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Badgers defense takes down Purdue in low-scoring affair

Wisconsin weathers turnover-fest thanks to stifling defense, pulls out 12th-straight win over Purdue

Jump Around at Camp Randall was born 20 years ago almost to the day. The Badgers needed four quarters back in 1998 to beat Purdue, and the same was the case today as Wisconsin scratched and clawed its way to a 17-9 victory.

While it wasn’t pretty, Wisconsin proved it could get a win even with an off day. It marked the 12th straight win for the Badgers in this series and continues as the third-longest streak against any Big Ten opponent in school history.

Jonathan Taylor nearly did the unprecedented, but came up just short of reaching 1,000 yards rushing in just six games this season. He would’ve been the first true freshman to do that in college football history.

Instead, he settled for just another 200-yard day — his third of the season — as he put up 219 yards to help lead the Badgers to victory. However, even he didn’t have a perfect game despite a perfect start.

Wisconsin got the ball first and handed to Taylor on the first three plays of the game. Taylor broke loose on the third one and scampered in to the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown.

Wisconsin raced out to a 14-0 lead on its first two drives of the game and it looked like the route would be on. But, Purdue battled hard and neither offense could get out of its own way largely in this one.

UW ended up turning the ball over three times on the day, but the real story was Wisconsin’s ability to overcome those turnovers on the defensive side of the football.

 

Purdue had all three turnovers end up in Badgers territory and came away with just three points.

The visitors even had a punt block that should’ve ended with a touchdown. Instead, a pulled hamstring took Race Johnson down at the Wisconsin 15-yard line.

What happened next was indicative of what the Badgers defense did all day to Purdue.

Garrett Dooley sacked David Blough for a 7-yard loss on first down, then after a 5-yard run from Markell Jones, the Badgers got an 8-yard sack from Alec James. Instead of first down at the UW 15-yard line, it turned in to a 42-yard field goal attempt that was pushed wide.

Wisconsin allowed Purdue in to the red zone on four occasions in this game, but none of them ended in the end zone. In fact, Purdue was just 2 of 4 in red zone opportunities on the day for just six points in total.

Purdue’s high-powered passing game could only put up 155 yards on 13 of 29 passing for Elijah Sindelar. UW also made sure to respond to a late challenge from Purdue, who drove deep in Wisconsin territory only to have Leon Jacobs step in front of a throw on the sideline to end the Boilermakers threat.

The Badgers return to action next Saturday, playing host to cross-divisional foe Maryland. Kickoff is scheduled for 11am with FOX carrying the broadcast. It will also be Homecoming for the Badgers.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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