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What are we taking away from Wisconsin’s win vs. Purdue?

And what does it mean for Axe Week?

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Matt Fleming

The Wisconsin Badgers turned the tide last Saturday and defeated Purdue in a triple-overtime thriller. Sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor ran for a career-high 321 yards with three touchdowns, two coming in those extra sessions.

Now, Wisconsin (7–4, 5–3 Big Ten) looks ahead to archrival/nemesis/pain in its Badger tail Minnesota, who is looking for a win to become bowl-eligible.

I had to step out of roundtable administrative duties due to some previous obligations, so I allowed Drew Hamm—yes, that Drew Hamm—to moderate our discussion (now conducted over Slack rather than Google Docs) of what went well vs. Purdue, what didn’t, and what’s ahead for Wisconsin.

Drew Hamm: Well, we’ll start off with the questions Jake gave us and if we veer off course ... so be it.

THE GOOD: What went well besides Jonathan Taylor running wild on Purdue?

Owen Riese: The offensive line, against a pretty underrated front seven, got a TON of movement.

Drew: 7.5 yards per carry on the game is a definite feather in the cap of the o-line. Jack Coan didn’t turn the ball over, which was a stark improvement from his prior efforts.

Bob Wiedenhoeft: Before the season, I was expecting A.J. Taylor and Danny Davis to consistently get 100+ combined receiving yards per game. That hasn’t been the case all too often this season, but they did combine for 125 yards against Purdue.

Owen: Running the ball out of 11 personnel in shotgun >>>

Drew: I was reading that Coan played out of the shotgun a lot in high school, so he was probably more comfortable than when he was under center.

Bob Wiedenhoeft: Also nice to see Andrew Van Ginkel at full strength. He was a beast with two sacks and 10 tackles.

Owen: Also, Isaiahh Loudermilk looked like his former self, which is a big addition to this defense.

Drew: The extra “H” is for “hassling the offense.”

Owen: The edgy ad campaign of the Wisconsin Dairy Council got a big boost to its stock.

Drew: Jake would be so proud, we are right on schedule.

Owen: Van Ginkel was mentioned by Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy as having interest from NFL folks as an inside/off-ball linebacker which,,,,,

THE BAD: Decent amount of things to pick from. Which one pops the most?

Owen: I think the pre-snap penalties were a bit of a black eye tbh. Getting beat by your opponent >> beating yourself.

Bob: I second the penalties.

Drew: OMG the penalties overall were infuriating.

Bob: Also, they might not have needed overtime if Rafael Gaglianone hit all three field goals.

Owen: Okay, so let’s have some discourse on that.

Drew: Yeah, special teams have been, how do I put this ... not good.

Bob: Not special?

Owen: Purdue can heck off. Get the hell off of the field [during pregame], I don’t care about your Senior Day, that can’t, like, negate a player’s preparation.

Drew: They have been eSPECIALly maddening.

Owen: Or maybe it’s on Rafael for not getting out there earlier, BUT this is a Badger column so Purdon’t kick out the kickers off the field imo.

Drew: Purdue was prohibiting my Large Adult Son from getting practice kicks in? I DEMAND AN FBI INVESTIGATION.

Bob: There were probably emails!!!!

Drew: So much for the tolerant wide left, imo

Bob: lol

Owen: !!!

Drew: And we are off the rails in the second question. Smdh.

Owen: The youngsters in the secondary had a tough day.

Bob: I mean, the game kind of went they way I thought it would. And then it absolutely didn’t.

Drew: I thought that Wisconsin gave up too many passing yards.

Owen: Purdue low-key has some major skill position talent, if we’re being honest.

Drew: Yes, Owen! I agree. But Purdue hucks it more than most and Rondale Moore is Good with a capital G.

Owen: Blough gonna make a camp, D.J. Knox and Markell Jones are NFL backs. Rondale Moore is a future top-50 selection.

GAME BALLS: Who deserves them? Besides Taylor, duh.

Owen: Center Tyler Biadasz for whipping Lorenzo Neal Jr.’s fanny. Logan Bruss also played very well in his first start tbh.

Drew: I think Danny Davis needs one for his mind-bending TD catch.

Owen: Odellsimus.

Drew: Bruss acquitted himself nicely.

Bob: Jack Coan for putting up numbers more John Stocco-y than John Stocco ever did.

Owen: Rachad Wildgoose for having the courage to shadow Moore all game.

Drew: I’d like to give Kendric Pryor a shoutout for his blocking on Taylor’s 80-yard run too.

Owen: Hell yeah, that was an incredible block. Coaches respect the hell out of stuff like that.

Drew: He blocked two guys!

Bob: He blocked each Purdue player on that run.

Drew: He blocked between two and 11 guys on that play!

Bob: Or two, you know. Feelings over facts.

Owen: Don’t ever let facts from you getting these takes off.

Drew: #FeelingsOnly

UP NEXT: MINNESOTA. Give me your keys to holding the Axe for 15 straight years.

Owen: This game very much reminds me of the 2014 game where Melvin broke Dayne’s record for yards in a season and Stave did just enough to get a victory.

Drew: Before the season, I’d argue that Wisconsin just had to show up to the stadium on time, but after watching them play they might need to show up a little early and stretch a bit.

Owen: I think the talent gap is wider now than it was then, but with Wisconsin’s throw game where it’s at right now, the potential is there. Something to consider: literally any passing offense from Minnesota is more than they had last year against UW, and that didn’t have much to do with Nelson, Jamerson, and Tindal tbh.

Drew: Literally any points scored by Minnesota is more than they had last year too.

Owen: #analysis

Bob: I don’t know. The Big Ten West is really confusing.

Owen: Confusing or bad?

Drew: It is best not to think too hard about it. It’ll just make you mad/sad.

Bob: Good idea. I just want to see UW start off strong on defense and run the ball. Get up to a 14–0 lead and three early sacks. I would get more nervous than any other time Minnesota has hung around during the streak.

Owen: That would be pretty dope.

Bob: I fear this game will be like the 2008 game.

Drew: I don’t know what this means, but I am not nervous about this game at all. It’s kind of freeing not to be playing for anything more than beating Minnesota.

Bob: Another year when Wisconsin had huge preseason hype but only beat Minny by three (35–32).

Owen: I was a sophomore in high school then, so tbh, the CTE has limited my long-term memory.

Drew: If this game were on the road then maybe I’d be concerned, but Wisconsin isn’t losing the streak at home.

Bob: Do you think Camp Randall Stadium is going to be electric? It’s Thanksgiving weekend, cold, but off of the Purdue game.

Owen: I expect Fleck to have Minnesota frothing from the mouth, though. They have bowl eligibility on the line.

Drew: 2008 was one of my many senior years of college. So, uh, I also don’t remember that game.

Bob: Wisconsin was pretty lucky during the early years of the streak.

Drew: IT’S BLOCKED! (repeat x100)

Bob: Anyways, I don’t think Wisconsin will get a huge home-field advantage.

Drew: Never underestimate the rejuvenating power of sleeping in your own bed, Bob.

Bob: And now for our sponsored message from We should get that sponsorship.

Drew: Alright, Jake, there you have it! We’ve got a sponsor and everything!