Toon helps No. 6 Wisconsin beat South Dakota 59-10
When it was all over, South Dakota coach Ed Meierkort could take
some solace in the fact that his team won’t be the only one blown
out by No. 6 Wisconsin this year.
Not that such wisdom – or the financial implications of a game
against a superior opponent – did much to help the mood in his
locker room after being routed 59-10 by the Badgers on
”You know there’s two ways to look at it – as long as the check
clears, it’s a win,” Meierkort said. ”That’s one way to look at
it. But we’re football coaches and we have a lot of pride. We’re
the 18th-ranked team in our level. We’re not used to this. It’s
going to take us a little time to get over this.”
Quarterback Dante Warren struggled for South Dakota (2-2). He
eventually was replaced by Josh Vander Maten, who led the Coyotes
to a late score.
”I guess what you take from a game like this is to keep
fighting and keep improving,” Warren said. ”And it makes us look
forward to what is important for us which is winning our conference
and winning that ring.”
Nick Toon had a career-high 155 yards receiving and two
touchdowns as Wisconsin (4-0) recovered from a slow start to take
control of the game with a 21-point outburst in the final six
minutes of the second quarter.
James White had a 49-yard touchdown run, Toon scored on a
59-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Russell Wilson and Toon
added another score with 12 seconds left to send Wisconsin into
halftime with a 31-3 lead.
”We’re in a different world than this group is,” said
Meierkort, who began his head coaching career at Wisconsin-Stout.
”We understood that coming in. We have to move on. They have their
agenda and we have ours.”
Wilson had another big day for the Badgers, completing 19 of 25
passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns before taking a seat in
the fourth quarter.
Running back Montee Ball added a pair of touchdowns for
Wisconsin, which will open its Big Ten schedule at home next
Saturday against No. 9 Nebraska.
”It was a learning experience,” Coyotes defensive end Tyler
Starr said. ”We have to take what we learned and hopefully put it
into a conference championship.”
The Coyotes came into Saturday’s game with some experience on
the road in the Big Ten, having won at Minnesota last season. What
they didn’t have was an answer for Toon, the son of former
Wisconsin and New York Jets standout Al Toon.
Wisconsin didn’t appear headed toward a rout early on,
squandering a handful of scoring chances and allowing the Coyotes
to stick around into the second quarter.
Trailing 7-0 after a touchdown by Ball, South Dakota drove into
Wisconsin territory on back-to-back possessions in the first
quarter – only to have them both end with interceptions by
But the Badgers managed only three points off of the two
turnovers, a 25-yard field goal by Kyle French. French also missed
a 50-yard attempt.
Wisconsin then allowed an even deeper drive by the Coyotes,
holding on third-and-goal and forcing South Dakota to settle for a
24-yard field goal by Kevin Robb to cut the Wisconsin lead to 10-3
with 6:34 left in the second quarter.
Then Wisconsin took over, running off three straight touchdowns
”When it was 10-3, we were living on the edge, we knew that,”
Meierkort said. ”But our kids felt like they could compete for a
while. I can see that. We watched this team on film, too, and
wanted to make sure we gave it our all as long as we can. I thought
they did. We just got overwhelmed by a superior team.”