Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#145 Purdue vs.
#146 Wisconsin
Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#145 Purdue University
#146 University of Wisconsin-Madison
4-6
8-2
6-4
6-4
6-4
4-6
24
34
27
13

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: November 23, 2019, Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI, 4:00 PM ET

A disappointing season for the Purdue Boilermakers would be much easier to swallow if they were able to knock off the No. 14-ranked Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday. The Badgers are rolling once again after dropping a shocking loss to Illinois and getting ramrodded by Ohio State. They are coming off back-to-back wins over Iowa and Nebraska. The current odds have a third victory in the cards for the Badgers when hosting the Boilermakers. After falling to Iowa and Illinois, the Boilermakers have responded with consecutive wins over Nebraska and Northwestern.

Do the Boilermakers trust O’Connell?

Don’t expect the Boilermakers to hold off on airing the ball out against a Badgers defense allowing only 190.1 passing yards per game. Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm hasn’t forgotten David Blough throwing all over Wisconsin’s defense for 386 yards and four touchdowns in last season’s epic rivalry game.

Even as a sophomore, quarterback Aiden O’Connell has received full confidence of the team putting the game in his hands to make plays. He dropped back for 50 passing attempts against Northwestern in a game where he finished with 271 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The turnovers are a price Brohm is obviously willing to pay to help in developing his young quarterback’s talent and confidence. He’ll need plenty of both to match what the Badgers are capable of doing on the offensive side of the ball as well.

If Brohm remembers Blough’s performance, he certainly hasn’t forgotten what Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor did to his defense—33 rushes for 321 yards and three touchdowns. It was a defensive meltdown of cataclysmic proportions. Taylor is still terrorizing opposing defenses, and Purdue hasn’t shown progress in plugging the leaky holes up front. The possibility of being without linebacker Cornel Jones (leg) doesn’t help matters, either.

Badgers will try to unleash Taylor

Taylor will be like a shark in bloody waters in Saturday’s game against the Boilermakers. He ran almost as many yards in one game as Purdue running back King Doerue has run all season. The Badgers would be crazy not to follow a similar blueprint in the rematch after such a freak performance. Taylor has rushed for 1,463 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season, and Purdue’s run defense is still atrocious.

Why fix what clearly isn’t broken?

On the defensive side of the ball, the Badgers can’t fall asleep against the sophomore quarterback. The Boilermakers have already shown they aren’t afraid of putting the game in his hands. They really don’t have much of a choice with their rushing offense being completely non-existent. Purdue’s offensive line has given up the third-most sacks in the conference, and Wisconsin’s defense is feasting on opposing quarterbacks with the second-most sacks behind Ohio State. This is the game to consistently bring the heat and force the young quarterback to have to make quick decisions under duress.

The defense will be without nose tackle Bryson Williams, who is out for this game with a leg injury. Cornerback Semar Melvin is also questionable with a head injury.

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Purdue hasn’t shown anything on the defensive side of the ball that would lead me to believe containing Taylor is even a possibility. They are giving up 172.2 rushing yards per game with opposing running backs averaging 4.51 yards per carry with 18 touchdowns against them.

All I hear is the heavy thuds of Taylor’s cleats pounding on the ground as he runs it down Purdue’s throat again—Fee-fi-fo-fum.

O’Connell being thrown into the fire against the second-ranked defense in the conference has bad news written all over it as well. Purdue’s offensive line has been shaky all season, and they’ll be facing a Badgers team with defensive players capable of bringing the heat from every direction. You can bank on seeing linebackers Chris Orr and Zack Baun in the backfield early and often.

The lack of a decent running attack is certain to lead to a multiple interception game as O’Connell struggles to carry the offense on his back. Things will get ugly quickly in what should serve as a great learning experience for a young quarterback. I’m laying the points in a lopsided win for the Badgers.

Prediction: Wisconsin Badgers (24.5)

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The Taylor train won’t be denied in a rematch with a Purdue team that hasn’t shored up its holes along the defensive front. There is no quick-fix for those problems, and Wisconsin is about to expose them relentlessly. The ability for Taylor to run so effortlessly against a defense opens up so many other parts of the offense for the Badgers.

I haven’t even mentioned Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan because he isn’t the focal point of this game. However, he could be if the Badgers choose to go in that direction given the attention Purdue’s defense will be devoting to shutting Taylor down. Give me the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (48)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.