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Badgers Face Big Matchup


WEST LAYFAYETTE, IND (WSAU) The Wisconsin football team will try to go above .500 in the Big Ten tomorrow at Purdue. The Badgers evened their league mark at 1-and-1 a week ago with their home win over Illinois, and they’re 4-and-2 overall. Purdue hopes to recover from a crushing loss to Michigan in their league opener. The Boilermakers are 3-and-2 overall.

Among other things, the Badgers hope to improve their performance on third down. They’ve only converted 28-percent of their third down plays so far this season – mainly because they had go at least seven-yards almost half the time. The conversion rate is the worst in the Big Ten, and the fourth-worst among 120 teams in the Bowl Championship Sub-division.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada says there’s no way the Badgers can be effective if they can’t make first downs – and converting on third is key. In the last three decades, there has only been one season when Wisconsin did not convert 30-percent of their third down plays. That was in 1988, when they could only get first-downs 27-point-nine percent of the time under coach Don Morton. The Badgers have had an average conversion rate of almost 42-percent since they began tracking the statistic in 1981.