Jeff Potrykus reports on the Badgers' 34-3 win over Western Kentucky on Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium.
Awards  PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Redshirt junior quarterback Alex Hornibrook, the MVP's Orange Bowl, was generally solid in the 2018 prelude against an overmatched Western Kentucky team.
Hornibrook finished 17 of 29 (58.6%) for 257 yards and two touchdowns.
He was best in third place, finishing 7 out of 10 attempts for 120 yards with six conversions and a drop.
In the six conversions, UW had 3, 8, 5, 10, 13 and
As he showed when defeating the Orange Bowl over Miami, Hornibrook showed the ability to get up in the bag, to push the line of scrimmage, to give its receivers time to work freely and then deliver an accurate ball.
GAME OFFENSIVE GAME
Jonathan Taylor's first four runs – 7 yards, no win, 4 yards and a loss of 2 yards – resulted in a combined 9 yards.
His fifth carry was a 47-yard left-side touchdown that gave UW a lead he never lost.
All five linemen took care of wannabe tacklers, but the key blocks came to the left.
Left tackle Cole Van Lanen and left-back Michael Deiter block and right-keeper Beau Benzschauwel pulls out and puts down a defender.
This opened a seam for tight ends Kyle Penniston and Jake Ferguson, who led Taylor through the hole and passed the line of scrimmage.
Penniston and Ferguson made both blocks and Taylor did the rest.
He broke the attempted defensive back attack of Kyle Bailey near the Western Kentucky 30 and then ran back through the attempted defense of Antwon Kincade within the 5 GAME STORY : Badgers rollover on West Kentucky in opener
NOTES : Kicker Gaglianone continues hot strip  BOX SCORE : UW 34, West Kentucky 3
DEFENSIVE GAME OF GAME
UW held a late 27-3 in the third quarter, but Western Kentucky faced thirds and 3 of the Badgers' 10th.
Redshirt freshman Cornerback Faion Hicks suspected that the Hilltopper could try a trick game to get the defense napping.
"Faion is a really smart kid and we knew she was a gadget team," said linebacker Ryan Connelly. "We knew that was one of her favorite tricks."
Quarterback Drew Eckels hit the ball to Garland LaFrance, who started at the left end. LaFrance turned the ball on the wide outside player Quin Jernighan, who was positioned on the left side of the Western Kentucky lineup.
Jernighan pulled back into the 21 and tried to hit Eckels with a pass on the right side. Hicks waited and caught the ball on the 3rd.
"I was manned and my guy went in," Hicks said. "I saw out of the corner of the eye that the quarterback ran out.
" I just fell off my guy and tried to make a game. "
SPECIAL TEAMS GAME OF THE GAME
UW Special Team coach Chris Haering noted during the preseason camp he was eager to see who would rise and replace Derrick Tindal and Natrell Jamerson as the gunners on the punt-coverage unit.
Hicks and reserve cornerback Deron Harrell got that Nick Friday and Hicks made the most impressive game of the night.
Anthony Lotti, who finished fourth and 18th from UW 16, boasted a high punt that carried 49 yards.
Hicks lined up far to the left, batting his man across the field and counted his hit perfectly on return man Roger Cray.
Cray played the ball at Western Kentucky 35, but lost 2 yards on return.
"We emphasize that special teams are a part the Ve can be yours, "Hicks said. "I just wanted to go out and do a play, it was fun."
Inside the huddle
Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard used both a 3-4-4 and a 2-4, as he did last season -5 scheme. Sophomore Madison Cone was the third cornerback when UW unfolded a 2-4-5 and played the slot. …
Leonhard started Hicks and Caesar Williams in the cornerback and turned in Harrell. …
UW's top 3 wide receivers for most of the game were A.J. Taylor, Kendric Pryor and Walk-on Jack Dunn.
"All in all, it was great to kick-start the season, and a number of players we're counting on got their first significant snapshots, and there's nothing like playing the game . "
– Paul Chryst, UW coach
According to the figures
3 Sacks of UW
7 Touchbacks for UWs Zach Hintze – Over Seven Kickoffs
11 Number of games of 15 that Jonathan Taylor has broken the 100 yard mark
53 Rushing Yards for Taiwan Deal on Eight carries its first action since the Cotton Bowl
54% UW Third-Down Conversion Rate (7 out of 13)  Next
UW (1-0) will receive New Mexico on September 8 at 11am. The Lobos are scheduled to open the season at 7pm Saturday against the visit of Incarnate Word. Kevin Cosgrove, who was an assistant at the UW from 1990 to 2003, is in his sixth season in New Mexico, including the last five as a defensive coordinator.