Badgers Run Away from Purdue
by: Steven Stremming, Excel H Sports/Football Writers Association of America
photos by: Anthony Harper/Excel H Sports/Indiana Sports Network
The Wisconsin Badgers came into the remodeled Ross-Ade Stadium on the campus of Purdue University, Friday evening, September 22, to a crowd in access of 55,000 paid patrons.
The Badgers came in with two wins under their belts but beginning the B1G Ten West division trek of their 2023 season.
What made it more intriguing, was the fact, that both Badger quarterback, Tanner Mordecai, 6th year senior from Waco, Texas, with previous stops at Oklahoma and Southern Methodist and Purdue quarterback, Hudson Card, Austin, Texas with a previous stop at Oklahoma archrival University of Texas, had stops in the B1G 12 at one time.
For the night, Mordecai would get the better of Card only on the scoreboard though.
Mordecai opened the tilt after a eight play drive for 62 yards with a run through the left side of the line for a untouched 14-yard scamper and after Sophomore, Nathaniel Vakos booted the extra point the Badgers would take a lead they would never relinquish.
Tanner Mordecai would tally yet another first-quarter score as he rushed six yards for a score and after another Vakos extra point, the Badgers were stoked to a fourteen to nothing lead.
Purdue would get on the scoreboard when backup kicker Julio Macias would split the uprights with a 34-yard field with 17 seconds left in the first quarter narrowing the Badgers lead to eleven (11),
The second quarter was highlighted by a Badger drive of 75 yards in 16 plays that ate up over eight minutes of the game clock. All B1G Ten running back, Junior Braelon Allen would score after a run through the left side of the line from 14 yards out to extend the Badgers lead at the half to 21 to 3.
After a strong defensive effort by Purdue’s line in the first half the balance of the defense stepped it up and the offense came to life as the Boilers would score three, third quarter scores. One on a fine Tyrone Tracy, jr. 19-yard streak and another when Hudson Card would extend the ball into the corner of the end zone for a Purdue score. Tracy’s score came after a Purdue drive that was 75 yards and seven plays.
For the third quarter, Wisconsin would add two more Vakos field goals, one from 38 yards and the other from 22 but after another long drive that consisted of 11 plays and 71 yards.
Going into the final quarter the Badgers would hold a ten-point advantage of 27 to 17.
The final quarter belonged to the Badgers as they added eleven additional points by way, of yet another, Vakos field goal from 48 yards and a Allen four-yard scoring run and a two-point conversion from receiver Will Paulding to a wide-open Mordecai to cap the scoring and provide Wisconsin with their opening B1G Ten conference win. Wisconsin moves to three and one (3-1) while Purdue falls to one and three (1-3).
Purdue stays home to take on the Fighting Illini while the Badgers have a week off before taking on a resurgent Rutgers program, October 7th, 2023 in Madison.
For the game, Mordecai was 17 of 27 for 174 yards, Allen rushed 16 times for 116 yards, Mordecai rushed for 44 yards and Chez Mellusi rushed for 39 yards before a late injury. Prayers are with Mellusi for a quick recovery.
The Badgers Chimere Dike caught three passes for 67 yards, Sophomore, C J Williams was a Mordecai target for three receptions for 56 yards and Will Paulding caught three passes for 26 yards.
Junior strong safety Hunter Wohler, Preston Zachman and Jake Chaney led the Badger defense with seven total tackles a piece.
For the Boilers, Card was 21 of 38 for 202 passing yards, while rushing for 54 on thirteen carries. Tyrone Tracy, Jr. led the Boilers ground attack with 84 yards on only eight rushing attempts.
Dylan Downing would add an additional 30 yards while Devin Mockobee was held to 26 yards on the ground.
Deion Burks was the leader in the receiving corps with six catches for 73 yards and Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen caught four passes for 62 yards and T J Sheffield would add another 39 yards worth of reception yards.
Kydran Jenkins and Sanoussi Kane led the Boiler defense with nine total tackles a piece.