Chez Mellusi had 149 rushing yards and a touchdown, Braelon Allen added 140 rushing yards and a pair of scores, and Wisconsin raced to a 30-13 win over No. 25 Purdue in Big Ten play on Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette, Ind.
Linebacker Leo Chenal registered 3 1/2 sacks for Wisconsin (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten), which posted its third victory in a row. The Badgers won despite an underwhelming effort from quarterback Graham Mertz, who completed five of eight passes for 52 yards and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
Payne Durham had nine catches for 112 yards and a touchdown to lead Purdue (4-3, 2-2). Linebacker George Karlaftis scored a 56-yard touchdown on a fumble recovery, and quarterback Aidan O’Connell completed 24 of 32 passes for 200 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
Wisconsin outgained Purdue 342-206. The Badgers finished with 290 yards on the ground, while Purdue totaled minus-13 rushing yards because of a half-dozen sacks.
The score was tied at halftime, but the Badgers pulled away with a pair of touchdowns in the second half.
Mellusi put Wisconsin on top 20-13 with a 20-yard rushing touchdown with 6:06 to go in the third quarter. That capped an explosive three-play, 94-yard drive that started with a 70-yard run by Allen.
The Badgers made it 27-13 with 10:13 left in the fourth quarter. Allen raced in for a 14-yard score that marked his second touchdown of the game and his fifth of the season.
Collin Larsh added a 43-yard field goal late in the fourth to increase Wisconsin’s lead to 30-13.
Wisconsin opened the scoring late in the first quarter. Allen carried the ball for a 4-yard score.
Purdue pulled even in the first minute of the second quarter. O’Connell found Durham for a 10-yard touchdown.
Wisconsin regained a 10-7 lead on a 37-yard field goal by Larsh with 8:54 remaining in the first half.
Purdue responded with the defensive touchdown to go on top 13-10 with 6:13 left in the half. Jamari Brown forced Mertz to fumble on a cornerback blitz, and Karlaftis was in the right place at the right time for a scoop and score on a 56-yard fumble return.
The Badgers pulled even at 13-13 on a 23-yard field goal by Larsh with 2:06 left before halftime.
–Field Level Media