WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Wisconsin stormed back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Purdue in triple overtime 47-44 on Saturday.
Offense: Jonathan Taylor
The word “special” and the term “just different” were in heavy use by Jonathan Taylor’s teammates after his latest stunning performance. The sophomore ran for 321 yards and three touchdowns, including a walk-off 17-yard scamper in the third overtime to top off the third-best single-game rushing effort in school history.
“Insane,” outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel said of Taylor’s effort. “He’s something else. I’ve never seen a running back like that in person. You can watch the game see this guy is just different, this guy is special. His future is bright.”
Taylor did a lot of his damage after halftime, taking his first carry of the third quarter 80 yards for a score. After Wisconsin went down 27-13 with 9:50 left in the fourth quarter, Taylor had 129 yards on 13 carries over six drives, including overtime. He put the game away with an outside zone run that left him with 1,869 yards on the season and his teammates mobbing him in the end zone.
“That’s something that you watch on TV [growing up],” Taylor said. “You watch a great game, it goes into overtime and someone scores a game-winning touchdown. As a kid you’re watching that and saying, ‘Man, that must be amazing.’ It [was] the exact same feeling that you dream of.”
Defense: Andrew Van Ginkel
The senior is finally getting healthy and we’re starting to see what made him special at the end of last season. On Saturday, he had a career-high 10 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and remarkable forced fumble that stopped an early scoring opportunity for Purdue. Van Ginkel and junior Zack Baun have each stepped up in recent weeks, showing glimpses of being the havoc creators the Badgers have had at the outside linebacker spot the four seasons prior to this one.
Special Teams: Van Ginkel
It won’t show up in highlights of the game, but Van Ginkel getting Purdue return man Rondale Moore to the ground late in the fourth quarter proved to be huge. Moore proved to be one of the most exciting players in the country on Saturday and the freshman probably had ideas of glory going through his mind when he caught a punt and looked upfield with less than a minute left and the game tied. Instead, after dancing past a few Badgers, Van Ginkel tripped him up for no gain, forcing the Boilermakers to go further for a potential game-winning kick, something they were unable to do.
What they said
“That dude is different. I’m glad he’s on our team for sure. He’s very special.”
Linebacker T.J. Edwards on what Taylor did on Saturday
Jonathan Taylor speaks
The edition where former Wisconsin running backs give love to Taylor:
In Case You Missed It
— Freshman CB Donte Burton made his first career start as part of Wisconsin’s nickel package.
— Safety Scott Nelson did not play in the game despite being dressed. He’s been dealing with a knee injury. Sophomore Eric Burrell started in his place.
— Quarterback Alex Hornibrook did not travel with the team for a second straight week. He has not played since suffering his second concussion of the season against Rutgers.
— Tackle David Edwards missed his first game since 2016, staying back in Madison with an arm injury. Redshirt freshman Logan Bruss started in his place at right tackle.
Inside the Numbers
125 — That’s how many penalty yards Wisconsin had for the game. It’s the first time the Badgers have topped 100 yards in penalties since 2008.
3,846 — That’s the number of yards Taylor has run for in his career. It’s the most combined rushing yards as a freshman and sophomore in FBS history, topping former Badgers running back Ron Dayne.
52 — That’s how many career starts offensive lineman Michael Deiter has made. It’s the most in school history, passing former cornerback Sojourn Shelton.
Wisconsin (7-4, 5-3) hosts Minnesota (5-6, 2-6) in the season finale on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.