Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (1) is tackled by Purdue Boilermakers defensive back Marquis Wilson (16) and Purdue Boilermakers defensive back Dillon Thieneman (31) during the NCAA football game, Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind.

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Wisconsin ground game piles up 4 TDs in dropping Purdue

Tanner Mordecai and Braelon Allen rushed for two touchdowns apiece, and Wisconsin pulled away for a 38-17 win over host Purdue in a Big Ten Conference opener for both teams Friday night in West Lafayette, Ind.

Mordecai completed 17 of 27 passes for 174 yards and one interception in addition to gaining 58 yards on the ground for Wisconsin (3-1, 1-0). Allen finished with 16 carries for 116 yards.

Hudson Card completed 21 of 38 passes for 202 yards but threw two interceptions for Purdue (1-3, 0-1). Card and Tyrone Tracy Jr. scored one rushing touchdown apiece for the Boilermakers.

Wisconsin jumped to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.

The Badgers struck first on a 14-yard quarterback keeper by Mordecai early in the first quarter.

Mordecai scored again, this time on a dive to the front left pylon, to make it 14-0 with 3:26 to go in the first quarter. It was the senior’s second rushing touchdown of the game and the eighth of his career.

Purdue pulled within 14-3 in the final minute of the first quarter on a 34-yard field goal by redshirt freshman Julio Macias.

Wisconsin carried a 21-3 lead into the half thanks to a 14-yard rushing touchdown by Allen.

On the first possession of the second half, Nathanial Vakos connected on a 38-yard field goal to increase the Badgers’ lead to 24-3.

The Boilermakers cut the deficit to 24-10 on Tracy’s 19-yard rushing touchdown with 8:42 left in the third quarter. Tracy cut toward the right sideline and evaded a defender for the score.

Vakos made another field goal, this time from 22 yards, to make it 27-10 with 3:54 to go in the third quarter.

Card helped Purdue pull within 27-17 on a 6-yard rushing touchdown as time expired in the third quarter.

Vakos drilled a 48-yard field goal to make it 30-17 with 12:52 to go.

Wisconsin capped the scoring on Allen’s 4-yard rushing touchdown with 3:35 remaining. Mordecai caught a pass on a trick play for a two-point conversion.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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