Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  The Wisconsin Badgers line up for a play during the first quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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Wisconsin earns 16th straight win over Purdue, 35-24

Graham Mertz jump-started Wisconsin with two first-quarter touchdown passes and the Badgers went on to a 35-24 victory over visiting Purdue in a Big Ten matchup on Saturday, their 16th consecutive win over the Boilermakers.

Mertz completed 5 of his first 7 passes for 78 yards and two scores to pace the Badgers to a 21-0 lead after one period. Wisconsin led 35-10 before the Boilermakers got two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Wisconsin (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten) bounced back from a 34-28 double-overtime loss at Michigan State to improve to 2-1 under interim coach Jim Leonhard.

Purdue (5-3, 3-2), which had won four straight, dropped out of a tie for the Big Ten West lead with No. 18 Illinois, which was idle. The Boilermakers have not beaten Wisconsin since 2003.

Mertz completed 13 of 21 passes for 203 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Braelon Allen ran for 113 yards on 16 carries, the first 100-yard rusher against Purdue this season.

Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell, who entered as the Big Ten’s leading passer with 325 yards per game, finished 31 of 46 for 320 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions, including a pick-six.

Mertz connected with Skyler Bell on a 29-yard touchdown pass to cap a six-play, 76-yard opening drive.

On Purdue’s third play from scrimmage, safety John Torchio picked off O’Connell and returned it 31 yards to put the Badgers up 14-0. Allen’s 41-yard run set up Mertz’s 3-yard scoring pass to Chimere Dike to make it 21-0.

Purdue’s Mitchell Fineran’s 36-yard field goal made it 21-3 at the half.

Torchio’s second interception on Purdue’s first series of the second half set up Allen’s 14-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 28-3.

Purdue recovered a muffed punt to set up O’Connell’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Payne Durham to pull within 28-10.

Isaac Guerendo put Wisconsin in front 35-10 with 2:42 left in the third quarter with a 54-yard touchdown run, shaking off a tackler at the Purdue 45.

Devin Mockobee, who finished with 108 yards on 23 carries, scored on a 1-yard dive early in the fourth quarter to make it 35-17. O’Connell added 1-yard touchdown sneak with 1:24 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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