Purdue and Wisconsin football meet on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at Camp Randall in Madison. Find the score and live updates below.
This game pits together two of the Big Ten West’s prime contenders, which is a sentence you probably didn’t expect to read at the beginning of the season. Wisconsin’s still a heavy favorite to make the conference title game, and even has a shot at the playoff. Purdue’ under new head coach Jeff Brohm, has transformed into a capable program almost overnight.
Wisconsin comes into this game undefeated after a bye week, and Purdue is riding high after a win over Minnesota.
Purdue-Wisconsin football score, live updates
This is where we’ll have our live blog, with updates throughout the game. Feel free to drop your own observations in the comments below.
Purdue-Wisconsin football preview, picks
The line: Wisconsin -17
The pick: Wisconsin 45, Purdue 31
At the beginning of the season, a matchup against Wisconsin might have seemed like a nightmare for Purdue. But no longer.
The Boilemakers might be coming down slightly from the initial Jeff Brohm hype, but not by much. In his first year as Purdue’s head coach after coming over from Western Kentucky, Brohm has reinvigorated a program that was consistently a Big Ten doormat. Purdue had finished over .500 only once since Joe Tiller’s tenure ended in 2008, and Brohm could accomplish that in his first season in West Lafayette.
Wins over Ohio and Missouri were impressive due to their large margins, even if the losing team in each scenario wasn’t particularly fearsome. Beating Minnesota and fellow Big Ten newcomer P.J. Fleck was impressive, too. Meanwhile, losses to Louisville and Michigan aren’t black marks on Brohm’s first season.
Enter Wisconsin. The Badgers have seemed ever bit of the Big Ten and College Football Playoff contender they were expected to be so far. Though some of their wins have not looked immensely dominating from the outside, Wisconsin has put itself in excellent position to win every single time out. Bill Connelly’s S&P+ gave the Badgers a win expectancy of either 100 or 99 every time out, meaning that in games where they registered those stats, they would be projected to win every time. So even though a 33-24 win over Northwestern doesn’t seem amazing, there’s evidence to support the idea that Wisconsin had the game in hand.
The most interesting battle to watch in this one should be Wisconsin’s shutdown defense against Purdue’s creative offense. Brohm has injected some fun back into Purdue with trick plays and pre-snap motions everywhere, but the Badgers have had a fearsome defense under first-time coordinator Jim Leonhard. Connelly’s S&P+ ranks Wisconsin’s defense as the No. 8 unit in the country. They are equally good against the pass and the run, and have only allowed 20 or more points once in four games.
On the other side of the ball, freshman RB Jonathan Taylor should be a huge challenge for Pudue’s defense. He averages almost 8 yards per carry, and has even entered some Heisman watch lists. Team him up with an efficient quarterback like Alex Hornibrook, and you have a complete team that should be able to acquit itself well against almost any team in the nation.
Purdue trailed Minnesota until late in the game last week, so the Boilermakers will need everything they have against Paul Chryst’s Badgers. Wisconsin, on the other hand, has not faced an offense like Purdue’s all season. Nebraska and Northwestern don’t provide quite the challenge Brohm’s offense has in his first season in the Big Ten.
At the end of the season, we could be talking about these two teams finishing 1-2 in the Big Ten West. Will this game end up mattering there? It’s too early to tell.
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