At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Wisconsin Badgers’ latest contest …
What happened: The Badgers (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) were a hot mess (by Badgers standards) in a sloppy test in sloppy conditions against Purdue (3-3, 1-2) on Saturday. The Badgers saw a punt blocked, lost 3 turnovers and committed 8 penalties. Star linebacker T.J. Edwards was ejected for targeting and defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk suffered a left leg injury. But the hosts held the Boilers to just 66 rushing yards and turned away a scrappy Purdue side time and again in the red zone for the 17-9 win.
What it means: If we told you in August that Purdue at Wisconsin would match up the two top teams in the Big Ten West, you’d have had us committed, but that’s a testament to how far the Boilers have come under new coach Jeff Brohm in Year 1. There’s a lot for the Badgers to clean up before November showdowns with Iowa (4-2, 1-2) and Michigan (5-1, 2-1), but, fortunately, there’s still some time to get there. Freshman tailback Jonathan Taylor (219 rushing yards vs. Purdue) continues to be special. So does 2017. Even on rainy days.
Projected record: Massey Ratings — 11-1; TeamRankings.com — 11-1
Projected postseason destination: Fiesta Bowl, Dec. 30 in Glendale, Ariz., versus an at-large opponent.
Cheapest seat on TicketCity.com as of Sunday: $109.
Up next: vs. Maryland on Saturday. The Terrapins (3-3, 1-2) are running out of quarterbacks and bodies, and it showed this past weekend in a spirit-crushing 37-21 home loss to Northwestern. The mercurial Wildcats flashed a rare physical side and a struggling offensive line opened up big holes for tailback Justin Jackson (171 on the ground). Which begs the question: If the Purple could pile up 238 rushing yards on the Terps, what kind of numbers might Taylor and company post in Mad City?