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Purdue University

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College football preview: Purdue at Wisconsin

Records: Boilermakers (1-2), No. 24 Badgers (2-1)

When: 3:30 p.m. today

Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wis.

TV: ABC/ESPN2

Radio: 1380 AM

Web: To watch a video preview for the game, go to “Boiling Point” at www.journalgazette.net

3 matchups to watch

Purdue defensive line vs. Wisconsin rushing attack: The Boilermakers gave then-No. 21 Notre Dame all it could handle through three quarters last week thanks to a strong performance from the defensive line. Purdue will need to do it again against a Badgers team that is one of the best in the nation in run offense. The Badgers are No. 5 nationally, with 337 rushing yards per game and a three-pronged attack in the backfield. Sophomore Melvin Gordon leads the group with four touchdowns and 12.9 yards per carry, with James White (two touchdowns, 6.6 yards per carry) and Corey Clement (three scores, 8.1 yards per carry) chipping in. The Badgers have run the ball 127 times, compared with 78 passing attempts. Purdue’s defense is 31st in the country against the run, giving up 117 yards per game.

Purdue vs. Camp Randall: The Boilermakers are walking into a hostile environment, the home of a “Jump Around” tradition that shakes the press box and crowd noise that bears down onto the field. Coach Darrell Hazell had his offense practice with noise blaring this week to simulate the crowd Purdue will face at Camp Randall, but handling that type of atmosphere at game tempo is different. The Irish nearly fell flat in front of that kind of crowd, with more than 61,000 fans cheering Purdue on at Ross-Ade Stadium in a 31-24 loss for the Boilermakers. Now, Purdue will face another Top 25 opponent on the other side of that raucous environment.

Purdue quarterback Rob Henry vs. Wisconsin’s defense: Henry, a fifth-year senior, had his best performance of the season against the Irish. He went 25 for 40 for 256 yards with three touchdowns but had an interception returned for a score during a 21-point surge for Notre Dame. Henry will have to put that blunder, and the close loss, behind him today. Wisconsin’s defense is 10th in the NCAA, giving up 10.7 points per game, and Hazell said senior Chris Borland might be the best linebacker Purdue faces all season. As Henry goes, this team goes, and he will have to build on the performance against Notre Dame for the Boilermakers to have a shot against Wisconsin.

Prediction: Wisconsin 28, Purdue 14

smorrison@jg.net

– Sean Morrison, The Journal Gazette

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