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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, May 20, 2024

Jonathan Taylor ran for 224 yards and one touchdown in Wisconsin's 17-9 win over Purdue. 

Wisconsin knocks off Purdue 17-9 in underwhelming performance

On a gloomy Saturday afternoon, more than half of Wisconsin’s student section was still filing into Camp Randall Stadium as freshman running back Jonathan Taylor and the No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers (3-0 Big Ten, 6-0 overall) opened the floodgates on the Purdue Boilermakers (1-2 Big Ten, 3-3).

Taylor, on only Wisconsin’s third play from scrimmage, knifed through the Boilermaker defense, breaking two tackles, for a 67-yard touchdown run. But Badger chunk plays were hard to come by in UW’s 17-9 win, as even though Wisconsin outgained Purdue 494-221, three Badger turnovers kept the Boilermakers within reach.

The Badgers led 17-6 at halftime, as UW had exactly twice as many rushing yards, 186, as it did passing yards, 93. But Purdue’s offense, setback by frequent penalties and sub-par blocking, was limited to less than 100 yards of total offense and failed to score a touchdown.

Still, UW struggled to blow the game open.

Wisconsin started the second half by running the football on six of its first seven plays, before three penalties put the Badgers behind in the chains. Then, on a third and 12, an errant pass by redshirt sophomore quarterback Hornibrook hit senior running back Rachid Ibrahim in the hands but was corralled by Purdue’s Danny Ezechukwu and returned 38 yards into Badger territory.

And while Purdue was unable to convert on Hornibrook’s first-half interceptions, Hornibrook’s second pick led to a Boilermaker field goal and cut UW’s lead to eight.

On the ensuing possession, Wisconsin would run the ball five consecutive times before a 41-yard competition to sophomore wide receiver Quintez Cephus put the ball on Purdue’s five-yard line just before the end of the third quarter.

Two plays later, though, Taylor coughed up the football giving Purdue possession.

Yet again, however, the Boilermakers would fail to convert on the UW turnover.

After a quick Badger three-and-out, Purdue seemed poised to score its first touchdown of the game, but an interception by Wisconsin senior linebacker Leon Jacobs gave UW back possession at its own seven-yard line.

Wisconsin again turned to its ground game for production. Leading by only eight, UW ran the football on 11 of its ensuing 13 plays to ice the game away.

Taylor finished the game with 30 carries for 224 yards and a touchdown while Hornibrook finished with only 13 completions for 199 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

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