Wisconsin distances itself late from Purdue
Final: Wisconsin 24, Purdue 7
Key play: T.J. Edwards makes shoe-string tackle on DeAngelo Yancey
This won’t show up in the box score, but Edwards made the play of the day on a screen pass to the Purdue wideout. On their own six yard-line trailing 10-7, the Boilers had a perfect screen set up for Yancey to do more than just convert third down. With his speed and the open field ahead of him, Yancey could’ve easily taken that for six, which would’ve given Purdue the lead at the end of the third quarter. Instead, Edwards got him by the ankle from behind, which forced the Boilers to punt out of their own end zone. From that, Dare Ogunbowale converted on a short field to give Wisconsin its first two-possession lead of the day.
Telling stat: Wisconsin out-gains Purdue 418-191
It might’ve been close down the stretch, but the Badgers dominated this game at the line of scrimmage. Wisconsin only led 10-7 at half despite having a 272-61 yardage advantage. If not for a horrific Joel Stave interception, the Badgers would’ve been looking at a two-possession lead at the break. Stave became the first Wisconsin quarterback to throw for 300 yards in consecutive games in four years. It wasn’t always pretty, but he’s clearly the guy that moves the chains without Corey Clement. Alex Erickson and Rob Wheelwright were steady again for an offense that doesn’t look like the Wisconsin power teams of years past.
-Corey Clement suited up
It was a bit of a surprise to see Clement suited up and going through warm-ups for the Badgers. What wasn’t a surprise was the fact that he didn’t play. To rush their star back for a home game against Purdue would’ve been questionable. The move was likely made for Clement just to get used to going through the pregame motions for the first time since the opener. With Clement and Taiwan Deal out, we saw a lot of Dare Ogunbowale, who was more effective in the passing game than he was in the running game. That’s a sign of the times in Madison.
-D.J. Knox carted off
That was not a sight Darrell Hazell wanted to see in the fourth quarter. The Boiler tailback was just getting back to full strength and appeared to suffer a serious leg injury late. Markell Jones is capable of taking on Knox’s workload but the margin for error for this offense is slim. Purdue’s best offensive game is using a combination of Jones and Knox to move the chains. If Knox is out for a considerable amount of time, it would put even more pressure on redshirt freshman David Blough to do the heavy lifting for the offense.
What it means: Wisconsin is a grinder team
So you know how we all got used to blowouts at Camp Randall? Well, this year’s group is showing that we might not be seeing any of those in B1G play. For the third straight week, the Badgers found themselves holding onto a slim lead in the fourth quarter. Why? The Badgers just don’t have big-play threats. Without Corey Clement, the Badgers don’t have anybody that can bust the 70-yard runs. And can you blame them for playing a conservative style? With how strong Wisconsin is on defense, Paul Chryst doesn’t need to take monster risks downfield. Credit Purdue for keeping things relatively close in a tough road environment, but this is more of the norm for Wisconsin this year.