The Wisconsin Badgers suffered one of the most controversial losses in recent memory. Quarterback Joel Stave took a knee in the middle of the field in order to set up an easy 30-yard field goal in-between the hashes to win the game. However, the officials let the clock run out and cost the Badgers a huge win on the road. They will be playing with something to prove in week four.
On the other side of the field, the Badgers will be starting Big Ten play against the Purdue Boilermakers who just gave the Notre Dame Fighting Irish fits in a close loss. The Boilermakers sit at 1-2 and are surely in the midst of a rebuilding year under new head coach Darrell Hazell.
Wisconsin has one of the best rushing attacks in the nation — something that has been somewhat the norm for the Badgers in years past. Melvin Gordon and James White are superstars in Gary Andersen‘s new offense, combining for 774 yards and six touchdowns on just 82 rushes. Gordon has asserted himself in Heisman talks with his 12.9 yards per carry average through three games. Sophomore quarterback Stave struggled a bit against Arizona State in week three, but overall has been solid this season.
The Boilermakers have a mediocre offense, at best, this season. While they made a bowl game last year thanks to clutch quarterback play and a solid rushing attack, both seem to be missing through three weeks. Senior quarterback Rob Henry has just 567 yards, three scores and three picks through three games. Running back Akeem Hunt has just 125 yards on 41 carries and no touchdowns to lead the team — that’s just a 3.0 yards per carry average.
Defensively, Purdue allows nearly 30 points per game while giving up 400 yards to all but one opponent — Indiana State. Wisconsin was dominant on defense through the first two weeks, not allowing a team to reach the endzone, shutting out the first two lesser opponents on the season. They then faced the Sun Devils and gave up 32 points and 468 yards. It will be a few more games until we can actually see how good the defense really is.
Purdue will travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Sept. 21. The game will be broadcasted on ABC and ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Purdue 10, Wisconsin 35