WEST LAFAYETTE — With the temperature dropping and winds picking up, Boilermaker fans decided to stay home in Purdue’s senior game at Ross-Ade Stadium. In a lackluster stadium environment, the Boilermakers were unable to stop Wisconsin’s consistent offense and defense, which started slow but quickly regained its usual high level of play. The Badgers would win their fifth straight game and 11th vs. Purdue 49-20.
Though Purdue would control the first quarter, leading 3-0 with a 28-yard field goal, the Badgers would come back to control the rest of the game.
With Houston in at quarterback to start the second quarter, the offense would run several screens to take the ball down the field and in for an Alec Ingold touchdown to put Wisconsin up 7-3. Running backs Dare Ogunbowale and Bradrick Shaw both had over 30-yards plays to change the momentum against the lowest-ranked Big Ten defense.
After the defense started with two rare offsides penalties, the defense returned to normalcy, or rather abnormalcy, with incredible plays by the linebacking unit. T.J. Watt would first come away with an ‘in-your-face’ interception, picking off Purdue’s quarterback David Blough and returning it 17 yards for the touchdown. Wisconsin would lead 14-3.
T.J. Edwards would later come away with a tip and a pick that would lead to a one-play offensive drive, Houston to Ingold, for the touchdown. The secondary finally saw some action late in the second quarter with an interception by safety Leo Musso with 9 seconds left to play in the first half.
The Wisconsin run game continued where it left off last week against Illinois with the solid rotation of the three-headed monster in Clement, Ogunbowale and Shaw. This season has been a great building year for Bradrick Shaw, who is setting himself up to easily take the starting job next year at running back. He would finish with eight carries for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Clement would finish with 112 yards for one touchdown, getting over 100 yards for the sixth time this season, and Ogunbowale with three catches for 62 yards.
Chryst’s unique quarterback rotation would continue with senior Bart Houston seeing significant time on Saturday. He would play through the second quarter, showing off both his arm and legs, completing five of six throws for 102 yards and one touchdown and rushing three times for 14 yards. Hornibrook would return at the start of the second half. He finished seven of nine for 89 yards and one touchdown.
The easiest way for Wisconsin to get to the Big Ten Championship is to win, and that’s exactly what Wisconsin did on Saturday. No matter the result of other games this weekend or next, a win at home next week will take the Badgers back to Indianapolis to represent the Big Ten West.
Wisconsin plays its last game of the season at home next Saturday against the Minnesota Gophers.