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Sunday morning quarterback: Analyzing the stats from BYU's rough loss to Wisconsin

Despite the halftime festivities to honor three BYU legends, it wasn't a great day in Provo on Saturday afternoon as the Wisconsin Badgers delivered the Cougars a 40-6 beatdown.

The Badgers manhandled the Cougars on both sides of the ball as the No. 10 team in the country came away with the convincing win.

Scoring recap

The Badgers got on the board first when Rafael Gaglianone connected on a 23-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead.

The Cougars answered with a 31-yard field goal from Rhett Almond to tie the game at 3-3. The Cougars did most of their work on the ground during the 14-play, 61-yard drive before a pair of red zone penalties derailed the offense. Ula Tolutau was key with five carries for 38 yards, including an 18-yard burst to move BYU to within scoring range.

Wisconsin found the end zone on the next possession as it would take a lead that it would never relinquish when Jonathan Taylor scored on a 1-yard run. While Taylor had a couple of solid runs on the drive, it was a 50-yard reception from Danny Davis III that was the key on the 68-yard drive.

After a BYU three-and-out, the Badgers pushed the lead to 17-3 when Alex Hornibrook found Quintez Cephus for a 9-yard touchdown strike. While the score came through the air, it was the run that did most of the damage as four Wisconsin backs carried the ball a combined eight times for 59 yards, including four carries for 43 yards from Taylor.

Following another Cougar punt, the Hornibrook-to-Cephus connection struck again, this time from 15 yards out, as Wisconsin found paydirt for the third straight drive. Hornibrook was outstanding on the drive, as he completed 6 of 7 passes for 80 yards.

BYU cut the deficit to 24-6 to end the first half when Almond hit his second field goal of the day from 32 yards out. It was a drive that included a 50-yard reception by Micah Simon on a well-thrown ball from Beau Hoge.

Wisconsin added to its lead on early in the third quarter when Hornibrook linked up with A.J. Taylor for an 18-yard touchdown. The Badgers used some big plays to move down the field as they had a 23-yard reception from Jazz Peavy, an 11-yard run from Jonathan Taylor and a 13-yard run from Bradrick Shaw.

The Badgers found the end zone one more time when Hornibrook found Troy Fumagalli for the 19-yard score. It was a drive set up by Wisconsin defender Dontye Carriere-Williams, who intercepted Hoge to give the Badgers a short field.

The Wisconsin defense provided the last score of the day when Christian Bell forced a Hoge fumble in the end zone for a safety.

Three stars

3. Jonny Linehan

Linehan had a solid day as he averaged 42.8 yards per punt on his four attempts, including a long of 48.

2. Ula Tolutau

Tolutau had another good performance as he carried the ball 13 times for 58 yards and provided the spark on BYU's first scoring drive.

1. Micah Simon

Simon had his most productive day as a Cougar as he totaled three receptions for 60 yards, including a 50-yard catch to set up BYU's second field goal.

Analyzing the stats

While many worried about how BYU would do against the vaunted Wisconsin rushing attack, it was the passing game that picked apart the Cougars. Hornibrook completed 18 of 19 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns.

With the six points the Cougars put on the board, they have now scored 39 points in four games. The last time they had a four-game stretch of offensive futility of this magnitude during a single season came in 1970 when they scored 31 points in a four-game losing streak to UTEP, San Diego State, Arizona and Arizona State.

The Badgers dominated every phase of the game. They won the time of possession 40:09-19:51, outgained the Cougars 491-179 and had 28 first downs to BYU's 11.

Hoge completed 11 of 20 passes for 111 yards and two interceptions, making it the seventh game in a row and the 11th time in the last 12 games that the Cougars didn't reach the 200-yard mark in the passing game.

Up next

The Cougars have a much-needed week off to trying and regroup and prepare for a trip to Logan to face the Utah State Aggies.

The Aggies have also struggled during the early season with a 1-2 record, including big losses to Wisconsin and Wake Forest. Their only win game in a 51-13 trouncing of FCS opponent Idaho State.