9. September 24, 2016 at #8 Michigan State
Wisconsin blows out the Spartans on the road
Hopes were high heading into 2016, but they were kept in check by the gauntlet in October the Badgers had to face. For a five-week stretch, Wisconsin had to play at Michigan State, at Michigan, Ohio State, at Iowa and wrapped it up with a home game against Nebraska. There wouldn’t be any doubt in the 2016 Badgers’ strength of schedule if they made it through those weeks with a winnings record. But the team had to take it a week at a time, and it started with the Spartans.
The game started slow, seeing a 3-0 Spartan lead taken late into the first quarter. Wisconsin finally got on the board with a touchdown pass and suddenly the game was essentially over. Michigan State went on to throw three interceptions, lose a fumble and mishandle a punt that gave Wisconsin the ball inside the 10.
Wisconsin’s defense was swarming and Alex Hornibrook looked like the real deal. The Big Ten was officially on notice. The Badgers had arrived.
Final score: Wisconsin 30, Michigan State 6
Michigan State ended up having a disappointing season so the win lost some its meaning. The Badgers were still 4-0 at this point in the year and it looked as though they couldn’t be stopped. Wisconsin lost the next two weeks by single digits against Michigan and Ohio State pumping the brakes on the potentially magical season.