UW Health Sports Medicine 

Lucas at Large: Badgers look for another boost from Boilers

FB_111104_Fletcher_Jamar_Purdue_98.jpgDavid Gilbert celebrated his 18th birthday by learning how to fly.

That was 2009; the last time Purdue played Wisconsin in Madison.

Late in the first half, Gilbert, then a true freshman, went airborne and flew over 6-foot-6 Peters Drey -- one of the blockers in the Boilermakers' shield -- and smothered Chris Summers' punt.

Aaron Henry scooped up the ball and ran nine yards for the touchdown. That gave the Badgers a commanding 24-0 lead at halftime. The overwhelmed Boilers never recovered and got skunked 37-0.

Earlier that year, Gilbert had been on the receiving end of punt block when he fell on the ball in the end zone after Chris Borland had leaped over the shield to block a punt against Wofford.

That convincing late October win over Purdue was a turning point in the '09 season for the Badgers, who had lost consecutive games to Ohio State and Iowa before getting back on track.

Wisconsin ended up winning five of its last six, including a bowl victory over Miami (Fla.).

The Badgers are hoping to use the Boilermakers as a springboard again here Saturday.

While Gilbert's punt block was memorable, the game itself was not; it was a rout.

But there have been a handful of memorable games in the Purdue-Wisconsin series.

Here's the short list from Camp Randall Stadium:

Nov. 6, 1971
Wisconsin 14, Purdue 10

Trailing 10-7, the Badgers had the ball on the Boilers' 3-yard-line with no timeouts left and 13 seconds remaining in the game.

"It was a real gamble to go with Allan Thompson up the middle,'' said UW coach John Jardine, who knew if the "A-Train" had been stopped there would not be enough time to run another play.

Not to worry. Quarterback Neil Graff, who had success on his option keepers, finally gave the ball to Thompson on the fullback dive and he scored allowing the Badgers to escape with the victory.

Nov. 10, 1984
Wisconsin 30, Purdue 13

The Badgers exploded for 551 yards of total offense as tailback Marck Harrison ran for 225 and quarterback Mike Howard threw for 290, offsetting the presence of Purdue's All-American Jim Everett.

"I think that's the best team in the Big Ten,'' said Boilermakers coach Leon Burtnett.

In the end, it was a devastating loss for the Boilermakers - costing them a trip to the Rose Bowl.

In the end, it was the perfect ending for the UW seniors.

"I remember taking the final lap around Camp Randall Stadium,'' said wide receiver Al Toon, reflecting on his final home appearance. "Wearing that uniform was pretty special.''

Toon went out in style, catching seven passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

The following spring, Toon was one of three UW players taken in the first round of the 1985 NFL draft. Joining Toon were defensive tackle Darryl Sims and defensive back Richard Johnson.

Center Dan Turk, tackles Jeff Dellenbach and Kevin Belcher, tight end Brett Pearson, linebacker Jim Melka, defensive tackle Scott Bergold, tailback Gary Ellerson and corner Ken Stills were also drafted.

That might have been one of the most talent-rich teams ever assembled at Wisconsin.

Yet the '84 Badgers finished with a 7-4-1 record and a loss to Kentucky in the Hall of Fame Bowl.

How do you think that would play today? Exactly.

Oct. 18, 1992
Wisconsin 19, Purdue 16

UW coach Barry Alvarez didn't mince words after a lifeless first half.

"We were extremely flat on both sides of the ball,'' he said.

After falling behind 16-6, the Badgers started the third quarter with a few defensive stops and wound up limiting the Boilermakers to only three first downs and 80 yards over the final 30 minutes.

Backup quarterback Jay Macias, who was forced into action after the starter Darrell Bevell injured his shoulder in the first half, helped spark the rally with some clutch throws to Lee DeRamus.

With 38 seconds remaining, Rich Thompson, a fifth-year senior, kicked a 49-yard field goal for the win. It was his fourth field goal of the game and 15th of the season (15-of-17).

"There was no question when I hit - no question,'' Thompson said.

Nov. 2, 1996
Wisconsin 33, Purdue 25

The Badgers had lost by three points to No. 3 Penn State; three points to No. 2 Ohio State and four points to No. 14 Northwestern before getting blown out by 17 points at Michigan State.

Saddled with an 0-4 Big Ten record, they had no margin of error against the Boilers.

That may have explained the urgency in Ron Dayne's play.

Dayne, who had lost a fumble in the closing seconds of the Northwestern loss, gashed Purdue for 244 rushing yards; the most ever by a UW freshman.

Dayne credited his offensive line, which included Aaron Gibson at tight end.

The 378-pound Gibson, a converted offensive tackle, traded his No. 79 for No. 81.

Gibby was a physical freak: 47-inch waist, 33-inch thighs, 20-inch neck.

"I thought the best line of the day,'' Alvarez said, "was when one of the officials came over and told me one of the Purdue kids wanted to know if there was a weight limit on 80 numbers.''

Oct. 10, 1998
Wisconsin 31, Purdue 24

The year before, the Boilermakers had embarrassed the Badgers, 45-20, in West Lafayette.

Looking for an edge, Alvarez got one when the kickoff was scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"It's very hard to execute when the crowd is at a fever pitch,'' Alvarez said.

Tell that to Purdue quarterback Drew Brees who completed 55-of-83 passes for 494 yards.

"We were in the two-minute drill basically the entire game,'' Brees said.

Wide receiver Randall Lane had 18 catches. Moreover, the Boilers had the ball for 103 plays.

But the Badgers limited the damage. Brees longest pass completion was for 21 yards.

Unless, that is, you count Jamar Fletcher's 52-yard interception return for a touchdown.

That was one of five Purdue turnovers and broke a 17-17 tie.

"It was one of the craziest games I ever played in -- ever in my life,'' said Brees.

What made it even crazier was the debut of "Jump Around.''

Previously during the third and fourth quarter exchange, the UW band had struck up, "If you want to be a Badger just come along with me.'' Nice, but soft; not easy to rock to.

On this night, Kevin Kluender, a member of the UW marketing department, dialed up the "House of Pain'' and Jump Around has since become a Camp Randall tradition.