MADISON — No. 14 Wisconsin rolled up more than 600 yards of offense to overcome four turnovers and beat Purdue 45-24 Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.
Offense: Jonathan Taylor
In what was likely his final home game, the junior ran for 222 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. Taylor broke off a 51-yard score in the first quarter, his longest run since the Big Ten opener against Michigan. It was his third-straight 200-yard game and left him with 12 on his career — second-most in school history behind Ron Dayne’s 14. Taylor did lose a pair of fumbles, though only one was truly his fault.
With Taylor as the main weapon, the Wisconsin offense rolled up 606 yards of offense against the Boilermakers, its most since 2014.
Defense: Chris Orr
The Badgers gave up a lot of yards through the air, but Orr and the front seven gave up virtually nothing in the run game and got after quarterback. The senior finished with a team-high nine tackles, including a sack and a tackle for loss. Purdue managed just 50 yards on the ground — its third-fewest in a Big Ten game this season.
Special Teams: Zach Hintze
Hintze had attempted just one field goal in his career before Saturday. It was a 62-yard kick at Northwestern last season. He did not hit it. The senior was provided with a second chance to hit from that distance against the Boilermakers and did not waste it. He tucked the ball just inside the left upright as time expired at the end of the first half, breaking a 24-year-old school record.
PJ Fleck ends his presser with a "Boiler Up."
— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) November 23, 2019
Wisconsin linebacker Chris Orr heard about Fleck’s comment. He wasn’t amused.
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) November 24, 2019
— Barstool Wisco (@BarstoolBadgers) November 23, 2019
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 24, 2019
Zack Baun on how quickly the focus shifts to Minnesota:
“Right now. That was the message Coach Chryst gave in the locker room. ‘Good win guys, but we’ve got a big thing ahead of us.'”
In Case You Missed It
— Wisconsin broke out the wildcat a number of times to plenty of success on Saturday. Wide receiver Aron Cruickshank broke free for a 27-yard touchdown in the first quarter and then running back Garrett Groshek got free for a 6-yard score in the third quarter.
Groshek was asked if it was a tough read on whether to hand it off to fullback Mason Stokke or keep it himself. It led to this back and forth between him and a reporter.
Groshek: “For the most part, yeah, it’s a pretty simple read because I’m not giving it to Mason.”
Reporter: “Does he know that?”
Groshek: “Yep, he knows that.”
Reporter: “Minnesota knows that now, too.”
Groshek: “That’s alright.”
— Safety Colin Wilder was injured early in the second half on a helmet-to-helmet hit. Making matters even worse was the fact he was called for targeting on the play and ejected. Because it happened after halftime, he’ll miss the first half of next week’s game at Minnesota.
— Wisconsin lost safety Reggie Pearson (arm) and cornerback Faion Hicks (head) to injury in the second half. John Torchio replaced Pearson, while Rachad Wildgoose came in for Hicks.
— Though he still has a year of eligibility left, Jonathan Taylor is expected to turn pro after the season. With that in mind, coach Paul Chryst called a timeout late in the fourth quarter to allow the fans to acknowledge him as he came off the field for the final time.
— Wisconsin’s win sets up a Big Ten West title game next Saturday at Minnesota. The winner of that game will win the division and advance to play Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Inside the Numbers
14 — That’s how many games Wisconsin has won in a row against Purdue. The Boilermakers haven’t beaten the Badgers since 2003.
4 — That’s how many turnovers the Badgers had. It’s their first win when turning the ball over that many times since beating Iowa in November of 2017.
762 — That’s how many yards Jonathan Taylor has run for in his career against the Boilermakers. He’s run for at least 200 yards in all three games.
1 — That’s how many receiving touchdowns Jack Dunn has in his career after hauling a 19-yard score from quarterback Jack Coan.
5 — That’s how many touchdowns Quintez Cephus has this season, tying a career-high for him. The junior wide out has already set career-highs for catches (40) and yards (606).
9-for-11 — That was Wisconsin on third down on Saturday. It was their best mark percentage-wise in a Big Ten game since at least 1997.
Wisconsin (9-2, 6-2) will travel to Minnesota (10-1, 7-1) next Saturday to face the Gophers in a game that will decide the Big Ten West.