Badgers dominate New Mexico State; Allen scores 3 TDs

Braelon Allen scores on a 39-yard touchdown run against the New Mexico State Aggies at Camp Randall Stadium on Sept. 17. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Braelon Allen rushed for three touchdowns to help lead the Wisconsin Badgers to a 66-7 victory against New Mexico State Saturday.

The three-TD performance for Allen matched a career high. The sophomore running back finished with 15 carries for 86 yards and three scores for the Badgers (2-1), who rebounded from a 17-14 loss last week to Washington State.

Allen broke away for a 39-yard rush for a score to give Wisconsin a 7-0 lead just 90 seconds into the game.

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Allen’s effort marked just the third time in his last 12 games that he’s been held under 100 yards.

Chez Mellusi had a 2-yard touchdown run to cap a seven-play, 63-yard yard drive that pushed Wisconsin’s lead to 14-0 with 14:56 to go in the first half.

Keontez Lewis caught an 18-yard touchdown pass to increase the Badgers’ lead to 21-0 with 12:22 left in the first half.

Badgers linebacker Maema Njongmeta got a pick on an Aggies deflection at New Mexico State’s 2-yard line that set up Allen’s second TD two plays later, a 1-yard rush that pushed Wisconsin to 28-0.

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Quarterback Graham Mertz went 10 of 13 for 251 yards with three touchdowns and 1 interception in three-plus quarters. Mertz threw to six different receivers.

Myles Burkett, a true freshman, replaced Mertz with 5:34 to go in the third quarter. Deacon Hill was inserted with less than 30 seconds remaining in the third.

Badgers wide receiver Skyler Bell caught 3 passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns, including a 49-yard TD catch.

The Aggies (0-4) just had 100 yards of offense in the first half. They collected 82 yards during a 13-play drive with less than 3 minutes remaining.

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New Mexico State kicker Ethan Albertson missed a 29-yard field goal try with 4 seconds left in the first half and its only score was a 1-yard rush for a touchdown by Ahmonte Watkins with 8:10 left in the game.

The Aggies got flagged seven times for 68 yards in the loss.

Wisconsin kicker Vito Calvaruso, who missed 51- and 43-yard field-goal attempts last week in the Badgers’ 17-14 loss to Washington State, was sidelined with a right leg injury.

The takeaway

New Mexico State: The Aggies have posted two losses to Big Ten Conference opponents this season. New Mexico State suffered a 38-0 loss at Minnesota on Sept. 1. First-season Aggies coach Jerry Kill, still searching for his first win, was head coach at Minnesota from 2011-15.

Poll implications

Wisconsin, which fell out of the Top 25 poll last week, likely won’t gain much ground to get back in the rankings.

Up next

New Mexico State: Hosts Hawaii on Saturday.

Wisconsin: The Badgers play at No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday.