Taylor runs for 222 in No. 14 Badgers’ 45-24 win over Purdue
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Jonathan Taylor rushed for at least 200 yards for the 12th time in his career and No. 14 Wisconsin defeated Purdue 45-24 on Saturday in the Badgers’ final home game of the season.
Taylor finished with 222 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries for Wisconsin (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 12 CFP), which extended its winning streak over the Boilermakers to 14 games. The junior has a career average of 254 yards rushing in three games against Purdue.
Jack Coan completed 15 of 19 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns against one interception for the Badgers.
With the loss, the Boilermakers (4-7, 3-5) dropped their seventh straight at Camp Randall Stadium and failed to qualify for a bowl game.
Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell finished with a career-high 289 yards passing with two scores.
It took the Badgers just over three minutes to get on the scoreboard. Aaron Cruickshank took a direct snap out of the wildcat formation and capped an eight-play, 75-yard opening drive with a 27-yard rushing touchdown.
After a 28-yard field goal by Purdue’s J.D. Dellinger, Taylor scored from 51 yards out for his FBS-leading 22nd TD of the season.
Purdue shredded the Wisconsin defense on the ensuing drive for a 27-yard run by Zander Horvath and a 38-yard completion to Milton Wright. The two set up a 7-yard touchdown from O’Connell to Brycen Hopkins that cut it to 14-10 with 14:53 left in the second quarter.
After a fumble by Wisconsin’s A.J. Taylor on the next drive, Hopkins put Purdue ahead 17-14 on a 37-yard completion from receiver Milton Wright on a double-pass play. Hopkins had eight catches for 127 yards.
The scoring affair continued when Coan hit Jack Dunn for an 18-yard score to put the Badgers back on top for good, 21-17, with 4:18 remaining in the half. Coan later connected with Quintez Cephus for a 29-yard score.
After the Coan-Dunn TD, Jonathan Taylor coughed it up on the following drive, and Derrick Barnes recovered the ball for the Boilermakers, setting up first-and-10 at the Purdue 29. But the Boilermakers failed to capitalize and went three-and-out. Taylor lost another fumble on the day, bringing his season total to four and his career total to 14.
Zach Hintze booted a school-record 62-yard field goal to give the Badgers a 24-17 lead at halftime. Hintze missed the only other field goal attempt of his career, a 62-yarder against Northwestern last season.
Wisconsin’s Collin Wilder was ejected for targeting in the third quarter. The junior safety will miss the first half next week. Safety Reggie Pearson (arm) and cornerback Faion Hicks (head) left the game with injuries for the Badgers.
Purdue: The Boilermakers’ streak of bowl game appearances will come to an end. Coach Jeff Brohm led Purdue to bowl games in each of his first two seasons at the school.
Wisconsin: The Badgers did what they needed to do. Now, Wisconsin will hit the road next weekend to face No. 11 Minnesota (10-1, 7-1, No. 10 CFP) for the Big Ten West crown and a berth in the Big Ten championship game against No. 2 Ohio State (11-0, 8-0, No. 2 CFP).
Wisconsin could gain a little ground in both the AP Top 25 and the College Football Playoff rankings despite entering as a 24½-point favorite against the Boilermakers.
Purdue hosts Indiana on Nov. 30.
Wisconsin plays at No. 11 Minnesota on Nov. 30.