MADISON, WI. (WLFI) - The Purdue Boilermakers opened their Big Ten season Saturday afternoon against Wisconsin. The Badgers rushed for 388 yards on their way to a 41-10 victory.
Wisconsin built an early 14-0 lead after the first quarter, thanks to touchdown runs from Melvin Gordon and James White. White forced two Boilermakers to miss tackles and then saw nothing but daylight on his way to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown.
The Boilermakers battled back as senior quarterback Rob Henry scored from 22 yards out on a broken play to cut the deficit in half. The defense stepped up after that as senior Ricardo Allen stepped in front of a Joel Stave pass for the interception. Allen was tackled at the ten yard line which led to a 24 yard field goal from Paul Griggs to make it a 14-10 game.
From that point on it was all Wisconsin, the Badgers made it a 21-10 game as Melvin Gordon’s scored for the second time, this one from 27 yards out with 7:13 left in the second quarter. At that point, Wisconsin had rushed 15 times for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Kyle French added a 32 yard field goal to extend the lead to 24-10 at the half.
"Obviously that's not the way Purdue football wants to play and we need to get a lot better. Obviously we were in a pretty close ball game early. We missed some tackles and didn't convert third downs. When you play a good football team like Wisconsin those things seem to spiral on you and it got out of hand quickly," said head coach Darrell Hazell.
Wisconsin picked up where it left off to start the second half as Melvin Gordon scored from 15 yards out which capped off a six-play, 68-yard drive to open the third quarter. The touchdown increased Gordon’s totals on the ground to 131 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries. At the end of the third quarter, Wisconsin led 34-10 and Purdue had no answer.
"We need to take a long look at ourselves, coaches and players and make sure we are taking the correct steps to make sure that Purdue football gets better," said Coach Hazell.
The Boilermakers will play their final non-conference game of the season next week as they host Northern Illinois at Ross-Ade Stadium. Kick is set for noon.
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