Wisconsin Knocks Off Purdue in Triple Overtime Thanks to Jonathan Taylor

Wisconsin Knocks Off Purdue in Triple Overtime Thanks to Jonathan Taylor

Football

Wisconsin Knocks Off Purdue in Triple Overtime Thanks to Jonathan Taylor

It was a moment that provided some jubilation for the University of Wisconsin.

Down 27-13 with 9:57 remaining, Wisconsin delivered a rarity right up there in the category with the Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot, its offense put together consecutive 60-plus yard scoring drives to resurrect a game that appeared destined for the loss column.

It took a couple of overtime, but the Badgers finally had a reason to rejoice, thanks to sophomore tailback Jonathan Taylor.

Playing the first triple overtime game in school history, Taylor scored two of his three touchdowns in the extra sessions, including the game-winning 17-yard run to propel Wisconsin to a much-needed 47-44 victory over Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Rushing 33 times for a career-high 321 yards, the third-most for a single game in school history, Taylor helped the Badgers (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) rack up 594 yards of total offense, break a three-game road losing streak and extend their winning streak over Purdue to 13 games.

Purdue quarterback David Blough threw for 386 yards and four touchdowns, including two in overtime, as it appeared for long stretches that the Boilermakers (5-6, 4-4) would celebrate senior day by clinching bowl eligibility and knocking off the Badgers for the first time since 2003.

UW had other ideas. Making his third start of the season, quarterback Jack Coan played turnover-free for the first time and grinding out 204 passing yards and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to Danny Davis to force the Badgers into overtime.

In the extra session, UW got touchdown runs from Taylor and tailback Garrett Groshek, but couldn’t shake a Purdue offense that would finish with 462 yards of total offense.

But for as much as the Badgers’ defense bent, it didn’t break. After allowing Rondale Moore to break four tacklers on a touchdown catch in the first overtime and Blough to hit Isaac Zico for a 25-yard strike in the second extra session, UW’s defense forced a three-and-out and a 41-yard field goal from Spencer Evans.

By that time Purdue was gassed. Taylor wasn’t.

Taking the handoff and running behind senior right guard Beau Benzschawel, Taylor found a small crease and easily broke through Purdue arm tackles to the end zone, raising his hands in relief that it was finally over.

A tight affair throughout, Wisconsin shows signs of life on offense for the first time in weeks, but the Badgers’ early failures inside the red zone loomed large. The Badgers scored only six points on three trips to the red zone, having to settle for field goals of 22 and 29 yards by Rafael Gaglianone.

UW also was pelted with laundry, as the Badgers committed 13 penalties that cost them 171 yards.

It didn’t matter because of Taylor, whose 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half tied the score at 10. It was Taylor’s third touchdown of at least 70 yards on the season.

Taylor couldn’t get into the end zone on UW’s next drive, forcing the Badgers to settle for a 22-yard field goal to take a modest 13-10 lead. They didn’t enjoy it for long.

Taking advantage of Wisconsin’s cornerbacks playing off some of his receivers, Blough engineered a 65-yard touchdown drive in only six plays that was capped by a Markell Jones’ 12-yard touchdown, spinning past outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel into the end zone.

After an uninspiring three-and-out by Wisconsin, Blough hit freshman Rondale Moore for a touchdown that epitomized the day for UW’s secondary. Flagged often for combating penalties and struggling to keep skill players in front of them, Moore beat cornerback Rachad Wildgoose off the line of scrimmage, caught the pass and delivered a nasty spin move on safety Eric Burrell, allowing Moore to run unthreatened into the end zone.

Wisconsin appeared sunk when its punt team turned the ball over on its own 28. No one recognized how big Ryan Connelly’s tackle for loss on his own 2-yard line ended up being, as the Boilermakers had to settle for a field goal.

That’s when UW’s offense went to work. Using the legs of Taylor and an advantageous pass interference penalty, Wisconsin got within 27-20 off Davis’ one-handed grab with 6:40 remaining.

A three-and-out by UW’s defense – only the second of the day for UW – gave the ball back to Taylor, who immediately flipped field position with a 35-yard scamper. Coan delivered from there, hitting Davis again for an 18-yard touchdown to tie the score.

Each team finished the game was two drives that failed to threaten, sending the Badgers to their first overtime game since 2016 and setting the stage for Taylor’s heroic finish.

Wisconsin concluded the regular season by hosting Minnesota in the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT.

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