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Wisconsin vs. Purdue: Predictions for Badgers-Boilermakers

Can the Badgers pick up their second road win of the season against an improving Purdue squad? Our team thinks UW remains perfect in November.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The Predictions:

Mike Fiammetta: Wisconsin 52, Purdue 17

Drew Hamm: Wisconsin 48, Purdue 13

Andrew Rosin: Wisconsin 31, Purdue 7

Jake Kocorowski: Wisconsin 42, Purdue 10

Greg Guenther: Wisconsin 38, Purdue 3

Sam Brief: Wisconsin 41, Purdue 13

Louis Bien: Wisconsin 30, Purdue 10

Lucas Mueller: Wisconsin 38, Purdue 13

Jake Harris: Wisconsin 41, Purdue 10

The Reasoning:

The final three games on Wisconsin's regular season schedule have been circled for several months, but in order to make the two home games against Nebraska and Minnesota and the nerve-wracking trip to Iowa matter, the Badgers need to beat Purdue for a ninth consecutive time.

The Boilermakers have already surpassed last season's Big Ten win total - of zero - by beating Illinois 38-27 in Champaign last month. While Purdue is riding a three-game losing streak, the team is markedly better than it was a year ago. Its largest margin of defeat in 2014 is 21 points and it lost to a 6-2 Minnesota team by just one point in Minneapolis.

The Boilermakers will be without leading wide receiver Danny Anthrop, who is out for the season with an injury. The junior from West Lafayette had 38 catches for 616 yards and four touchdowns, and his loss will be felt as Purdue tries to score on Wisconsin's third-ranked defense in terms of points allowed.

Instead, sophomore quarterback Austin Appleby, who has taken the job and run with it over the past several games, will rely on senior tight end Justin Sinz and a potent rushing attack. Seniors Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert form one of the scariest one-two punches in the conference at running back. Mostert averages 6.1 yards per carry and is one of the fastest players in the game. Hunt has become somewhat of a workhorse over the last few weeks, particularly against Illinois when he carried 30 times for 177 yards.

Defensively, Purdue allows 174.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks 11th in the Big Ten and bodes well for Melvin Gordon, Corey Clement and Wisconsin's ground game. Purdue also has surrendered 20 rushing touchdowns in 2014.

Slow starts have been an issue for Wisconsin this season, but the Badgers have a wide margin for error in this one. Purdue's home field advantage is all but negated by the fact UW is in contention for a Big Ten championship. The Boilermakers are much better than they were last year, but they can't hang with Wisconsin for four quarters.

Who has the edge?

Offense: Wisconsin

Defense: Wisconsin

Special Teams: Wisconsin

Coaching: Wisconsin

Intangibles: Wisconsin