Mellusi, Allen help Wisconsin run past No. 25 Purdue, 30-13

Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.- Wisconsin freshman running back Braelon Allen figures the Badgers got back to their their strengths.

Graham Mertz completed just 5 of 8 passes for 52 yards. But it didn’t matter with the Badgers running for 290 yards on 51 carries.

“That’s Wisconsin football, that’s what we’re known for, imposing our will on defenses,” Allen said. “We are finally getting back to our brand of football. It’s worked for the longest time.”

Chez Mellusi ran for 149 yards and a touchdown and Allen had 140 yards and two scores to help Wisconsin beat No. 25 Purdue 30-13 on Saturday.

Mellusi and Allen both had career highs for yards, with Mellusi carrying 27 carries and Allen 12 for the Badgers (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten) .

Wisconsin has won 15 straight against Purdue (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten).

Allen fumbled in the first quarter but was able to gather himself.

“Everyone was coming up to me and telling me to keep my head up,” Allen said. “I knew I had to bounce back, forget about it and hold on to the football.”

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said it was a matter of doing whatever would move the football.

“We weren’t great on third down and we got to be better there, but the running game was going and the way our defense was playing, if we can continue to do that, I thought that might be best,” Chryst said.

The Boilermakers took a 13-10 lead on defensive end George Karlaftis‘ 56-yard fumble return with 6:13 left in the second second quarter.

John Torchio intercepted Aidan O'Connell‘s pass and returned it 37 yards to the 1. However, Mellusi was stopped for no gain and quarterback Kendric Pryor had a 3-yard loss on third down. Collin Larsh made a 23-yard field goal to tie it at 13.

The Badgers took the lead for good at 20-13 on Mellusi’s 20-yard run. Allen’s 70-yard run set up the touchdown, putting the ball on the 24.

Wisconsin pushed it to 27-13 on Allen’s 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Larsh added a 43-yard field goal.

“We have a great 1-2 punch,” Allen said. “He had a long run that I ended up punching in and he punched it my long run. We complement each other well.”

O’Connell completed 24 of 32 passes for 200 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions, and Jake Plummer was 3 of 6 for 19 yards.

“Aidan is an aggressive passer and tries to fit it into a tight window and those windows weren’t big enough,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “They were a lot of disappointing things that happened, starting with myself and continuing to a lot of things. We didn’t take care of the ball.”

Brohm said said he will evaluate the quarterback situation again this week.

“Aidan has done some good things overall,” Brohm said. “It was not a good day for him. Our quarterback has to do a better job. I got to coach better. We got to block better. Our offensive line has to block better. We can’t put it all on the quarterback but throwing interceptions can’t happen.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Entering the game, Wisconsin was third in the nation in rushing defense allowed at 64.3 yards per game. The Badgers limited Purdue to minus-13 on 24 attempts. In stark contrast, the Badgers finished with 290 rushing yards. Purdue had three interceptions, all by O’Connell, and lost two fumbles. Wisconsin lost two fumbles.

SILENT BELL

Following 11 catches for 240 yards, Purdue receiver David Bell had just six catches for 33 yards. He had three catches for nine yards until late in the third quarter.

“They got up in his face and they challenged him,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “It probably wasn’t one of his better days. We tried to throw it to him at times and whether he was not getting open or the protection was not last long enough or we weren’t finding him. So it was a combination of a lot of things.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

After being ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since the 2007 season after upsetting then-No. 2 Iowa 24-7 in Iowa City on Oct. 16, Purdue will make a quick exit. At 4-3, Wisconsin is unlikely to move into the Top 25. The Badgers were ranked No. 15 in the preseason.

UP NEXT

Wisconsin: Hosts No. 11 Iowa on Saturday.

Purdue: At Nebraska on Saturday.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.