Game 62: #17 Purdue @ Wisconsin

Riding a small wave of momentum after their win in East Lansing, the Badgers tacked some confidence to their chest. Purdue wore a full piece suit of confidence coming into Camp Randall. Quarterback Drew Brees and crew finally seemed to have a winning combination and the Boilers controlled their fate for a trip to the Rose Bowl, but Brees has always come just shy of hurdling Wisconsin.

A noticeable throng of black and gold visitors trekked up from West Lafayette to see what they hoped would be another step toward a Big Ten title. Brees was not as sharp as usual and Wisconsin took advantage. Late in the game, the Badgers fought back to tie the contest at 24 sending the crowd into a frenzy. Another overtime stage was set and it seemed like momentum favored the red and white.

Purdue’s defense was up to the test and kept Wisconsin far from the endzone on their first possession forcing a 58-yard field goal attempt. Kicker Vitaly Pisetsky set up for what would be a career long, but Purdue blocked the low kick and returned it 36 yards for the dramatic winning score. Sudden death applied in this frantic, but memorable finish that caused Badger fans to slam cups on bleachers and storm out of Camp Randall. The kick was returned to the corner where the Purdue faithful had gathered and the Boiler bench spilled over to join them. The Purdue party lasted quite a while as Badger fans exited dejectedly having just witnessed another overtime catastrophe. Wisconsin dropped to 1-4 in the Big Ten while Purdue forged ahead defeating Ohio State the following week. The Boilermakers concluded the year with their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1968 achieving one of their most memorable seasons in decades.

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