Many questions arose last week after quarterback Alex Hornibrook limped to the finish line in Wisconsin’s win over FAU. He answered the critics in a big way on Saturday, setting a record for completion percentage by going 18 of 19 on the day and leading the Badgers to a 40-6 victory over BYU.
Hornibrook’s 94.7 completion percentage topped the previous record held by Darrell Bevell, who was 17 of 18 in a game against Northwestern during the 1993 season.
Not only did Hornibrook complete 94.7 percent of his passes, but he put up 285 yards and had four of Wisconsin’s five touchdowns on the day. In fact, he may have been a perfect 19 of 19 had Danny Davis not dropped a pass that was easily catchable.
It was a stark contrast in performance for Hornibrook, who started off red-hot and faded last weekend.
Against BYU, Hornibrook started off red-hot again, but this time he didn’t fade and it led to an impressive road win for the Badgers.
He went 10 of 11 for 149 yards and threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first half. Wisconsin went in to halftime up 24-6 in large part due to Hornibrook’s ability to spread the ball around.
It was necessary, as BYU did a good job of containing Hornibrook’s favorite target, tight end Troy Fumagalli. The senior tight end was held to just one reception until late in the game when Hornibrook connected with him on a 19-yard touchdown strike to make the game 38-6 with 6:34 to play.
That ability paid off in a big way, as Hornibrook hit true freshman Danny Davis twice for 67 yards and connected with sophomore Quintez Cephus on four occasions for 49 yards and both touchdown receptions in the first half.
Cephus ended the game leading the Badgers with five receptions for 54 yards and the two scores. But, Wisconsin had eight different players catch a pass on the day.
UW’s blossoming pass attack was a welcome sight, but it served as a great complement to a tough run game as well.
Freshman Jonathan Taylor continued to assert his dominance in the running back hierarchy by taking 18 carries and turning them in to 128 yards and a touchdown. He is now averaging 146 yards per game and has broken the 100-yard mark in each of the last two games.
Taylor’s lone touchdown is what sparked the Badgers offense, as he scored from just 1-yard out, but put UW up 10-3.
It was all over from there, as Wisconsin scored 21 unanswered points before BYU kicked a field goal to end the first half.
The second half was all Wisconsin, and the defense came to play in a major way in that half as well.
After being gashed for some big plays on the opening drive, the Badgers defense pushed a 1st-and-goal situation backwards and it led to a 31-yard field goal to open BYU’s offensive day.
Wisconsin’s defense held the Cougars to just 192 yards of total offense and forced two interceptions from sophomore quarterback Beau Hoge — who was making his first start.
He finished the day completing just 11 of 20 passes for 111 yards and the pair of interceptions.
BYU’s run game was stuffed as well, picking up just 81 yards as a team and averaging 3.1 yards per carry on the day.
Wisconsin also put up just over 40 minutes of time of possession to snuff out any chances of a comeback by the hosts.
It was a good note overall for Wisconsin, who showcased a dynamic pass game to go along with its power run game for the first time this season.
UW has next week off to prepare for Big Ten play, and they will open conference play by hosting Northwestern on Sept. 30.