The Wisconsin Badgers (4-3 overall, 2-2 Big Ten), run all over the No. 25 Purdue Boilermakers (4-3 overall, 2-2 Big Ten), 30-13 for its first win over a ranked opponent in nine tries, with a little help from the Badger defense.
Wisconsin racked up 290 yards on the ground, as the Badgers offense featured two 100-yard rushers for the second time this season. Chez Mellusi led the way for Wisconsin, with 27 carries for 149 yards and a score, while Braelon Allen wasn’t far behind, rushing 12 times for 140 yards and two scores.
While the ground attack was the driving force for Wisconsin, Leo Chenal and company did their part as well stymieing the Boilermaker offense again and again.
Chenal registered career highs in tackles for loss (5.5) and sacks (3.5) and the Wisconsin defense forced five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries) on the day, including two turnovers by Collin Wilder (one fumble forced/recovered, one interception). Entering the game, the Badgers had forced just four turnovers on the season (two interceptions, two fumble recoveries).
However, even though the Wisconsin defense was adept at taking the ball away from Purdue, Wisconsin was unable to cash in on most of them, only scoring three points off of the first three takeaways.
Most notably, at the end of the first half following a John Torchio interception, that was returned to the Pudue one-yard-line. Wisconsin then lost four yards in three plays, but ended up somewhat salvaging the drive with a Collin Larsh, 23-yard field goal.
Larsh was three-of-three on the day, kicking and is now 10-12 on the season.
Purdue receiver David Bell, who scorched Iowa last weekend with 11 receptions, 240 yards and a score, was held in check by the Wisconsin defense, to the tune of six receptions for 33 yards. However, Purdue tight end, Payne Durham was able to rack up the yards against the Badgers, as he recorded nine receptions for 112 yards and a score.
Now, it’s time to focus all of our collective energies on beating Iowa.