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Michigan Wolverines football team routs Wisconsin, 38-17

Michigan’s Daxton Hill, left, hits Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz during the second half Saturday in Madison, Wis. Mertz was hurt on the play and left the game. (AP photo)

By STEVE MEGARGEE

AP Sports Writer

MADISON, Wis.

Michigan’s Daxton Hill, left, hits Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz during the second half Saturday in Madison, Wis. Mertz was hurt on the play and left the game. (AP photo)

— Coach Jim Harbaugh and No. 14 Michigan found a formula to shut down the Wisconsin rushing attack that had embarrassed the Wolverines the last couple of years.

“Against a tough, physical team, I thought our team played really physical,” Harbaugh said. “We matched it every bit.”

And once Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz went down with a chest injury, the Badgers’ chances of continuing their recent run of home domination in this series pretty much disintegrated.

Cornelius Johnson caught both of Cade McNamara’s touchdown passes and Michigan remained unbeaten Saturday with a 38-17 victory over Wisconsin, marking the Wolverines’ first victory at Camp Randall Stadium since 2001.

Wisconsin (1-3, 0-2 Big Ten) trailed 13-10 when Mertz and tight end Jake Ferguson left with chest injuries early in the third quarter. Mertz got hurt when he was sacked by Daxton Hill.

After Mertz and Ferguson departed, Michigan (5-0, 1-0) scored 25 straight points to put the game out of reach.

“It didn’t make a difference who was on the other side of the ball,” said Michigan linebacker David Ojabo, who had 2 1/2 of the Wolverines’ six sacks. “It was just a relentless effort.”

Badgers coach Paul Chryst said Mertz went to the hospital for evaluation but otherwise had no immediate update on either injury.

Saturday’s game marked a dramatic reversal from the last two meetings between these teams.

Wisconsin beat Michigan 35-14 in 2019 and 49-11 in 2020 while rushing for over 340 yards in each of those games. This time, Michigan limited the Badgers to 43 yards on 32 carries.