MADISON, WIS - No. 12 Wisconsin (9-2 overall, 6-2 B1G) defeats Purdue (4-7 overall, 3-5 B1G), 45-21 despite turnover troubles, keeping B1G West title hopes alive.
Wisconsin lost the turnover battle to Purdue, 4-1 (three fumbles, one interception). However, the Boilermakers were only able to turn one one turnover into points.
Wisconsin opened the day, scoring on its first drive, by way of an Aron Cruickshank 27-yard touchdown run.
Cruickshank scored Wisconsin’s first points in last week’s game as well on an 89-yard kick off return.
Following a Purdue drive that stalled, ending in a 28-yard J.D. Dellinger field goal, Jonathan Taylor was off to the races.
Taylor capped off a 7-play, 75-yard drive with a 51-yard rushing touchdown.
Purdue then raced down the field, itself on a 4-play, 75-yard drive, which started off with a 38-yard passing play and then a 27-yard rushing play.
Aidan O’Connell capped off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Brycen Hopkins.
Hopkins scored once more in the game, on a 37-yard reception from wide receiver Milton Wright, which put Purdue up by three. Purdue’s scoring drive began following an A.J. Taylor fumble.
Wisconsin quickly ceded the lead back, with an 18-yard touchdown connection from Jack Coan to Jack Dunn, which ended an 8-play, 72-yard drive.
Wisconsin was finally able to thwart a Purdue drive, forcing a punt on the Boilermakers fourth drive of the game, but Wisconsin committed its second fumble of the game, when Jonathan Taylor lost the ball, giving Purdue another chance with 1:12 left in the half.
Wisconsin’s defense was then able to hold strong and force a three-and-out, giving Wisconsin the ball back with just 22 seconds left in the half.
Wisconsin ran four plays and used all three of its timeouts on the drive, leading up to a Zach Hintze, school-record, 62-yard field goal, to end the first half.
Wisconsin’s defensive fortunes continued in the second half, as Eric Burrell intercepted an O’Connell pass at the Wisconsin 5-yard-line, which led to a 9-play, 95-yard scoring drive, which was capped off by a 6-yard Garrett Groshek rushing touchdown.
On Purdue’s ensuing drive, the Boilermakers went for it on fourth-and-8. On the play, O’Connell seemed to lose his handle of the ball and when he was trying re-gain control, he was dropped by Christian Bell for a sack.
Wisconsin then took advantage of the short field, as Coan connected with Quintez Cephus on a 29-yard touchdown pass.
Purdue was then finally able to break-through after five-straight scoreless drives, with a 5-play, 75-yard drive, ending with an O’Connell touchdown pass to David Bell.
Wisconsin added one more touchdown, in the game, on a one-yard Mason Stokke rush.
Wisconsin will next face No. 10 Minnesota (10-1, 7-1 B1G) in a winner-take-all tilt, for the B1G West title.