WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –Maybe Fall can still belong to Ball and Wisconsin.
Senior tailback Montee Ball went back to his vintage look in a vital Big Ten Leaders game Saturday, rushing for a career-high 247 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns as Wisconsin totaled 645 yards to a 38-14 railroading of Purdue.
Wisconsin was down seven 38 seconds into the game, but scored the game’s next 38 points to win its second straight Leaders Division game to win the crucial tiebreaker against the Boilermakers. Behind the running attack of Ball, junior James White and freshman Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) rushed for a season-high 471 rushing yards.
The Badgers offense also got junior tight end Jacob Pedersen involved early, helping set up the running game. Catching his first touchdown pass since week two, Pedersen four catches for 77 yards surpassed his combined catch total from the previous three games.
Even with Akeem Hunt’s 81-yard touchdown run in the final minutes, Purdue (3-3, 0-2) finished with only 257 total yards. In its first two conference games, Purdue has given up 780 rushing yards and been outscored 82-27.
coverage from Badgernation.com, the Internet’s No.1 subscriber site for UW sports
Audio: Inside the Locker Room
Game recap: Montee Ball, Wisconsin runs wild over Purdue
Dezmen Southward's interception jump starts a big day for UW's defense
Notes: Pedersen's big day balances the offense
Wisconsin 38, Purdue 14
1 play, 53 yards, 0:38 TOP, 14:42 left
Caleb TerBush one-yard run (Paul Griggs kick)
Key Play: The big plays continue to plague Wisconsin's defense. After Akeem Hunt returned the opening kickoff 43 yards to the Purdue 47, the Boilermakers offensive line gave great protection to TerBush, allowing Antavian Edison to get separation on Dezmen Southward. Edison was wide open for TerBush, as the 52-yard completion set up the opening score.
5 plays, 75 yards, 2:18 TOP, 12:04 left
Jacob Pedersen 21-yard pass from Joel Stave (Kyle French kick)
Key Play: It's shaping to be a shootout early, as the Badgers were quick to answer. After a play-action pass set up Jared Abbrederis for 26 yards, Stave found Pedersen uncovered in the flat for his first touchdown since week two.
5 plays, 75 yards, 2:18 TOP, 10:19 left
Montee Ball 3-yard run (Kyle French kick)
Key Play: It appears Montee Ball is going retro. After a productive 33-yard first quarter, Ball took a screen pass for 11 yards on third-and-9 and ripped off a 20-yard run to the Purdue 24. Ball touched the ball five times on the drive for 51 yards.
10 plays, 67 yards, 4:34 TOP, 4:47 left
FG Kyle French 30
Key Play: After combining for three catches in the previous three games, Jacob Pedersen is back in the offense's mix. Pedersen had a pair of two catches for 37 yards on the drive, including a 23-yard completion on third-and-2, putting UW into Purdue territory.
2 plays, 72 yards, 0:49 TOP, 14:11 left
Montee Ball 67-yard run (French kick)
Key Play: Even with rain soaking the grass field, Montee Ball did not mind. His pure cutback got a Boilermaker defender off his mark and his speed outran everybody, even the official, on the way to the end zone.
5 plays, 22 yards, 2:08 TOP, 13:07 left
Montee Ball 3-yard run (French kick)
Key Play: After Wisconsin saw its punt-protect wedge get broken twice last season, Beau Allen put the shoe on the other foot. Allen split the Boilermakers' three-man wedge and went vertical to get his hands on the punt. The block gave UW prime field position at the Purdue 22.
5 plays, 66 yards, 2:33 TOP, 8:47 left
James White 14-yard run (French kick)
Key Play: With Ball done for the day, James White carried the drive and with Purdue's defense gassed, he had little issue finding the end zone.
1 play, 81 yards, 0:12 TOP, 1:39 left
Akeem Hunt 81-yard run (Griggs kick)
Key Play: Missed tackles will kill a defense, and the Badgers had three of them on Hunt's run, much to the delight of the hundred or so diehard Purdue fans still in the stadium.
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