All seniors want to end on a high note, to go out on top. But, needing a win to become bowl eligible, even a good performance from a senior and a freshman weren't enough Saturday, as Purdue's football team fell 47-44 to Wisconsin in triple overtime.
Fifth year quarterback David Bough had an exceptional performance in his final home game, going 31-48 passing for 386 yards and four touchdowns. He moved to third all-time in total completions in Purdue history, and had his team in position to win, up 27-13 with fewer than ten minutes to go in the game.
But Wisconsin tied the game at 27, with about three minutes left on the clock. Purdue actually got two drives in that time, but looked disorganized and the game went to extra time.
Freshman wide receiver Rondale Moore again played well, tallying 141 total yards and 2 touchdowns, as well as eclipsing the 1000 receiving yard mark for the season in the course of the game.
The MVPs of this game however, were Badger running back Jonathan Taylor and the Wisconsin offensive line. Taylor rushed for 321 yards, averaging almost ten yards per carry and racking up three scores, including the game-winning touchdown after Purdue was held to a field goal in the third overtime period. The Wisconsin offense as a whole rushed for 385 yards and dominated the Boilermaker defense.
After the game, Purdue Head Coach Jeff Brohm, whose team was distracted all week by rumors the Kentucky native is one of the top choices to take the University of Louisville head coaching job next season, said his defense simply ran out of gas and had no answer for the Wisconsin running attack.
After losing two in a row, the Boilermakers are in the same spot they were one year ago. The only thing that stands between Purdue and a second straight chance at a bowl game appearance are the Indiana Hoosiers, in next week's Old Oaken Bucket game. Just like last year, both teams need to win this game in order to qualify for postseason consideration.
Until last year that had never happened. Now it's happened in consecutive seasons.
Next week's rivalry game will be played in Bloomington, with a 1 p.m. kickoff scheduled at Memorial Stadium.