No. 25 Wisconsin Runs Over Purdue Football 34-16
With three Boilermaker wide receivers injured, Purdue had to rely on its running backs Saturday – but not on the ground.
Raheem Mostert handled the ball on four of the first five plays of the game, but the biggest play of the game was a 79-yard touchdown pass from Austin Appleby to Akeem Hunt. The play was the longest of Hunt’s career.
Although impressive, it was not enough to stop the Wisconsin Badgers, who marched to a 34-16 victory over the Boilermakers.
A 40-yard field goal by Paul Griggs gave Purdue an early 3-0 lead, but Wisconsin responded with an early emphasis on pass plays, despite being known for its strong rushing offense.
In the first 11 minutes of the game, the Badgers had gained just five yards on the ground. But a 14-yard touchdown rush by the Big Ten’s second-leading rusher Melvin Gordon put the Badgers ahead 7-3 and visitors would never trail again.
For the game, Gordon rushed for 205 yards and the team gained 264 yards on the ground. Wisconsin’s offense out-gained Purdue’s 489 yards to 230.
As the game progressed, Wisconsin recalled its rushing strength, scoring 2 of the team’s 4 touchdowns on the ground.
Wisconsin also regained the form that led it to be the number one defense in the country, sacking Purdue quarterback Austin Appleby four times in the second half as the Badgers took control of the game.
Purdue failed to put much pressure on Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave, allowing the Badgers offense to accumulate 190 yards in pass plays by halftime. Coming into the game, Wisconsin was next-to-last in the Big Ten in passing yardage, averaging only 143 yards per game.
Aside from the 79-yard play to Hunt, Purdue struggled to move the ball most of the afternoon, tallying just 230 yards of total offense.
The biggest bright spot of the game for the Boilers was the play of safety Landon Feichter, who stopped one Badger drive by wresting the ball from Gordon and another by intercepting a Stave pass. Feichter also led the team in tackles with 12.
After its second bye week of the season, Purdue hosts the Northwestern Wildcats (3-5, 2-3 Big Ten going into Saturday's game against Michigan) Nov. 22.