Purdue opened their highly anticipated season with a mind-bending loss to lowly Bowling Green. The Badgers absorbed a similar fate with an early season stumble against struggling UNLV. It would have been difficult to imagine College Gameday, ESPN’s premier pregame show, coming to Madison on month later to broadcast live before the Boilermakers and Badgers prepared to duel on the field. Sure enough, the show’s celebrated hosts, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit descended upon Wisconsin because of the astounding resurgence that propelled these two teams into the top fifteen.
From mopping up the basement of the Big Ten to battling for mid-season supremacy, Purdue and Wisconsin paid their dues. In addition to the newly acquired national success, history shows that recent contests between these schools have been tight games with astonishing finishes. The choice to broadcast the show live from Madison seemed appropriate and the game did live up to its past.
With under three minutes remaining in the contest, Wisconsin and Purdue were locked at 23. Led by quarterback Kyle Orton, Purdue began driving the ball down field. Stuck at about the Badger forty-yard line, Orton heaved a pass downfield that Ray Williams reeled in with excellent dexterity. Lee Corso happened to be standing right where Williams caught the ball and he signaled a reception with his arms in agreement with the referee. The Boilers were set up at the three yard line with under a minute remaining. After melting seconds off the clock, kicker Ben Jones set up what would be the winning field goal. The chipshot sailed through the pipes sending 79,000 fans back to their seats. Purdue maintained their first place status in the conference while spoiling homecoming and turning back the boisterous Badger crowd. Purdue had to stay focused for their visit to treacherous Michigan. . Wisconsin would have to deflect the sting of the loss and regroup for their trip to Evanston next week.