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Recap: Badgers win comfortably vs. Purdue, but Chez Mellusi suffers brutal injury

The Badgers couldn’t come out of the game clean against Purdue.

The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Purdue Boilermakers in Week 4, cruising to a 38-17 victory in a game where they never trailed after a strong start.

Taking an early 21-3 lead, the Badgers scored on their first three drives in each half, with touchdowns coming on each of those possessions in the first half, while Wisconsin kicked field goals for all three early scores in the second half.

After the win, the Badgers have improved to 3-1, with their lone loss coming against No. 21 Washington State, and start off Big Ten play with a confident victory.

However, the win isn't the biggest storyline on Friday; instead, that goes to running back Chez Mellusi, who suffered a gruesome injury in the fourth quarter that could potentially be a season-ending injury for the running back.

Here’s the recap of Wisconsin’s 38-17 win over the Purdue Boilermakers.

First Half

The Badgers easily had their best start of the season, forcing a three-and-out on the first drive before marching down the field for an eight-play, 62-yard touchdown drive.

That wasn't all, as the Badgers did the same thing on each of their next two drives, benefitting from good field position on a seven-play, 38-yard touchdown drive before following that up with a 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to go up 21-3.

Defensively, Wisconsin managed just fine in the first half, benefitting from some Purdue mental errors, as penalties set back the Boilermakers, limiting them to just one field goal on five possessions in the first half, with quarterback Hudson Card throwing an interception on a 1-on-1 deep ball in the endzone to end the half.

Tanner Mordecai’s rushing ability was the story of the first half, as the Badgers quarterback rushed for two touchdowns, including one via design.

The threat of a quarterback run created more confusion in the running game, allowing for better efficiency from the running backs, and a flourishing ground attack through the first 30 minutes.

The passing game didn't see many downfield shots, but Mordecai was efficient, throwing for 74 yards on 10/14 passing.

Second Half

The second half was a different story than the first half for the Badgers.

The offense was still able to generate some momentum offensively, but drives stalled after 46, 71, and 16 yards respectively, forcing the Badgers to settle for field goals on three consecutive possessions.

Meanwhile, the Boilermakers slowly crept back, scoring consecutive touchdown drives, cutting the lead to 10, but couldn't continue their momentum on the other side, allowing three straight scoring drives, keeping the distance at two scores.

Then came the weirdness as Card and Mordecai exchanged interceptions, and Purdue never got on track after that, missing a few opportunities offensively, while the Badgers iced the game with a fumble on another weird, weird play.

However, mixed in the mess during the fourth quarter was the most crucial play of them all, as running back Chez Mellusi suffered a lower-body injury on an inside-zone run, which looked gruesome enough to potentially sideline him for the remainder of the season.

Braelon Allen finished it off with a touchdown, leading to the final result of 38-17, but the damage was already done, as Mellusi was carted off on what could've unfortunately been the final play of his collegiate career.

The question now comes to: who can step up for the Badgers as their secondary running back behind Allen?

Allen likely gets a larger portion of carries, but it will be important to keep him sustainable throughout the season, which is why the timeshare was so valuable in the first place.

The Badgers will have a lot of questions to answer once they touch down back in Madison, but for now, they'll take a comfortable victory, improving their record to 3-1.