 1st)

Michigan forces 3-and-out after failed opening drive

Wisconsin takes over at the Michigan 45, early in the first quarter.

Chez Mellusi makes it third-and-5 with a pair of runs on first and second down.

Timeout #1 Wisconsin (10:43 1st)

Mazi Smith knocks down the third-down pass to get Michigan's defense off the field. Andy Vujnovich's punt is downed at the 1.

Michigan 0, Wisconsin 0 (10:28 1st)

Michigan turns ball over on downs to open game

The Wolverines get the ball first and will start from the 25.

And Michigan opens with a pass play to Daylen Baldwin that is dropped. Hassan Haskins rushes for a 7 on second down and McNamara finds Mike Sainristil on third down, but they'll come up short: Fourth-and-1.

Jim Harbaugh is going for it from deep in his own territory, and it pays off. Hassan Haskins picks up 3 yards to move the chains.

Blake Corum rushes for 4 yards on first down; it'll be third-and-6 after a second-down incompletion to Cornelius Johnson. McNamara throws short of the sticks again on third down, and the Wolverines can't get the fourth-down push. They'll turn it over on downs.

Michigan 0, Wisconsin 0 (12:06 1st)


The Michigan Wolverines take their undefeated show on the road for the first time to face an unranked Wisconsin Badgers team fresh off a merciless defeat to Notre Dame at Soldier Field.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh congratulates running back Hassan Haskins after a touchdown.

For Michigan, it's a chance to prove that the hype is real. It raced out to a 20-3 halftime lead against Rutgers a week ago — its first Big Ten matchup of the season — at home. The Wolverines offense failed to put up points in the second half and nearly let Rutgers force overtime, but escaped with a 20-13 win.

The Badgers are also trying to forget their performance last week. Wisconsin outgained Notre Dame in yards 314-242, but fell apart because of four backbreaking interceptions by Graham Mertz, bringing his total on the year to six — with just one touchdown.

More: Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson delivers the hits but is 'still not satisfied'

More: Detroit News scouting report: Michigan football at Wisconsin

More: Detroit News predictions: Michigan football at Wisconsin

No. 14 Michigan at Wisconsin

► Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin

► TV/radio: Fox/950

► Records: Michigan 4-0, 1-0 Big Ten; Wisconsin 1-2, 0-1

► Line: Wisconsin by 2

► Series: Michigan leads 51-17 (last meeting, Wisconsin 49-11, Nov. 14, 2020)

► Outlook: Wisconsin has won the last two meetings by a combined 59 points