Quarterback Aidan O’Connell continues to play a leading role in Purdue’s surge to a tie atop the Big Ten West.

He welcomed a new running mate to the cause last week.

While O’Connell passed for 391 yards and four touchdowns, Devin Mockobee did plenty of damage on the ground, rushing for a career-best 178 yards and a score as the Boilermakers stretched their winning streak to four with a 43-37 victory against Nebraska.

Purdue (5-2, 3-1) will look to keep rolling when it visits Wisconsin on Saturday.

“I just think he has proven everybody how good of a running back he can be,” Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm said of Mockobee, “especially that he continues to work and get better and bigger and stronger.”

Wisconsin (3-4, 1-3) is coming off a 34-28 loss at Michigan State in double overtime.

“We fought hard, man,” Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig said. “That’s something I haven’t seen out of the guys in a while. We fought until the very last play. We didn’t give up, fold or throw in the towel when things got rough. We buckled up and fought for each other.”

As Wisconsin continues to jell under interim coach Jim Leonhard, who took the reins of the program after five games, the team hopes to produce more steadiness.

Although Braelon Allen rushed for 123 yards and two scores against Michigan State, he also lost a fumble. Quarterback Graham Mertz threw for two scores to go with an interception.

The Badgers realize they’ll need to be sharp defensively against the Boilermakers. While Mockobee enjoyed a breakthrough effort, receiver Charlie Jones merely kept up appearances during a standout surge.

Jones had 12 receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns, recording the fourth 100-yard receiving day of the season.

Wisconsin boasts 15 consecutive wins in the series. The Boilermakers haven’t defeated the Badgers since 2003.

“This team presents challenges for us,” Brohm said. “They’re very good on defense. They always have been. They have a great scheme. They are coached very well. They play hard and make you earn it.”

A Purdue win would give the program bowl eligibility and its first five-game winning streak since 2007.

–Field Level Media