EVANSTON, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 08: Graham Mertz #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates a touchdown pass to Chimere Dike #13 (not pictured) against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half at Ryan Field on October 08, 2022 in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Why I believe Wisconsin Badgers will beat Purdue

Wisconsin Badgers look to get back in the win column and keep their season alive with a win over Purdue. As the West division stands now, Purdue is tied for first with Illinois. A vast game to keep the Badger’s hopes alive, here’s why I think the Badgers can shock the Big Ten and win this game.

Home Field Advantage

Camp Randall is always rocking, as long as it’s not an 11 AM kickoff against a non-conference opponent. This weekend should be a huge advantage for Wisconsin as it is not only homecoming but also a 2:30 PM kickoff. I hope to see the student section packed and loud, giving the Badgers a much-needed advantage. 

Continue Balanced Attack

This is arguably the best we have seen the offense during Graham Mertz’s time at Wisconsin. Since Jim Leonhard took over and Bobby Engram moved to the sideline, a much more creative and balanced attack has seen the offense put together multiple good weeks. 

I think we will see more of this on Saturday as Purdue’s defense is pretty average when it comes to the run and pass. Continuing to mix it up on first down was the key to Mertz’s success against Northwestern. Keeping the defense on their toes not only allows the passing game to thrive but also gives Braelon Allen the chance to not see a loaded box. 

Turnover Battle

This game may easily come down to who makes fewer mistakes. Both Wisconsin and Purdue are tops in the Big Ten when it comes to forcing turnovers. Last year’s game against Purdue saw seven turnovers between these teams. Wisconsin ended up being a +3 which helped give them the edge.

Graham Mertz Big Game

Contrary to popular belief, I personally think Mertz has been really good so far this season. His completion percentage, passer rating, and touchdowns are all up from last season. The one thing that is missing is consistency, and as he gets more comfortable with his receivers I suspect this to improve.

Purdue’s pass defense is nothing to write home about as they rank just 103rd in the country in terms of pass yards per game. I look for Mertz to have a big game. As long as he takes care of the football and stays ahead of the sticks, Wisconsin’s offense may be in for a big day.

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