Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) comes off a 38-17 win over Nebraska in which it scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to put away the Huskers under the lights of Memorial Stadium. The Badgers racked up 353 yards on the ground, 249 of which came from true freshman Jonathan Taylor.
Purdue (3-2, 1-1) had to fight off a Minnesota squad and the elements to secure a 31-17 win at home last Saturday. Head coach Jeff Brohm has helped turned around the Boilermakers’ football program early, giving scares to the likes of Louisville and Michigan despite losing to both programs.
There is rain in the forecast for most of Saturday, which could drastically affect the Big Ten West showdown.
Here are the TV/radio/streaming options for the game, as well as who and what to watch for.
When and where is the game?
Purdue and Wisconsin will kick off at 2:30 p.m CT at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison
How can I watch?
The game will be broadcast on BTN, with Kevin Kugler assigned to play-by-play duties, Matt Millen as the analyst, and Lisa Byington reporting from the sideline.
How can I stream the game online?
How can I listen to it on the radio?
On the Badgers Sports Network, where you’ll find the usual team of Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas, Mark Tauscher and Patrick Herb. On satellite radio, you’ll find the broadcast on Sirius 135/XM 195. Head to BadgerSportsNetwork.com to find it. You can also listen on iHeartRadio (iOS/Android/online) by searching “WIBA.”
One key to the game on offense and defense vs. Purdue
Boilermakers’ offense (and their “gadgets”) vs. Badgers’ defense
Averaging over 400 yards and nearly 30 points per game, Jeff Brohm’s offense will be fun to watch on Saturday, at least for college football fans that do not wear Cardinal and White.
This will be a test for Wisconsin’s defense to communicate and not be duped by any misdirection or “trick” plays deployed by Purdue’s offense.
“They do a lot of different things, whether it’s run or pass game to test your eye discipline,” Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said on Wednesday. “Most people call them gadgets. They run so many of them it’s just part of their offense. It’s who they are. They execute them very well, so to us, it isn’t really a gadget week. This is their offense. Every single call you have to really understand how to make adjustments. You have to understand where your eyes need to be or that’s where they kill people.”
Purdue has utilized a two-quarterback system with Elijah Sindelar and David Blough. Leonhard praised both quarterbacks earlier this week, and his unit will have to contain both no matter what conditions are present for 60 minutes.
Wisconsin’s and Purdue’s rushing attacks, not only against themselves but forces of nature
Purdue already has gone through a weather delay a week ago in their 31-17 win at home against Minnesota. With the forecast calling for rain in Madison, it could make it difficult to sling the ball up and down the field.
Purdue averages 265.2 yards per game through the air while only grinding out about 136.2 on the ground. On the other hand, Wisconsin only allows 81.4 rushing yards, good for fourth in the nation.
How the weather conditions affect the Boilermakers’ offensive gameplan is intriguing, but the key match-up will be UW’s rushing attack against Purdue’s defense.
Even before factoring in what Mother Nature may have in store for the two programs on Saturday, this was the pigskin battle to watch. Wisconsin averages 257.6 points per game rushing, which is best in the Big Ten. Jonathan Taylor leads the Big Ten in rushing and is No. 4 nationally with 153.4 yards per contest.
Purdue on the other hand, has allowed 151.0 yards allowed on the ground, still a lot on the ground but a substantial improvement from last year when they gave up over 238.
“Two things with Purdue’s defense. One, I think they really do have outstanding talent,” offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said on Tuesday. “I think they don’t only have talent but they have depth. In addition, to when guys play a lot of football in this league, there’s a reason why you play a lot. There’s truly an advantage for having been out there and had those reps, and if you look at their front, those guys have all started multiple years. I feel like we’re playing against some of those guys forever, and that’s what I think makes them good.
“They’re playing with great effort and great tenacity, but they’re also very very talented and they’re very experienced, so I like them.”
Sloppy weather could bring sloppy football
The weather conditions may also play a role in takeaways and swinging momentum to the other team. Wisconsin has lost four of its seven fumbles, and with Alex Hornibrook’s four interceptions, opponents have scored 24 points off of UW’s turnovers.
Purdue has already forced 12 turnovers through five games this season, which has led to 34 points in their favor.
The Boilermakers’ opponents have forced 10 takeaways (six interceptions, four fumbles) early on this season, however—including four last week by the Gophers in West Lafayette.
Wisconsin has capitalized on takeaways this season, scoring 55 points off of turnovers that has included three pick-sixes from the likes of Joe Ferguson, Natrell Jamerson and Chris Orr.
Jake Kocorowski: Wisconsin 34, Purdue 17
Ryan Mellethin: Wisconsin 38, Purdon’t 10
Drew Hamm: Wisconsin 35, Purdue (per Drew, “something weird like”) 11 or 4
Andrew Rosin: Wisconsin 31, Purdue 10
Kevin O’Connell: Wisconsin 38, Purdue 17