Set to play its final road game of the season, Wisconsin will need to be prepared to play a Purdue team that crushed No.2 Ohio State at home but lost on the road to the lowly Minnesota Gophers last weekend, 41-10. With one win away from being bowl eligible and playing on senior day, the Boilermakers will be playing for a lot against Wisconsin.
Despite losing their first three home games of the season, the Boilermakers have responded by winning their past three home games against three ranked teams – Boston College, Ohio State and Iowa – by an average of 16 points per contest.
The rankings for the Front Seven are determined based on performance from last week, expectations this coming week and need. Here are our seven players most important in helping the Badgers to a victory over Purdue.
Last Week’s Rankings in Parentheses
7, Left Guard Michael Deiter (7)
Penn State registered five sacks in its 22-10 victory over Wisconsin last weekend, the most sacks UW’s offensive line has allowed this season. Deiter and the offensive line are going to need to shore up their play before going against a Purdue defense averaging 1.6 sacks per game. Although that number ranks in the bottom half of the Big Ten, Wisconsin’s offensive line made it too easy for Penn State to create pressure in the backfield. Deiter is consistently going to have to get the better push up front to allow Jack Coan the time he needs in the pocket to go through his options when he drops back to pass.