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September 16, 2013

First look: Wisconsin

Purdue returns to the road for its Big Ten opener as it travels to ranked Wisconsin.

GoldandBlack.com will have much more on the Badgers throughout the week, but here's a quick First Look.

Under new coach Gary Andersen, Wisconsin is off to a 2-1 start, coming off a 32-30 loss at Arizona State, where officials botched the game's closing seconds and denied Wisconsin a chance to kick a game-winning field goal.

The officials involved were publicly reprimanded by the Pac-12 Monday.

Prior, Wisconsin cruised to blowout wins over Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech by a combined score of 93-0.

Shockingly, Wisconsin has good running backs again.

Melvin Gordon, one of former Heisman winner Monte Ball's understudies last season, has already run for 477 yards and four touchdowns, averaging just under 13 yards per carry. He's coming off a 193-yard game in Tempe.

Fellow returnee James White averages 6.6 yards per carry and freshman Corey Clement averages 8.1 as Wisconsin already has three backs who've topped the 250-yard mark. Almost all of Clement's yardage came in the two blowouts.

The Badger backs are three of the Big Ten's top eight rushers to this point in the season.

Wisconsin is the Big Ten's top rushing team by a mile, averaging 337 yards per game and eight yards per attempt. Ohio State is second with a per-game average of 285.3.

The Badgers were dominant on defense against the two lower-level teams they opened with, pitching a pair of shutouts, but struggled with the Sun Devils, which totaled 32 first downs as QB Taylor Kelly threw for 352 yards and running back Marion Grice scored four touchdowns.

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