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Michigan falls 24-10 on the road at Wisconsin

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Michigan led 10-7, and then Alex Hornibrook happened.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

MADISON — The Michigan football team came to Wisconsin with hopes of upsetting the Badgers, ruining their undefeated season and eliminating them from playoff contention.

But the 24th-ranked Wolverines couldn’t check off any of those boxes. The running backs were shut down and quarterback Brandon Peters was injured in Michigan’s 24-10 loss to No. 5 Wisconsin.

First Quarter

Defense dominated early. Even when Michigan brought out a creative playbook with wildcat formations, jet sweeps and multi-fullback plays, it couldn’t get deep into Badger territory. The game’s first score came on special teams, when Wisconsin punt returner Nick Nelson scooped up a bouncing ball and scrambled 50 yards into the end zone. Wisconsin leads, 7-0.

Second Quarter

Michigan nearly responded, but Peters lost a fumble in the red zone, and Michigan failed to even get a shot at a field goal.

Peters’ next drive, though, was exactly what Michigan needed. He completed his biggest throw of the season 48 yards downfield to Donovan Peoples-Jones, and nailed his next two passes to Chris Evans and Sean McKeon to move down to the one-yard line.

Fullback Ben Mason hammered in the one-yard score for his first career touchdown on his first career rush. Tie game, 7-7.

Third Quarter

Linebacker Devin Bush Jr. picked off Hornibrook to give the Wolverines good field position early in the second half. They couldn’t find the end zone, but kicker Quinn Nordin converted a 31-yard field goal to put Michigan in front. Michigan leads, 10-7.

Hornibrook fired right back on the following drive with two huge third-down throws to wide receiver A.J. Taylor. Hornibrook sailed out the first for a 51-yard gain, and lined a bullet pass 24 yards for a touchdown three plays later. Wisconsin leads 14-10.

Peters left the game soon after with an injury, taking a crunching hit from Wisconsin linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel. Every player around Peters quickly signaled for the training staff, and he had to be carted off the field.

On the next drive, a reverse 32-yard touchdown run from receiver Kendric Pryor added even more to Michigan’s troubles. Wisconsin leads, 21-10.

Fourth Quarter

It took a full four quarters, but Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor finally passed the 100-yard rushing mark with a massive 52-yard gain. The Badgers tacked on a field goal late, but the game was already out of reach. Wisconsin leads, 24-10.

Without Peters, Michigan’s offense had little going for it. Evans and Karan Higdon combined for just 45 yards all game, and the Wolverines couldn’t dig out a win at Camp Randall.

Final Score: Wisconsin 24, Michigan 10