No.7 Wisconsin got a scare Saturday when it came out flat after its bye week against a desperate Purdue squad, but found its momentum thanks to four Boilermakers turnovers, helping the Badgers to a 34-14 victory at Ross-Aid Stadium.
Antonio Fenelus intercepted a Sean Robinson pass for a 36-yard touchdown and returned a fumble 48 yards to set up a field goal. Culmer St. Jean and Mike Taylor also added intereceptions that set up scores, as the Badgers (8-1, 4-1 Big Ten) scored 24 points off Purdue turnovers.
With John Clay receiving a knee bruise in the third quarter, sophomore Montee Ball again stepped up to the plate and found success. Ball finished the day with 127 yards on 21 carries and two second-half touchdowns that created enough separation. Junior Nick Toon also made an impressive return to the lineup, grabbing a team-high five catches for a team-best 62 yards
After gaining 173 yards of total offense in the first half, Purdue (4-5, 2-3 Big Ten) could only manage 132 yards after halftime.
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12 plays, 77 yards, 4:58 TOP, :25 left
Antavian Edison 23-yard pass from Sean Robinson (Carson Wiggs kick) Key Play:Purdue has six first downs and was 2-for-2 on third downs, including converting on a third-and-4 at the UW 34 when Jay Valai missed a tackle, allowing Dan Dierking to lunge forward for six yards.
4 plays, 0 yards, 1:59 TOP, 8:08 left
FG Philip Welch 44
Key Play:Purdue looked to be headed in for another score when Mike Taylor forced an Edison fumble. Antonio Fenelus was right there for the pick up, racing 51 yards down to the PU 28.
15 plays, 51 yards, 7:08 TOP, 1:00 left
FG Carson Wiggs 37
Key Play:There were plenty of embarrassing third-down conversions that went against Wisconsin's defense on the drive, but the worst came on third-and-7 from the UW 30. A delayed handoff to Dierking went for 15 yards through the right side of the defensive line and a first down in the redzone.
7 plays, 57 yards, 1:00 TOP, :00 left
FG Philip Welch 38
Key Play:Despite pressure and a collapsing pocket, Tolzien stood in and made his best throw of the day, hitting wide receiver David Gilreath in stride for a 21-yard gain down to the Purdue 30.
5 plays, 18 yards, 2:24 TOP, 11:49 left
Jared Abbrederis 7-yard pass from Tolzien (Welch kick)
Key Play:Selling run for most of the short drive following the Culmer St. Jean interception, the play action was a perfect call. Abbrederis was wide open at the back of the end zone, getting the needed foot in bounds for UW to take the lead.
2 plays, 51 yards, :38 TOP, 6:20 left
Montee Ball 31-yard run (Welch kick)
Key Play:On a toss play left, Peter Konz was out front of Montee Ball and made his presence known, taking out two Purdue defenders to open a clear path way to the end zone for the sophomore, who lowered his shoulder and rolled over the goal line.
11 plays, 49 yards, 4:16 TOP, 13:35 left
FG Carson Wiggs 35
Key Play:Sean Robinson showing good poise as a true freshman in his first start. Facing a pass rush on third-and-5, Robinson found Edison in the flat for a 19-yard gain down to the UW 20.
2 plays, 14 yards, :33 TOP, 8:54 left
Montee Ball 15-yard run (Welch kick)
Key Play:The Badgers finally turned into ball hawks. After forcing two key turnovers early, Niles Brinkley tipped the attended pass to Mike Taylor, who returned the ball 26 yards down to the UW 14.
1 plays, 36 yards, :10 TOP, 8:31 left
Antonio Fenelus 36-yard interception return (Welch kick)
Key Play:Antonio Fenelus gets the double, seeing the high throw go off the hands of Kyle Adams and right into his hands. Fenelus went untouched for his first collegiate score.