Saturday, November 17, 2018

Wisconsin 47, Purdue 44 3OT: Badgers outlast Boilermakers in a thriller

Photo Credit: Dylan Buell- Getty Images

By: Jon Opiela
Twitter: @jonopiela24

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.– After a low-scoring first half, the Wisconsin Badgers (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) knocked off the Purdue Boilermakers (5-6, 4-4 Big Ten) in what turned out to be a triple-overtime thriller, 47-44. An offensive shootout between Purdue quarterback David Blough and Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor ensued and the result was nothing less than superb.

"I thought our guys competed hard to find a way to beat a very good football team that we haven't beaten in a long time,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “We had our chances. It does hurt."

The Boilermakers got on the board first with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Blough to D.J. Knox midway through the second quarter.

The Badgers responded with a scoring drive of their own to cut Purdue’s lead to four. Jack Coan overshot Jake Ferguson in the end zone on third-and-goal, forcing Wisconsin to kick a 29-yard field goal.

Purdue closed the half with a 20-yard field goal to take a 10-3 lead into halftime. The Boilermakers had first and goal from the two-yard line and were unable to punch it in and were forced to settle with a field goal.  The drive was highlighted by a 39-yard strike from Blough to Knox, the play on which Blough eclipsed 3,000 passing yards on the season.

Wisconsin opened the second half scoring with 10 unanswered points.  On the first play of the third quarter, Heisman Trophy candidate Jonathan Taylor went untouched up the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown run. Rafael Gaglianone split the uprights for the second time in the contest on a 22-yard field goal.

Purdue then turned around and rattled off 17 unanswered points of their own. Markell Jones found the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown run before Blough connected with Rondale Moore for a 46-yard touchdown, complete with a highlight-reel spin move from Moore. A 20-yard field goal from Spencer Evans pushed the Boilermaker lead to 14 with under ten minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Coan found Danny Davis for two touchdowns down the stretch for Wisconsin— from five and 18 yards, respectively. The 18-yard touchdown tied the game at 27 with 2:51 seconds remaining in regulation. Neither team was able to break the tie and the game headed for overtime.

Wisconsin won the toss and elected to play defense first in the opening overtime period. Purdue opened overtime with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Blough to Moore. Wisconsin responded with a 12-yard score from Jonathan Taylor to force a second overtime.

Garrett Groshek powered his way through the Boilermaker defense for a 4-yard touchdown for Wisconsin, but Blough responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Zico on the first offensive play for Purdue.

Blough finished the contest with 386 yards through the air and four touchdowns. The senior completed 31 of 48 pass attempts on the day as well.

Purdue was unable to get anything going on their drive for the third overtime period and was forced to settle for a 41-yard field goal from Spencer Evans. Taylor secured the victory for the Badgers with a 17-yard touchdown run through the middle of the Boilermakers defense. 

“It just seemed like we ran out of gas a little bit and we couldn’t stop the run,” Brohm said. “I thought our guys competed hard to find a way to beat a very good football team that we haven't beaten in a long time. We had our chances. It does hurt."

Brohm’s run-stopping comment was no joke. Purdue’s defense allowed Taylor to significantly boost his Heisman resume. Taylor finished the contest with a career-high 321 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor’s 321 rushing yards finished as the third-most in a single-game in Wisconsin history.

Looking Ahead:

Purdue will head to Bloomington, Ind., next weekend to take on Indiana in a battle for the Old Oaken Bucket. The Boilermakers will need a win against their in-state rivals to become bowl-eligible for a second straight season.

"We still have a lot to play for," Brohm said. "We get to play our rival at their place and they're playing great football so what more could you ask for?"

The Badgers return home to Camp Randall Stadium to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in their regular season finale.