Updated: December 6, 2013 6:50PM
The series against Wisconsin has not been kind to Purdue of late.
The Boilermakers (1-2) have lost seven straight games to the Badgers (2-1) and most of those losses have not been close. Each of the last six games has been decided by 11 points or more, and the last five by at least 21 with an average margin of 29.6.
Purdue’s last two trips to Camp Randall Stadium have been particularly ugly, with a 62-17 rout in 2011 — the most points the Boilermakers have allowed in a game in program history — and a 37-0 blanking in ’09 (the last two games at Ross-Ade Stadium, 38-14 last season and 34-13 in 2010, haven’t been pretty, either). Of course, Darrell Hazell has been part of none of those games (nor has Gary Anderson, the first-year coach of No. 24 Wisconsin).
“It’s the same thing every week for us. I haven’t been here to say why they’ve lost in the past or why they’ve lost by such a great margin,” Hazell said. “But it’s about us believing in ourselves as we go up there, and having the confidence in the game plan, and then our execution within the game plan, to be able to give ourselves a chance to win that football game, period.”
The Boilermakers last won in 2003, 26-23, in Madison. The Badgers could be especially angry after their controversial loss at Arizona State.
Purdue has practiced coping with the anticipated crowd noise, focusing on its communication.
“It’s a hard place because it’s loud,” Hazell said. “It’s a great atmosphere. I want our guys to really enjoy that, but you’ve got to be able to handle those situations.”
Key player: Akeem Hunt. Purdue needs to get its running game on track.
Purdue will win if: The Boilermakers effectively run the ball and slow Wisconsin’s running game, and maintain their composure on the road.
Wisconsin will win if: The Badgers again run roughshod over Purdue, don’t allow last week’s loss to linger, and avoid committing a slew of turnovers.
Prediction: Wisconsin 35, Purdue 17
Staff writer Michael Osipoff