WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Montee Ball ran for a career-high 247 yards and scored three touchdowns to help Wisconsin beat Purdue 38-14 on Saturday afternoon.
James White added 124 yards rushing for the Badgers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten), who outgained Purdue 645 yards to 252. The Badgers pounded out 467 yards rushing in the rain.
Ball moved past Texas Tech’s Taurean Henderson and now is alone in third place in NCAA history with 72 total career touchdowns.
Akeem Hunt ran for 85 yards and a touchdown for Purdue. The Boilermakers (3-3, 0-2), who were coming off a 44-13 loss to Michigan, travel to Ohio State next week.
The win gives Wisconsin a favorable position in the Big Ten’s Leaders Division, especially since Ohio State and Penn State cannot qualify for the conference title game because of NCAA rules violations.
There were plenty of empty seats at Ross-Ade Stadium, and that number grew as the rain and Wisconsin’s lead increased.
Purdue used three quarterbacks, and none were effective. Starter Caleb TerBush and backups Robert Marve and Rob Henry combined to miss on 20 of their 31 throws. They combined for 124 yards and were sacked five times. It took Purdue more than 17 minutes to get a first down in the second half.
Things started off well for the Boilermakers. Hunt returned the opening kickoff 44 yards, then TerBush hit Antavian Edison for 52 yards on the first play from scrimmage. TerBush’s quarterback sneak on the next play gave the Boilermakers a 7-0 lead 38 seconds into the game.
Wisconsin came back a few minutes later when Joel Stave hit Jacob Pedersen wide open for a 21-yard touchdown.
Ball scored from the 3 to give Wisconsin a 14-7 lead. A 30-yard field goal by Kyle French pushed the margin to 17-7 by halftime. The Badgers outgained Purdue 363 yards to 118 before the break, yet did not have firm control of the game.
Ball busted loose for a 67-yard touchdown run in the first minute of the second half to push Wisconsin’s lead to 24-7.
Beau Allen blocked a Purdue punt, and the Badgers took over at the Boilermakers’ 22. Ball scored again, this time from 3 yards out, to push Wisconsin’s lead to 31-7.
White scored from 14 yards out with 8:47 to play, and Wisconsin pushed its lead to 38-7.
Hunt finally gave the few remaining Purdue fans something to cheer about. His 81-yard touchdown run with 1:39 to play trimmed Wisconsin’s lead to 38-14.
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