The story, unfortunately for Purdue, remains the same.

As it does around this time every season, Wisconsin exposed the Boilermakers on Saturday, proving once again they are are not as yet — will they ever be? — physically ready to take on the most physical of the opponents in the Big Ten West.

Fortunately for Purdue, it might not matter this season, at least in terms of who wins the division. Following next week’s bye, which couldn’t come at a better time, the Boilermakers will still control their destiny, needing 4 wins in the last 4 weeks to get a title, with the big one coming Nov. 12 at division-leader Illinois.

But that’s for then.

For now, the Boilermakers are left humbled after losing 35-24 — and the game was never even that close — after thinking this might have been their best chance at finally breaking a series losing streak that’s now up to 16 consecutive games.

They had reason to think so: Purdue was riding a 4-game winning streak, including 3 straight vs. Big Ten teams, 2 of which came when the Boilermakers were road underdogs. Under 6th-year coach Jeff Brohm, Purdue had seemingly improved its depth and physicality, particularly along its defensive front, to the point where one thought the Boilermakers might actually be able to push back at the line of scrimmage. It’s been that way very seldom since Purdue’s last win over Wisconsin, way back in 2003 when Kyle Orton engineered a victory in Camp Randall Stadium.

And Wisconsin seemingly wasn’t the Wisconsin of the last couple decades, having decided to can coach Paul Chryst a few weeks ago in order to expedite the transition to Jim Leonhard, the defensive coordinator and former Badger who has the interim tag for now but seems destined to be the man in charge. Wisconsin came into the game under .500 overall and just 1-3 in the Big Ten, with an offensive side that was banged up and not playing particularly well, and a defense that had given up 34 in an overtime loss at Michigan State a week ago, 52 to Ohio State a month ago and 34 to Illinois in the game that got Chryst ousted.

But Saturday, Wisconsin was being Wisconsin. And Purdue never helped itself either, with the defense giving up a long touchdown drive, then Aidan O’Connell immediately throwing a pick-6. Only 5 minutes into the game, Purdue was already down 14. Seven minutes later, the Boilermakers were down 21. And that’s the winning formula for the Badgers: get an early lead, then lean into opponents by running the ball at them repeatedly.

Second verse, same as the first.

Purdue’s been here, repeatedly. In the 16-game losing streak, the average margin of loss is nearly 3 touchdowns. Less than a handful of the games have even been close.

This all started for the Boilermakers in 2004, when Orton’s late fumble was scoped up by Wisconsin, changing what looked like a sure Purdue win into a Wisconsin one. Purdue was ranked 5th at the time, was undefeated, and had ESPN’s “College GameDay” in town to preview the game (and it might have been set to return the following week for the Michigan game, had Purdue only held on to win). The program had reached its pinnacle then, as the following 5 seasons of the Joe Tiller Era experienced highs, but nothing close to that October day in 2004. And then Purdue under Danny Hope and Darrell Hazell failed to come anywhere near those heights.

Brohm has twice nearly knocked off Wisconsin, but couldn’t do so, and Saturday represented a step backward.

“It’s disappointing,” Brohm said after the loss. “We’ll let it burn and fester in us and sit with us in the off-week. And then hopefully drive us to want to improve and find a way to beat Iowa, which is a very good football team, just like Wisconsin. … A lot of work for us.”

Finding a way to beat the Badgers will be left for another day in another year. But finding the formula could still aid the cause this season.