Defense on display as Wisconsin falls to Indiana 14-6

Jack Tuttle threw two touchdown passes in his first career start and Indiana’s defense made a stand in the final minute as the 10th-ranked Hoosiers outlasted No. 18 Wisconsin 14-6 on Saturday.

Indiana’s victory snapped a 10-game skid in this series and enabled the Hoosiers (6-1, CFP No. 12) to tie a program record with its sixth Big Ten victory of the season. Indiana also earned six Big Ten wins in 1967 and 1987. The Hoosiers hadn’t beaten Wisconsin since 2002.

Wisconsin (2-2, No. 16 CFP) drove deep into Indiana territory on its final drive, but Graham Mertz’s fourth-and-10 pass to Chimere Dike from the 21 was broken up by Reese Taylor in the right corner of the end zone with 46 seconds left.

The Badgers drove inside Indiana’s 40-yard line on five possessions but had just six points to show for it.

Tuttle went 13 of 22 for 130 yards with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Peyton Hendershot and a 7-yard scoring strike to Whop Philyor. The Utah transfer was starting in place of Michael Penix Jr., who tore his anterior cruciate ligament last week in a 27-11 victory at Maryland.

Penix had thrown for 1,645 yards and 14 touchdowns while helping Indiana win five of its first six games.

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Jalen Berger rushed for 87 yards and Collin Larsh had field goals of 28 and 29 yards for Wisconsin, which lost its second straight. Mertz went 20 of 34 for 202 yards but also threw an interception and lost a fumble.

The Badgers suffered a major blow early in the game when starting center Kayden Lyles was carted off the field with a leg injury, forcing them to turn to freshman Tanor Bortolini.

Indiana entered the day with a Big Ten-leading 18 takeaways and used an early turnover to take the lead for good.

Wisconsin had moved the ball to Indiana’s 39-yard line when Tiawan Mullen sacked Mertz and knocked the ball loose. James Mullen recovered the fumble at the Indiana 47.

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The Hoosiers proceeded to cap a 53-yard touchdown drive with Tuttle’s pass to Hendershot in the right corner of the end zone. Tuttle had kept that drive going by converting a pair of third-and-1 keepers.

Indiana extended the lead to 14-3 on the opening possession of the second half as Tuttle found Philyor on third-and-goal.

Indiana squandered an opportunity early in the fourth quarter to pull away when Miles Marshall got well behind the Indiana defense but dropped what likely would have been a 57-yard touchdown pass.


Indiana: The Hoosiers'' defense showed its mettle late and kept Wisconsin out of the end zone all day. As good as Penix is, he wasn't the only reason for the Hoosiers' dream season.

Wisconsin: The struggles on offense in a 17-7 loss at Northwestern two weeks ago carried over to Saturday. The Badgers outgained Indiana 342-217 but couldn't capitalize on their opportunities.


Indiana hosts Purdue.

Wisconsin is at No. 24 Iowa.


Unranked Marquette stuns No. 4 Wisconsin at Fiserv Forum

The game marked the most thrilling of the 127 meetings between the two in-state foes.