Wisconsin Badgers vs. Purdue Boilermakers: Final Thoughts From The 24-7 Win


The Wisconsin Badgers started slow but pulled away from the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday for a 24-7 victory. Aside from one bad play, Joel Stave threw the ball efficiently, which is what Wisconsin needs from him. A banged-up running game did not impress, and T.J. Edwards broke out in a big way.

READ ALSO: Joe Schobert Tabbed A Midseason All-American

The Badgers avoided a bad loss in the beginning of a four-game stretch of what should be easy conference victories for Wisconsin. The next three games for the Badgers include a road contest against Illinois, home against Rutgers and an away game against Maryland.

Good Joel Stave Returns

Joel Stave finished the game with 30 completions on 39 attempts for 322 yards. The only blemish on his game was an overthrow to Rob Wheelwright that was intercepted and set up Purdue’s lone touchdown of the game. Stave is at his best when he finds a variety of pass catchers to go to, and six players caught multiple passes against Purdue, led by Alex Erickson’s nine-catch, 86-yard performance.

Stave and Wheelwright connected six times for 61 yards, and it could have been more, as Wheelwright drew three pass interference penalties during the game. We saw good versions of Stave in the first four games of the year before the four-turnover game against Iowa and a below 50 percent completion percentage against Nebraska. He played well on Saturday, but inconsistency has been the label on Stave throughout his career as Wisconsin’s quarterback.

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Wisconsin vs. Purdue Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Wisconsin vs. Purdue Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


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  • T.J. Edwards Breaks Out

    As expected, Purdue could get nothing going against the Wisconsin defense led by redshirt freshman inside linebacker T.J. Edwards, whose performance landed him a Big Ten Freshman of the Week award. The Boilermakers gained just 191 total yards of offense and averaged just 1.9 yards per carry.

    Edwards finished with a game-high 16 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and his first career forced fumble. Senior outside linebacker Joe Schobert had a tackle for loss with 0.5 sacks with a pass breakup and a quarterback hit. Schobert finished tied with true freshman Chris Orr for second on the team with seven total tackles. With Edwards and Orr manning the inside linebacker spots, Wisconsin looks to be set at the position for the next three years.

    Injured Running Game Struggles

    Fourth-year junior Dare Ogunbowale carried the load with true freshman Alec Ingold receiving half the total carries of Ogunbowale. The backfield duo combined for three touchdowns with Ingold scoring twice, but the yards per carry was not impressive. Ogunbowale ran 18 times for 56 yards, a 3.1 average, while Ingold carried the ball nine times for 19 yards for a 2.1 yard average.

    Redshirt freshman running back Taiwan Deal sat out with an ankle injury suffered against Nebraska last week. Wisconsin also played without its starting center Dan Voltz, which forced the Badgers to use their fifth different offensive line combination in seven games. Corey Clement was in uniform during Saturday’s game but did not play as he continues to recover from sports hernia surgery. The Badgers’ running game has underperformed this season, but getting healthy would improve Wisconsin’s rushing attack greatly. Head coach Paul Chryst said he expects Voltz to return for Saturday, while Clement and Deal are considered questionable for the game against Illinois.

    Next: Badgers Closing in on AP Poll

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