Ryan's Place

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Defense Come Up Big As Badgers Beat Purdue 31-20



Just when the Wisconsin Badgers were on their heels, safety Roderick Rogers put everybody on their feet.

Rogers' 84-yard interception return for a touchdown ignited the third-largest crowd to ever fill Camp Randall Stadium and swung the momentum Wisconsin's way in the 19th-ranked Badgers' noisy 31-20 win over Purdue on Saturday.

"We always talk about being a spark and swinging the momentum of the game and that swung it," said coach Barry Alvarez, whose Badgers (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) became bowl eligible in his farewell season.

Co-captain Brett Bell said it juiced up everybody decked out in red.

"It got the crowd going, it got the offense going, it got the defense going," he said.

Cornerback Jake Ikegwuonu gave the 82,828 fans even more to cheer about with his two interceptions, including a game-sealing pickoff that he returned 62 yards for a score with 3:21 left.

In all, the Badgers' banged-up defense recorded five takeaways and had 146 return yards off their three interceptions of redshirt freshman Curtis Painter, who replaced junior starter Brandon Kirsch at quarterback for Purdue (2-5, 0-4).

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