Final scores can often be misleading, and Wisconsin's 28-17 win over Illinois Saturday is certainly no exception. While the Badgers (5-2 Big Ten, 9-2 overall) survived their final road test and continue to control their own destiny in the Big Ten Leaders Division, this game was far from pretty.
The Wisconsin football team (4-2 Big Ten, 8-2 overall) has been running on all cylinders after throttling Minnesota 42-13 to retain possession of Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the eighth-straight year and is looking to carry that momentum into Saturday’s game against Illinois (2-4, 6-4).
It is rare that the week featuring Wisconsin vs. Minnesota arrives and the talk of historical impact in the Big Ten does not center around Paul Bunyan’s axe. That is exactly the case this year, as the devastating facts continue to surface in State College, Penn., and major announcements keep coming from Penn State University.
While the agony of defeat may be a harsh pill to swallow, the Wisconsin football team (3-2 Big Ten, 7-2 overall) showcased its resiliency with a convincing 62-17 victory over Purdue, avenging two consecutive losses on the road. Wisconsin’s exceptional running attack was in full force as junior running back Montee Ball rushed for a career-high 223 yards and tied Brian Calhoun’s school record of 24 touchdowns in a season.
It is no secret that the Wisconsin football team prefers to play its games in Madison. But after Saturday’s 62-17 victory over Purdue (2-3 Big Ten 4-5 overall), a victory that came on the heels of two-consecutive losses on the road, it is clear that the Badgers (2-2. 7-2) are a different team inside the confines of Camp Randall Stadium.