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Wisconsin Football Defeats Purdue: Here’s What Stood Out



Wisconsin football; Badgers QB Tanner Mordecai and Bryson Green
Sep 22, 2023; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) celebrates with Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Bryson Green (9) after running for a touchdown during the first half at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

In their Big Ten opener at Ross-Ade Stadium, Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football program (3-1, 1-0 B1G) secured a 38-17 victory over Purdue (1-3, 0-1 B1G), extending the Badgers winning streak against the Boilermakers to an unprecedented 17 consecutive games.

Here are a few things that stood out from the Wisconsin Badgers week four victory over Ryan Walters and the Purdue Boilermakers. 

Wisconsin Football Utilized Tanner Mordecai as a Dual-Threat QB on Friday Night

Wisconsin football needed to get off to a fast start after three consecutive subpar first-half performances, and the Badgers offense answered by jumping out to a 14-0 start behind the legs of quarterback Tanner Mordecai

He finished the game with 14 carries, amassing 58 yards and scoring twice on the ground while also completing 63% of his passes for 174 yards & one interception.

While Mordecai’s performance wasn’t flawless, his ability to create plays with his legs did help create running opportunities for Braelon Allen. As a result, Allen carried the ball 16 times, racking up 116 yards and scoring two touchdowns.

This new dynamic clearly caught Purdue off guard and played a crucial role in providing the much-needed quick start for the Wisconsin football offense.

Wisconsin Football Just Became Real Thin at Running Back

Chez Mellusi‘s return for a sixth season has had a significant impact on the Badger offense.

Thriving in Phil Longo’s system, Mellusi entered the game as Wisconsin’s leading rusher. Unfortunately, he sustained what appeared to be a significant injury in the fourth quarter, likely marking the end of his collegiate career.

With Mellusi out of the picture, Wisconsin football will now turn to converted fullback Jackson Acker and presumably Cade Yacamelli to fill the No. 2 role behind Braelon Allen.  

Due to Allen’s injury history, the new coaching staff intended to restrict his number of carries to safeguard his health. Now, Luke Fickell must determine whether they are still willing to adhere to this plan without a 1B tailback at his disposal.

This is a difficult situation for Wisconsin football in general, but it’s especially tough for Mellusi personally. I hope he makes a full recovery because it’s always disheartening to witness a player’s college career conclude in such a manner.

Prayers up. 

Other Wisconsin Badgers Musings 

Jack Nelson had another brutal game with at least three penalties. I’m not sure what’s going on right now — but I’m shocked at how poor and undisciplined the Stoughton native has been through four games. 


Wisconsin football found themselves a kicker. Nathaniel Vakos is now 7-for-7 on the season, and it looks like he’s the best placekicking option the Badgers have had since Rafael Gaglianone.


CJ Williams put together the best game of his Badgers career — which was great to see — finishing with five catches for 56 yards. It was an encouraging sign for the passing attack moving forward. 


The University of Wisconsin football program might not have a terrific defensive line this year — but James Thompson Jr. is most definitely a dude for the Badgers. He finished with six tackles, 2.0 TFLs, a sack, plus a pass-breakup. 

Wisconsin Football Team Suffers Devastating Blow on Injury Front

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