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No 19 Northwestern took a big step forward in the race for the Big Ten Championship Game by knocking out No 10 Wisconsin 17-7 at home on Saturday As the score suggests, this was a classic Big Ten game The Wildcats didn’t turn it on on offense averaging 39 yards per play, but they didn’t need it. Their defense is what wins games, and what defensive effort they put in

Wisconsin made 17 runs in 60 minutes Only one ended with points, and it was a six-game, 80-yard practice on a Northwestern roll to the goal line Otherwise, no drive passed 42 yards Northwestern’s defense forced four threes and three outs and had five takeaways – three of those turnovers were steals from quarterback Graham Mertz Mertz was excellent in his two first games but looked very young on the road against the seasoned group of the Wildcats Wisconsin’s four first half turnovers were the biggest on the schedule since 2004, while the five overall turnovers were most important to the program under coach Paul Chryst in five years

Wisconsin now have 5 turnovers today at Northwestern, matching their record in 6 seasons under coach Paul Chryst Their last 5-turnout game was five years ago day to day against the Wildcats: November 21, 2020 at NorthwesternNov 21, 2015 against Northwestern

It was also the fourth time this year that Northwestern’s defense canceled the opposing attack in the second half This defense is legitimate, and at 5-0, Pat Fitzgerald’s team are in command to travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship where they will likely face Ohio State. With just three games to go against Michigan State, Minnesota and Illinois, Northwestern could be crowned Big Ten West champion for the second time in three years at this rate.

Say it with me and say it with emotion… “Northwestern is looking for a varsity football playoff spot”

It seems crazy that a statement like this could be true But it’s 2020 The bottom is up and the front is back, so it makes sense that the Wildcats are contenders for the CFP

Take a look at the rest of their schedule They play Michigan State and Minnesota before ending the regular season at home against Illinois Do any of these games stand out as probable losses? Nah Not with the way Northwestern plays defense

Can Northwestern actually participate in the CFP? Probably Not After all, offense is what matters most in college football, and it’s unlikely to keep pace with Ohio State or Indiana in a Big Championship game. Ten But they’ll likely enter Lucas Oil Stadium 60 minutes from the glory

If you don’t know his name, get to know him Joseph is the driving force behind a Wildcats defense that has established itself as one of the best in the country

The College Station, Texas freshman had two picks in the evening and has five on the season He’s just the third Big Ten player in the past 15 years with five steals or more in his team’s first five games of the season Not a bad start to your career to say the least

It goes further, however Now that the Wildcats have the Big Ten Championship Game indoor track and are squarely in the race for the national title, they will have to rely more and more on their budding superstar as they enter. in the stretch race He got his first glimpse of the big stage on Saturday and came in big It’s a good sign for the future of the 2020 Wildcats and beyond

The Badgers’ red-shirted freshman quarterback was the Big Ten’s talk at the start of the season, but he crashed down to Earth against Northwestern in a big way Mertz was clearly confused by what the Wildcats were giving him. were throwing, which forced him into inexcusable mistakes – including his second interception of the game That choice came at the end of the second quarter with his team at the wheel when Joseph passed a pass to set up a seven-game practice from Northwestern.

The pressure didn’t end there Dropping seven to the 23-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Mertz was sacked by a Cameron Ruiz blitz in the fourth and sixth to end the best scoring chance the Badgers of the second half He had a receiver on a hot road available, but he had happy feet and took a bag that he just can’t take in this situation

Mertz deserved the credit he got in the first two games of the season But he’s bound to have a hard time It’s almost like we forgot that he wasn’t a seasoned veteran based on his game at the start of the season This should serve as a learning opportunity as he progresses in his career

Peyton Ramsey transferred to Northwestern after Michael Penix Jr beat him for starting position in Indiana I would say all parties are happy with the results

Ramsey was a solid 23 of 44 for 203 yards, two touchdowns and, most importantly, no interceptions He didn’t make a difference, but he didn’t need to be in this one. playing to perfection, a sign of the maturity of a veteran quarterback fully aware of his limitations and of his team’s philosophy

And Penix? Oh it works for him too All he did before Saturday was lead the Hoosiers in the top 10 No it didn’t work against Ohio State But Penix at least kept him close

The transfer portal worked for Ramsey and Penix the exact way it’s supposed to

CBS Sports has been with you throughout updating this story with the latest in the game This story will be updated shortly with lessons to be learned from Northwestern’s massive victory in the Big Ten West on Saturday

80 yards in 6 games and 3:09, capped off by a 49 yard touchdown pass @UPS Today’s Drive of the Game 👇 picTwittercom / GxUMghKwg9

Learn and grow because next week there is an ax on the Coming line on the @UW_CreditUnion Badger calendar: BORDER BATTLE imageTwittercom / cAkTzSFydK

I don’t really know why Wisconsin chose to go I understand that you are still on your side of the midfield, but time is running out and you don’t have much chances Two max anymore

Northwestern’s Brandon Joseph is only the third Big Ten player in the past 15 years to have five or more interceptions in his team’s first five games of the season

Northwestern had chances in the red zone to come up with two touchdowns but settled for a basket This could still be a HUGE score based on how this one went Wildcats up to 10 in a slugfest defensive

Hicks looked like he must have been skipped for pass interference No Northwestern call must punt I’m not sure if Big Ten officials understand more about pass interference I was a RAW week in this department

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World News – United States – Wisconsin vs. Northwestern Score, Takeout: No 19 Wildcats take over Big Ten West on No 10 badgers