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Purdue Boilermakers vs. Wisconsin Badgers Preview and Prediction

Michael Caputo

Michael Caputo

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If there's any one-sided game to watch for this weekend, it'll be when Wisconsin hosts Purdue on Saturday.

Purdue's last win against Wisconsin was in October 2003; no, seriously, it's been that long. Purdue is an annual cellar-dweller in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin has been to three of the conference's four championship games.

Wisconsin is looking to add a fifth victory to what's been a turbulent first eight weeks in 2015, marred by injuries to key players and a stunning upset at home against Iowa where the Hawkeyes forced four turnovers on the road.

Purdue at Wisconsin

Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET

Channel: Big Ten Network

Spread: Wisconsin -23.5

Three Things to Watch

1. The Badgers’ Running Game

Whether it's Dare Ogunbowale, who leads all Badgers' rushers with 426 yards to date, or redshirt freshman Taiwan Neal, who's added 361 yards and four touchdowns of his own, the Boilermakers are expected to be in for a long day trying to stop the run.

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The Badgers are making their run game work despite injuries to an already inexperienced offensive line, and the absence of top tailback Corey Clement, who is sidelined with a sports hernia injury that required surgery.

2. Purdue's Red-Zone Offense

If Purdue has anything going for it this season, it's that the Boilermakers are extremely efficient in the red zone… when they get that far.

Purdue to date is 15-of-18 in the red zone, which is currently on pace for the best mark in school history, but the fact that this offense has been within the opponent’s 20-yard line just 17 times through eight weeks is a true testament to how bad this team really is.

3. Wisconsin Defense

Boy, oh boy, if you're a Purdue fan, you might just want to skip this one. Wisconsin currently ranks fifth in the country in scoring defense at 11.5 points per game. To put it another way, that's just shy of four field goals a game. They also rank 12th in the country in total defense, averaging just under 300 yards per game allowed.

Purdue heads into Wisconsin with a freshman quarterback and an inexperienced offensive line, something the Badgers are surely going to try and exploit early and often

Final Analysis

This game looks to be one-sided, it'll start one-sided, and end one-sided. There's really not much to look forward to in this game unless you're donning the red and white, as Wisconsin should bury this game before halftime.

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Prediction: Wisconsin 56, Purdue 0

— Written by Chris Dougherty, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Dougherty also serves as a National Recruiting Analyst for 247Sports.com and has written for other sites, including FanSided.com and Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @warontheweekend.