A 28-point unanswered run in the second quarter was all the Wisconsin Badgers (9-2, 6-2 B1G) needed in a 49- route over the Purdue Boilermakers (3-8, 1-8 B1G) at Ross Ade Stadium.
Wisconsin used big plays on offense and defense to erase a 3-0 deficit and put the game pretty much out of reach. In a matter of 10 plays the game went from 3-0 Purdue to 21-3 in favor of the Badgers.
After the Badgers punched in a touchdown on a 10-play, 87-yard drive to open its scoring early in the second quarter it was all over. Linebacker T.J. Watt took the first Purdue play of the next drive back for a touchdown and UW added a 7-yard touchdown.
The Badgers defense continued to be opportunistic a week after picking off five passes. Watt’s pick-six was just the start, as UW picked off three passes on the day, including an equally athletic interception by senior safety Leo Musso just as Purdue was attempting to drive in the final minute of the first half.
Running back Corey Clement put up 112 yards and a touchdown, all while becoming the 17th player in Wisconsin history to reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark. Additionally, Bradrick Shaw continued to show why he could be the next big star for the Badgers as he racked up 68 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries.
It all helped the Badgers rack up 221 yards on the ground en route to the victory.
It was also a banner day for sophomore fullback Alec Ingold. He got his first touchdown to start the scoring streak and then capped off the 28-point unanswered run with a 17-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Bart Houston.
The senior came in for the third drive of the game like planned, but after two lackluster drives to start the game something sparked the offense as Houston came in. He would finish the day 5 of 6 passing for 102 yards, also adding 14 yards on the ground in the winning effort.
Purdue managed to do something that hasn’t happened in a while — take a lead on the Badgers. After threatening deep in to Wisconsin territory, Purdue banged home a 28-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
It was the first lead by a Badger opponent since Ohio State beat the Badgers back on Oct. 15.
After struggling to get anything going in the first quarter, Wisconsin turned to Bart Houston for its third drive of the game. Along with Houston’s entry in to the game so too came an opening of the playbook.
Houston made two nice throws on screen plays for 52 yards, while Bradrick Shaw took the first play of the drive for 31 yards. In the end, Wisconsin found pay dirt on a 1-yard run by Ingold and took the lead at 7-3.
It was just the beginning of a huge second quarter that saw Wisconsin put the ball in the end zone five times in under 15 minutes.
Wisconsin poured on three more touchdowns following Ingold’s 1-yard effort, but Purdue found a small way to respond late in the second quarter. Purdue quarterback David Blough got a measure of redemption for his earlier mistake to Watt, connecting with senior wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey for a 75-yard touchdown and a 28-10 Badgers lead.
However, Wisconsin went right back to work with 2:38 to play in the half. UW got the ball at its own 44-yard line, and senior running back Corey Clement took the next four plays and drove the Badgers to the Purdue 33-yard line.
Needing a spell, Bradrick Shaw entered the game and used a big hole to go untouched up the middle for his second touchdown of the first half. It was a huge answer to Purdue’s previous drive and a clue that Wisconsin wasn’t about to let up.
Chryst put Hornibrook back in at quarterback to start the second half, but it was a delayed start as Purdue capitalized on a muffed punt return by Jazz Peavy and converted on a short field goal to make it 35-13 Wisconsin.
On the first real drive of the second half, Hornibrook saw his offensive line opening up some big holes and allowing the team to play from the front foot. That drive ended with Hornibrook reminding everyone why he took over as the starter, connecting on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Peavy to run the score to 42-13.
Hornibrook would finish the day 7 of 9 for 89 yards and a touchdown to his name. But, most of the damage was already done and Hornibrook was more a vessel for handoffs than a passer for much of the game.
Wisconsin went to work grinding out the clock after its first score of the second half, but added a 6-yard touchdown run from Corey Clement in the fourth quarter to make it 49-13.
It was another dominant day on the clock for the Badgers, as they controlled the ball for 38:27 of the game and held Purdue to just 3 of 10 on third down conversions.
The Badgers can wrap up the Big Ten West division title with a win over the Minnesota Goofs in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe next Saturday on Senior Day in Camp Randall Stadium.