Wisconsin returns home to Camp Randall Stadium and with it expectations of victory.
Not that many picked the Badgers to lose last week at Nebraska, but there were certainly those who did.
With Purdue rolling into town, it’s once again a heavy Wisconsin flavor when it comes to predictions. However, unlike the first four games, I was able to find one person who thinks the Boilermakers will emerge victorious (without getting any points, that is).
Purdue is indeed improved. I’ve seen a lot of comments on how the defense is good, hard-hitting, tough, strong against the run, etc. As usual, watch out for narratives.
Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Wisconsin 30, Purdue 16. “Purdue will be annoying. The defense will have a fantastic 20 minutes, and the offense will capitalize on a few mistakes, and then the Badgers will come up with a score late in the first half. As the second half rolls on, the Purdue O line won’t keep the Badgers out of the backfield, Taylor and the running game will work, and there won’t be any problems in the fourth quarter.”
Kevin McGuire of Athlon Sports: Wisconsin 38, Purdue 17. “You have to love what Jeff Brohm is doing with Purdue right now, and the chances to get to a postseason bowl game is still a realistic goal for the first time in a while. However, this is not a matchup that gives them much of a chance. Wisconsin is bigger, faster, stronger, and deeper in just about every aspect of this game. Purdue is capable of holding their own and keeping this one respectable, but the Badgers should manage to power their way to a win to keep the goal of an undefeated regular season in play.”
Mike Carmin of the Journal & Courier: Wisconsin 40, Purdue 20. “Expecting the Boilermakers to play hard and stay close for as long as possible, but the Badgers are too powerful on both sides of the line scrimmage.”
Bill Connelly of SB Nation: His S&P+ projection has it Wisconsin 36, Purdue 18.
Six of the seven analysts at SI.com think Wisconsin will emerge victorious. The lone exception is Eric Single, who is picking Purdue — straight up. Don’t kill the messenger.
Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register: Wisconsin 31, Purdue 21. “Anyone who watched the entire second half of Wisconsin’s 38-17 win at Nebraska last week (as I did), had to be impressed. The Badgers’ offensive line is what the Hawkeyes’ scuffling front five hopes to become. Totally dominant, with an ability to rack up whatever yardage it needed at any time. Wisconsin ran 30 plays on three straight second-half touchdown drives, and 28 were rushes. Wow. But lost in what ended up as a blowout win was that Nebraska picked up 381 total yards despite barely handling the ball in the second half. That tells me the Badgers’ defense has holes, and a smart coach like Purdue’s Jeff Brohm can find them. Look for a little Bucky letdown and a bit of a Boiler bounce after last week’s win against Minnesota.”
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: Wisconsin 30, Purdue 17. “The Badgers are still trying to convince people they’re good enough to be in the playoff discussion. The Boilermakers are still trying to convince people they’re good enough to not be considered completely terrible. This game will confirm neither.”