Tanner McEvoy overcame a slow start to throw for three touchdowns and run for another, and No. 18 Wisconsin pulled away from second-tier Western Illinois to win its home opener 37-3 Saturday.
Melvin Gordon ran for just 38 yards on 17 carries with the Fighting Leathernecks (1-1) consistently stacking the box against one of the country's best rushers. McEvoy shook off a couple bad throws early to finish 23 of 28 for 283 yards with one interception.
Leading just 9-3 at halftime, the Badgers (1-1) opened things by throwing on first down and using more play-action.
McEvoy hit fullback Austin Ramesh on fourth-and-2 for a 3-yard touchdown pass with 9:18 left in the third quarter before connecting with Gordon on an 8-yard scoring pass three minutes later for a 20-point lead.
Western Illinois could only muster a 29-yard field goal by Nathan Knuffman in the first half.