Wisconsin has now beaten Purdue 14 times in a row in football.
No other opponent has done that ever against the Boilermakers. The streak will continue into 2020, just as everyone expected. Even when Purdue took the first lead it had taken in Madison since 2005, there was not a lot of doubt. The Boilers needed to play a perfect game and did not. They were merely, “pretty good”, but that is never going to be good enough in this series.
The Badgers also had Jonathan Taylor and 1,600 pounds of tall, strong men clearing the way for him. The numbers that Taylor has put up against the Boilers is incredible. He has rushed 762 yards and five touchdowns in three games.
By comparison, King Doerue has rushed for 429 yards in 11 games this season as Purdue’s leading rusher. As a team, Purdue has 818 total yards rushing in 2019. In 2013, the worst Purdue team ever, the Boilers rushed for 805 yards in 12 games. Taylor is approaching 6,000 career yards and is the No. 7 all-time rusher in NCAA FBS history, but more than 10% of he career yards have come against us. In the words of Ron Burgandy, I’m not even mad. That’s amazing.
Every year against the Badgers is the same. Montee Ball, Corey Clement, Jonathan Taylor, Michael Bennett, Ron Dayne, John Clay, Melvin Gordon, or James White will get the handoff behind a line that averages 6’7” 320 pounds. Occasionally they will run a jet sweep or a random plug-and-play tall quarterback will run a playaction pass for 20-30 yards as teams sell out on the run.
That’s it. That’s the Wisconsin offense. Everyone knows it, and against Purdue it is particularly devastating because we can never hope to match it physically. Today was more of the same. Even with Aidan O’Connell playing extremly well, Brycen Hopkins having an excellent game, and seemingly every trick play under the sun it meant nothing because there was no way Purdue was stopping Wisconsin offensively. Here were there drives today:
62 yard bomb of a Field goal to end the half
End of Game
Anthony Lotti could have been declared legally dead in the first quarter and the Badgers would not have had to scramble for a punter. Fortunately, the young man is alive and got to enjoy today’s rout from the sidelines.
This is not an indictment on Jeff Brohm, because we have seen this for nearly a quarter century now. It is particularly depressing to play the Badgers every year because you know what is coming and you know Purdue cannot stop it. It is why the Boilers should have gone for two in the second overtime last year. There was honor in going for the win on one play without Taylor and his line having any impact. We were not going to stop him in in the third overtime because even if they needed the two-point conversion after he scored, he was going to get it.
There is not much else to say. I felt the Purdue offense played really well today, but it made one mistake: when O’Connell threw an interception to Eric Burrell as we were driving to tie it just after halftime. The pick occurred at the five, and normally down one score there would be hope that a stop could be earned.
I had no doubt the Badgers would waltz 95 yards for a touchdown.
And waltz they did. Purdue’s defense got its ass kicked on the following drive. 9 plays, 95 yards, and all of it on power runs. Kendric Pryor went more than half of that on one play, but that is because he is the next Wisconsin running back that will rush for 250 yards against Purdue.
The 2019 season may come down to a blown fourth quarter in Reno blocking us from a bowl. Through injuries Jeff Brohm has had this team fight and compete. A lot of freshmen are playing huge minutes. All of that does not matter, because Purdue cannot win the Big Ten West until it can at least compete with Wisconsin physically, and we haven’t for almost 20 years.