The Wisconsin Badgers face the Purdue Boilermakers who are looking to take a commanding lead in the race for the Big Ten Championship game. With Montee Ball and the offense clicking, the Badgers look to win their seventh straight against Purdue.
Here is the complete game preview for this key matchup.
The Wisconsin Badgers travel to West Lafayette on Saturday, looking to take a commanding lead in the Leaders division. A win gives the Badgers a two game lead over everyone else eligible for the Big Ten Championship game, essentially securing their spot. Purdue, on the other hand, needs a win in order to draw level in the standings.
Montee Ball enters Saturday's game against Purdue on the verge of making history, as he needs only two touchdowns to tie former Badger great Ron Dayne for most touchdowns in Wisconsin and Big Ten history. Additionally, Ball needs 11 points to set the record for most points scored in Wisconsin and Big Ten history.
Wisconsin is 4-2 on the season and coming off a big win against Illinois. The Badgers offense really clicked and looked like the offense that many expected to see coming into the season. Montee Ball and the rushing attack are finding their stride, while Jared Abbrederis continues to be the best receiver in the conference.
On the other hand, Purdue is 3-2 on the season following a blowout loss to Michigan. The Boilermaker defense was shredded by Denard Robinson, while Caleb TerBush struggled mightily against the Wolverine defense.
The question is which Caleb TerBush will show up, the one who torched Marshall and Eastern Michigan or the one who had a rough game against Michigan? The Purdue defense has taken a step back, and Robert Marve might become the option at quarterback.
Recently, the Badgers have dominated the matchup, winning 6 straight against Purdue, with a 62-17 win in 2011.
Purdue has a very talented defensive line led by Kawan Short, as well as a tough secondary highlighted by Ricardo Allen. The Boilermaker defense matches up well against the Badgers' offense and they have the playmakers to shut down Montee Ball and Jared Abbrederis.
Offensively, Purdue has a stable of talented receivers, with Akeem Shavers leading the way. The Boilermakers do a solid job of spreading the ball around and will certainly pose a problem for the Badgers' secondary. Additionally, Purdue runs a spread offense, which typically challenges the Badger defense.
The Purdue Boilermakers will win if their defensive line dominates the Badgers offensive line and shuts down the Wisconsin rushing attack. Additionally, their defensive lines pressure must rattle the inexperienced Stave, forcing multiple turnovers.
On offense, the Badgers are unable to get any pressure as TerBush picks apart the Badgers secondary. Purdue wins 30-17.
Wisconsin will win if the Badgers' offensive line wins the battle in the trenches, opening up holes for Montee Ball and James White while allowing time for Stave to pick apart Purdue's secondary.
Defensively, the Badgers line steps up, generating consistent pressure on Terbush, ruining the Boilermaker offense. Wisconsin wins 31-13.
Wisconsin's showdown with Purdue will most likely decide which team has the opportunity to represent the Leaders division in the Big Ten Championship game.
Wisconsin comes in riding the momentum of a big win against Illinois, while Purdue expects to send the homecoming crowd off with a win. Whoever wins the battle in the trenches is the team that is going home the victor.