Replay: Wisconsin defeats Purdue 38-17 in the Big Ten debut despite Chez Mellusi’s injury

Wisconsin beats Purdue 38-17 in Big Ten opener


Replay: Wisconsin defeats Purdue 38-17 in its Big Ten debut despite Chez Mellusi’s injury

IND: WEST LAFAYETTE: Friday Night Lights served as the Big Ten season’s opening act for Wisconsin.

At Ross-Ade Stadium, the Badgers defeated Purdue 38-17 in front of 55,529 spectators.

Since losing to the Boilermakers in 2003, Wisconsin has won the series 17 times in a row. They haven’t beaten UW here since 1997.

By bending but not breaking in the fourth quarter, defense

Just enough defensive tightening is happening for Wiscon to keep a comfortable lead going into the fourth.

Two turnovers were caused within that time frame by the Badgers. The key plays for UW were a forced fumble and recovery by end Darian Varner, as well as Ricardo Hallman’s second interception of the day.

With 5:02 remaining, Varner’s recovery gave Wisconsin a first down at Purdue 26. Braelon Allen ran four yards to the end zone three plays later.

When Will Pauling connected with QB Tanner Mordecai for a two-point conversion, UW increased its advantage to 21 points.

Think of it as a welcome recovery for a defense that took a beating in the third quarter.

Score with 3:35 remaining in the fourth quarter: Wisconsin 38, Purdue 17.

Chez Mellusi hurts his leg.

Chez Mellusi, a running back for the Badgers, has struggled with ailments all of his life. With 6:37 remaining in the game, he suffered another one.

The senior fell down with what seemed to be a left ankle/foot injury after losing one yard on a second-and-10 play. He instantly motioned for assistance while grabbing his leg. He was wheeled to the locker room after having his leg put in an air cast.

The entire UW bench walked out onto the field to wish him well before he left.

He carried the ball 11 times for 39 yards in total.

Nearing the longest field goal of the season is Nathanial Vakos.

When Washington State defeated him two weeks ago, Nathanial Vakos made three field goals. He made his third successful kick of the game, a 48-yarder that is one yard short of his season-long, early in the fourth quarter.

Wisconsin got going quickly. Will it come out on top?

Purdue has now had two possessions where they have scored touchdowns. Following the extra point, the latest came on a 6-yard run by quarterback Hudson Card, cutting the Badgers’ lead to 27-17.

A 24-yard run by the RB was followed by a 15-yard pass from Card to the WR, Deion Burks. Tyrone Tracy gave the Boilermakers a first-and-goal to set them up.

Score at the end of the third quarter: Wisconsin 27, Purdue 17.

Nathanial Vakos succeeds once more.

The season’s second multi-field goal game belongs to Nathanial Vakos.

The Badgers’ advantage is increased to 27-10 as he makes his catch from 22 yards away. The drive, which lasted 11 plays for 71 yards and 4:48, was a nice retort to Purdue’s opening touchdown drive of the game.

Score at 3:54 in the third quarter: Wisconsin 27, Purdue 10.

Concerning the UW defense, should we be concerned?

Three out of the past four times Purdue possessed the ball, it was transferred. Late in the first quarter, the Boilermakers made a field goal after traveling 58 yards in eight plays. They made 61 yards in 11 plays to the UW 36 at the end of the first half, but they ran out of time. On the last play before the intermission, Ricardo Hallman intercepted the ball to terminate that drive.

On its first drive of the second half, Purdue kept up that momentum. Tyrone Tracy’s 19-yard run at the 8:42 mark of the fourth quarter gave it its first score of the day as it covered 75 yards in eight plays.

The Boilermakers have gained 202 yards on the field in their last four possessions.

Score at 8:42 in the third quarter: Wisconsin 24, Purdue 10.

Can Nathanial Vakos already be referred to as Mr. Reliable?

With their fourth successful scoring drive in five possessions, the Badgers increased their advantage.

Nathanial Vakos, a sophomore kicker for the Wisconsin Badgers, brought this game to a close with a field goal from 38 yards out.

This season, the Ohio transfer is 5-for-5 on field goals and hasn’t missed an extra point.

Braelon Allen’s 52-yard sprint was the key play of the drive, giving the Badgers a first-and-goal situation from the nine. Allen, incidentally, has 98 yards in his first 10 carries.

Third quarter score: Wisconsin 24, Purdue 3

Second-season interception for Ricardo Hallman

With a 61-yard gain in 11 plays during the final 2:02 of the second quarter, Purdue’s longest drive of the day ended the first half.

The majority of the damage was caused by QB Hudson Card’s legs. On the drive, he gained 47 yards in four runs. However, the Boilermakers ran out of time and had to attempt to score on a third-and-1 play from the Wisconsin 36 as the half came to a conclusion.

With a weight advantage of 5-10 and 177 pounds over Jayden Dixon-Veal (6-0, 185), Hallman was able to get a position on the junior near the goal line for his second interception of the year.

Wisconsin 21, Purdue 3 at the half.

Braelon Allen scores, and Wisconsin extends its lead

Wisconsin scored three touchdowns in only three possessions.

Braelon Allen’s 14-yard touchdown run gave Washington a bigger advantage and ended their best drive to date. Fourteen plays. around 75 yards. There are 8 minutes, 41 seconds remaining.

A first-and-goal position at the 7-yard line was moved back to the 22-yard line due to back-to-back holding rulings on lineman Riley Mahlman and tight end Hayden Rucci, nearly ruining Wisconsin’s successful fourth-down conversion on the drive.

But UW, which now has 190 total yards, only experienced a temporary setback as a result of those penalties.

Wisconsin 21, Purdue 3 at 6:36 in the second period

Purdue scores, but the UW defense holds firm

Following a 14-0 deficit, the Boilermakers’ following possession’s first three plays resulted in gains of 12, 18, and 25 yards, giving them a first down on the UW 20.

The Badgers, however, tightened up after that. After an incomplete pass by Purdue, safety Hunter Wohler lost RB Dylan Downing for a 3-yard loss, and a false start penalty cost the team a third-and-18 predicament.

Julio Macias’ 34-yard field goal was the choice of Purdue.

First quarter score: Wisconsin 14, Purdue 3, 17 seconds

Once more, Tanner Mordecai uses his feet to defeat Purdue.

The Badgers have finally gotten off to the quick start they lacked in their first three games.

Run by quarterback Tanner Mordecai gives the Badgers the early advantage

Fans expected Wisconsin to start off quickly. So far so good, I suppose.

On its opening drive of the contest, UW tallied a touchdown, traveling 62 yards in eight plays and scoring on a 14-yard run by quarterback Tanner Mordecai. The Badgers scored on their first offensive possession for the first time this season.

On the drive, the Badgers gained three first downs and scored a touchdown on a third-and-4 play.

Score at 10:05 of the first quarter: Wisconsin 7, Purdue 0.

How much will Braelon Allen be relied upon by the Badgers tonight?

The Badgers running back was interviewed by Journal Sentinel columnist Lori Nickel about his changing role this year.  In three games, he has carried the ball 36 times, including a season-high 17 attempts (for 141 yards) in the first game.

Over the years, Purdue has had trouble slowing the Fond du Lac native. As a freshman, he ran against the Boilermakers 16 times for 113 yards and a touchdown and 12 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns the previous season. Overall, that equals 9 yards per carry.

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