Michael Deiter - UW vs. BYU

Wisconsin Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor, left, celebrates his first-quarter touchdown against BYU with offensive lineman Michael Deiter on Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.


PROVO, Utah — Even when his coaches sent in a substitute, University of Wisconsin left tackle Michael Deiter made sure he played the final snaps of a first-half touchdown drive in the Badgers’ 40-6 win over BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday.

Deiter suffered a right ankle injury during UW’s final drive of the second quarter and hobbled during and in-between plays as the Badgers moved closer to the end zone. At one point, Deiter’s backup at left tackle, redshirt freshman Cole Van Lanen, rushed onto the field to replace him, but Deiter motioned him back to the sideline.

“Dieter, he’s a tough dude,” UW left guard Micah Kapoi said. "Especially when he sees 30 seconds left on the clock, going into halftime he knows he can fight it off for a little bit. So he told Cole to get the, get off the field."

When quarterback Alex Hornibrook avoided pressure from Deiter's side and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Quintez Cephus with 25 seconds left to give the Badgers a 24-3 lead, Deiter expressed an extra bit of celebration before heading to the sideline.

“That was awesome,” he said. "That was super cool. I wanted to go run and celebrate, but I was hurting. ... So I was doing what I could."

Although Deiter still limped on his ankle when UW returned to the field for the second half, he played every snap until the Badgers sat all their starters late in the fourth quarter.

Deiter said after the game his ankle is fine and that he simply had to battle through some pain to finish the game.

"It didn’t even really cross my mind (to sit the second half),” said Deiter, who spoke to the media with ice wrapped around his ankle. "It was just something that, just keep playing, we’ll deal with it after the game.

"I knew I was OK. It was just some pain that I had to battle through. I knew that I would be alright."

Davis’ day

UW freshman wide receiver Danny Davis didn’t realize until after the game that Hornibrook only had one incompletion in 19 passing attempts.

It quickly dawned on Davis that his drop had led to the lone blemish on Hornibrook’s stat line. In the second quarter, Hornibrook delivered a high pass on a slant that Davis leaped to grab and momentarily had in his hands.

But Davis was hit by linebacker Neil Pau’u and couldn’t hold on to the ball.

“I’ll have to tell ‘Horny’ sorry about that,” Davis said. “But I made up for it.”

In fact, Davis finished with a team-high 67 yards on two catches. One play after his drop, Davis caught a pass over the middle for 17 yards to help UW move the chains on third-and-9.

Davis’ biggest contribution came on the opening play of UW’s second series when he hauled in a 50-yard reception over BYU safety Micah Hannemann.

“Fifty-fifty balls, I love those,” Davis said. “So I just tried to go up and get it. I ran a post and just tried to get over the top of the DB. He gave me a great ball, I just made a play on it.”

Chryst praises Taylor

UW coach Paul Chryst praised running back Jonathan Taylor for his mature running style against BYU.

The true freshman rushed for 128 yards on 18 carries one week after finishing with 223 yards and three touchdowns against Florida Atlantic. During the Badgers’ second touchdown drive Saturday, he carried the ball four straight times for 43 yards before Hornibrook threw a scoring toss to Cephus.

Taylor’s longest carry was 18 yards but he broke off seven runs of more than 10 yards, taking what the defense gave him on the way to another impressive game.

“So often, backs and particularly young backs, when they want to make that big play, it becomes a real lateral world and it’s kind of all or nothing,” Chryst said. "I think that having the patience to take what’s there. This defense was probably the best defense we’ve seen to date. Last week he ends up breaking four tackles or five tackles. It’s different, and it’s going to continue to be different."

Hello, old friend

BYU sophomore Austin Kafentzis made a brief appearance against his former team, finishing with seven yards on two carries against the Badgers.

Kafentzis was part of UW’s 2015 recruiting class as a highly touted quarterback but never played a down for the Badgers. He spent the 2015 spring practice session with UW, then transferred to Nevada. From Reno, he went to Arizona Western College before landing at BYU.

Kafentzis is listed as a running back, though he lined up as a quarterback in the Wildcat formation on the first play of BYU’s third series of the game and gained seven yards on a keeper. The next play, he took a handoff and was held to no gain.

That was it for Kafentzis, who told the Salt Lake Tribune early this week that he had “no hard feelings” toward the Badgers. Part of Kafentzis’ reason for leaving was that he could see the UW coaching staff favored Hornibrook as the program’s quarterback of the future.

“It was good to see him,” UW junior linebacker T.J. Edwards said. “I haven’t seen him in a while. We were able to get him down. He didn’t hurt us too bad.”


Jason Galloway is the Wisconsin Badgers football beat writer for the Wisconsin State Journal.