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Relive Wisconsin's opening-night win with BadgerExtra's in-depth coverage

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The University of Wisconsin football team may have gotten off to a slow start in the first quarter of its 38-0 season-opening win over Illinois State, but the 18th-ranked Badgers quickly shook off the rust with a pair of record-setting plays.

It was fifth-year senior safety John Torchio who got things going in the closing minutes of Saturday's first quarter, intercepting a pass at the goal line and returning it 100 yards for the first score of the season. 

Sophomore running back Braelon Allen got in on the record-setting fun with a 96-yard rushing score early in the second quarter to put the Badgers ahead by two touchdowns. 

After a Vito Calvaruso field goal, the Badgers entered the break with a 17-0 advantage. It was clear from early observations that quarterback Graham Mertz was looking sharp, even as UW saw some early lapses in all three phases.

The Badgers added two more TDs in the third quarter, with Allen forcing his way into the end zone and Mertz connecting with receiver Chimere Dike to give UW a four-touchdown lead. 

With the game put away, Badgers fans had plenty to celebrate as "Jump Around" made its season debut

One of the best traditions in college football, Badgers fans enjoying "Jump Around" between the third and fourth quarters, returns to Camp Randall Stadium.

A 1-yard rushing score by senior Isaac Guerendo provided the final margin of 38-0 as Wisconsin had no issues putting away its FCS competition. 

Columnist Jim Polzin's early review focused on what he liked, what he didn't, and what the victory really means. 

Reporter Colten Bartholomew kept a close eye on the X's and O's throughout the game to highlight three things that stood out as the final horn sounded.

When it came time to grade the Badgers' play in the opener, Polzin handed out some high marks across the board, despite having a few issues to clear up as the season continues. 

Turning to Twitter for its take on the victory, most Badgers fans were pleased with what they saw but, as usual, there was no shortage of criticism.

After the win, we had a chance to talk to some of the stars of the night, getting their take on everything from Mertz's composure and leadership to Torchio's record-setting pick-six and how chuck plays gave the UW offense a boost

University of Wisconsin football players say quarterback Graham Mertz has made gains in the offseason and they showed in Saturday night's 38-0 victory against Illinois State.

Wisconsin linebackers Nick Herbig and Maema Njongmeta recall John Torchio's record-setting, 100-yard interception return for a touchdown during the Badgers' 38-0 win over Illinois State Saturday inside Camp Randall Stadium.

Chimere Dike, Graham Mertz and Hayden Rucci assess the Badgers' offense in a 38-0 victory against Illinois State on Saturday.

Taking a deeper dive into the victory, Bartholomew breaks down why the version of Mertz that fans saw in the opener is just what the team needs to compete this season. 

Having taken some time to process the win and what it means, Polzin highlighted all the reasons to be optimistic about this season, despite the level of competition in the opener. 

Reporter Jake Kocorowski was on the lookout for potential recruits at the game Saturday night, with three high school quarterbacks visiting the Badgers, who do not have a QB recruit in the 2023 class.

In Kocorowski's next piece he shares outside linebacker Nick Herbig's "funny story" about Torchio predicting his first-quarter interception as he breaks down the defense's performance. 

Bartholomew spent time watching tape of the game to compile four observations, including thoughts on Allen's pass protection, Nick Herbig playing like a star and more. 

And last, but certainly not least, photographer Steve Apps was down on the field throughout the game to capture the view from inside the lines.  

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Chris Doyle joined the Wisconsin State Journal in 2017. As a sports web editor, Chris is dedicated to bringing sports fans in Wisconsin the latest news, on and off the playing field.

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