The bye week could not have come at a better time after losing a few big-time players in wins against Ohio State and Iowa, but now that’s history and the Wisconsin Badgers are ready to make a serious run at the Big Ten title.
The 7th ranked Badgers (7-1, 3-1) get back on the field this Saturday at 11 am when they travel to Ross-Ade Stadium to take on the Purdue Boilermakers (4-4, 2-2).
Normally, like any other road game in the Big Ten, I would say this will be a tough one for Big Red….but not so fast my friend. The Boilers have been absolutely decimated by injuries this year losing several top playmakers. It started in spring ball when starting running back Ralph Boldenwent down with a torn ACL. All-Big Ten receiverKeith Smithwas lost on Sept. 11 to a torn ACL/MCL and quarterback Robert Marve went down with another ACL on Sept. 25. If that wasn’t enough, backup quarterback Rob Henry was recently hurt when the nail of his index finger was ripped off.
So, the Boilers will give the keys to the offense to true freshman Sean Robinson. In limited time, Robinson has completed just 43 percent of his passes, but the Badgers will have to respect his ability to run the football. Robinson has a couple targets in Cortez Smith and Kyle Adams to look to, as they each have 22 catches on the year to lead Purdue.
On the other side of the football, Purdue boasts some talented playmakers up front. All-Big Ten defensive end Ryan Kerrigan was a beast last year registering 13 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. This year is much of the same for Kerrigan as he leads the nation with 18 TFL and 7.5 sacks. On the inside, sophomore Kawaan Short continues the success he had as a freshman when he was on the All-Freshman team. Scott is second on the team with 12.5 TFL and 6 sacks. These are the two guys the Badgers need to be worried about. While they’ll certainly make some noise, Bucky has done a great job against talented defensive linemen Adrian Clayborn of Iowa and Cameron Heyward of Ohio State in recent weeks.
The Badgers used their bye week to get healthy. Nick Toon and Jordan Kohout missed the Iowa game and Lance Kendricks and James White both left the contest with injuries of their own. All look to play, except for White. I have to imagine if he isn’t 100 percent, the Badgers coaching staff is not going to rush him back. He is too valuable and clearly Montee Ball is more than capable backing up John Clay.
It will be a tough environment, but I think the Boilermakers are just too banged up. The coaching staff has had two weeks to prepare for the true freshman and some defenders are licking their chops. Four games to go, but one at a time.
My Prediction: Badgers 34 Purdue 10
About the Author
Written by Chad Seely
Hey sports fans! Welcome to my Wisconsin Badgers football blog. For any Badger scores, news or questions you may have, come check out this blog! For those who don't know me, I'm a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I graduated in May 2009 with a Broadcast Journalism degree and returned in Fall 2009 to get a Minor in Multimedia which I completed in May 2010. In the summer, you can catch me on AM1230 WSBB, splitting time as the play-by-play announcer and color commentator for the Daytona Cubs, the Advanced-A Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.