Recap: Purdue vs. Wisconsin
West Lafayette, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Melvin Gordon rushed for 205 yards and a touchdown and No. 25 Wisconsin beat Purdue 34-16 on Saturday.
Joel Stave passed for 219 yards and two touchdowns in the win, most of it in the first half as the Badgers (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) played their first game as a ranked team in over a month.
They overcame a shaky start to the second half, which included Gordon's fumble and failed fourth-down run and a near-onside kick recovery by the Boilermakers after Austin Appleby's 79-yard touchdown pass to Akeem Hunt got them within 24-16.
Appleby passed for 204 yards for Purdue (3-7, 1-5), which has lost three in a row. Paul Griggs kicked three field goals in the loss, including two over 50 yards.
The Badgers have beaten Purdue nine straight times, including six in a row in West Lafayette.
After dropping out of the ranking following a loss to Northwestern on Oct. 4, Wisconsin held Maryland to a season-low seven points and handed Rutgers its first shutout in 12 years, moving to No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense.
The offense nearly coughed up the lead in this one when a fumble and failed fourth-down conversion led to 10 points for Purdue early in the third quarter, trimming the Badgers' 24-6 halftime lead.
Gordon lost the ball on the first play from scrimmage, leading to Griggs' 52- yard field goal. Gordon was then stopped on a 4th-and-1 try at the Purdue 16 and Appleby connected with Hunt on a 79-yard touchdown three plays later to get the Boilermakers within 24-16.
It nearly got worse for Wisconsin when a surprise onside kick was recovered near the sideline by Purdue's Raheem Mostert. But the play was reversed after a replay review.
Boilermakers safety Landon Feichter later intercepted Stave at the Purdue 15, but they punted and Tanner McEvoy gave Wisconsin a 31-16 lead with a 13-yard touchdown run to cap a four-play drive.
Rafael Gaglianone's 31-yard field goal capped a 12-play drive to open the fourth quarter and made it 34-16 Wisconsin.
Earlier, Griggs kicked a 40-yard field goal on Purdue's first drive, but Gordon's 14-yard touchdown run later in the first put the Badgers on top for good.
After Griggs nailed a 53-yarder on the first play of the second quarter, Gaglianone made a 24-yarder for Wisconsin. Stave's 27-yard touchdown pass to Gordon later in the second made it 17-6 and his 9-yard throw to Alex Erickson gave the Badgers a 24-6 lead at halftime.
"I thought Wisconsin did a good job of something we probably didn't think they were going to do a whole lot of, and that was throwing the football," said Purdue coach Darrell Hazell. "I thought they came out at threw the ball very well."Game Notes
Stave passed for 190 yards in the first half ... Wisconsin faces current No.
15 Nebraska next week ... After a bye week, Purdue plays Northwestern on Nov.
22 ... Purdue's last win against Wisconsin was Oct. 18, 2003. It hasn't beaten
the Badgers at Ross-Ade Stadium since Oct. 18, 1997.