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No. 25 Ranked Purdue Dominated At Home Against Wisconsin

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Wisconsin defense proves to be too much for Purdue.

Purdue’s No. 25 ranking in the Associated Press weekly college football poll will be short-lived after the Wisconsin Badgers stifled the Boilermakers Saturday, 30-13, at Ross-Ade Stadium.

The Boilermakers (4-3, 2-2 in conference), ranked for the first time since 2007 after an upset win over second-ranked Iowa a week earlier, committed five turnovers and played like a team that wasn’t ready for the prime time. The five turnovers were the most since the 2019 season opener at Nevada which also resulted in a loss.

“We obviously didn’t come down off the high from last week,” said coach Jeff Brohm following the game, “There were a lot of disappointing, poor things that happened starting with myself (and) continuing all the way down.”

From any indication of the Boilers’ lack of success against the Badgers (4-3, 2-2), it was certain that Wisconsin would be a formidable opponent. The Boilers have dropped 15 straight to the Badgers with Purdue’s last victory dating all the way back to 2003.

Wisconsin took the lead for good with six minutes left in the third quarter when freshman running back Braelon Allen scored on a 14-yard run for a 20-13 advantage.

After an offensive showcase against the Hawkeyes last week, Purdue struggled mightily against the Badger defense that is tops in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers had only one red zone trip (inside of the opponents 20-yard line) on the day and were limited to 206 total yards.

Already entering the game ranked last in the Big Ten with 74.3 rushing yards per game, the Badgers held the Boilers to a woeful total of minus-13 yards rushing.

Of the five turnovers, fifth-year senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell had a difficult day with three interceptions. He was also sacked four times before being replaced by backup Jack Plummer. O’Connell’s interceptions give him eight this season. His lone touchdown pass, a 10-yard toss to Payne Durham, was his seventh TD throw this year.

“I think Aidan is an aggressive passer.” said Brohm, “(He) likes to try to fit it into tight windows and those windows were not big enough (today).”

Purdue’s best offensive weapon and last week’s Big Ten Offensive player of the week, David Bell, was bottled up by the Badger defense. The junior wide receiver had six catches for only 33 yards. He also dropped four passes thrown his way.

Purdue’s best offense was actually their defense. All of the Boilermakers’ points came off turnovers, including a 56-yard scoop-and-score by junior defensive end George Karlaftis. Cornerback Jamari Brown, also a junior, stripped the ball before Karlaftis picked it up and scored.

The Boilermakers will try to bounce back next weekend when they travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to face off against the Cornhuskers (2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2).