First Look: Wisconsin

Alan Karpick, Publisher
Gold and Black

Here's an early look at Purdue's next opponent, the Wisconsin Badgers:

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Location: Camp Randall Stadium

Surface: Turf

Capacity: 80,321 (Tickets Stubhub)

Records: Wisconsin (5-0 overall, 2-0 Big Ten); Purdue (3-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten)

Series notes: Wisconsin leads the series 47-29-8 and has won the last 11 games, dating back to a 26-23 Purdue victory Oct. 18, 2003 in Madison. Purdue's 11-game losing streak is the longest it has endured against any conference school since the league began over 110 years ago. Only two of those 11 losses have been decided by 12 points or fewer and the last nine Badger victories have been by an average of 27 points.


Early line: Wisconsin - 16.5

The Badgers have another great running back 

... and his name is Jonathan Taylor. The freshman from Salem, N.J., has two games of over 200 yards, including a 249-yard effort in Saturday's 38-17 win at Nebraska. Will he be the next Melvin Gordon, Montee Ball, James White, John Clay, P.J. Hill and Brian Calhoun, each of whom were 1,000-yard rushers for the school during its recent dominance over Purdue? The answer for this season is most certainly yes.

The Badger passing game is improved

Quarterback Alex Hornibrook has been maligned at times, but he is off to a very solid start in 2017. He already has more touchdown passes than he did in all of 2016. The left-handed quarterback relies on a running game in crunch time to be sure — the Badgers ran on 30 of their final 32 plays, including the final 22 against Nebraska and scored three touchdowns in the process — but he can hurt you with his arm? The only challenge is the Badgers' offensive line is battling injuries, but at this time of year, who isn't?

Purdue will be challenged to run the football

It is nothing new that the Badgers' defense is stout. It ranks ninth in the country in points allowed (14.2) and fourth nationally in rushing defense (81.2 ypg) and 10th in overall defense (273.8). So Coach Jeff Brohm will face some of the issues he did a couple of weeks ago against Michigan, trying to manufacture plays that can not only gain sufficient yardage, but also provide a measure of ball control to keep the Badgers' ball-control offense (ranking fourth in the nation, averaging 36 minutes a game) off the field. It will be not be easy.

Jeff Brohm on Wisconsin:

"Great opponent in Wisconsin, without question. Very, very well-coached team. They were very talented and they play really, really hard, and you can tell on video, they kind of set the standard for toughness and playing to the end and that's why they are very good.It will be a challenging game for us. Very, very good on defense and on offense, they are going to run the football at you, control the clock, wear you down, and we're definitely going to have to do a lot of things right to have a chance to win in the second half but we are looking forward to the challenge."


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