WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Wisconsin has risen one spot to no. 5 in the AP college football poll following a 49-20 victory over Purdue on Saturday.
The Badgers join two other Big Ten teams in the top 5. Ohio State ranks no. 2 and Michigan comes in at no. 3. Those teams play each other in Columbus, Ohio Saturday, while the Badgers host Minnesota.
T.J. Watt returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown, and No. 6 Wisconsin scored 35 points in the final 8 1/2 minutes of the first half of a 49-20 victory against Purdue on Saturday.
Alec Ingold and Bradrick Shaw each scored twice during the flurry, helping the Badgers (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 7 CFP) to their fifth straight win overall and their 11th in a row in the series.
They can clinch the West Division title and earn a spot in the Dec. 3 conference championship game with a victory next weekend.
Purdue (3-8, 1-7) closed out its home schedule with a sixth straight loss, five under interim coach Gerad Parker.
But the Badgers needed a jump-start from backup quarterback Bart Houston to get going. After entering midway through the second quarter, Houston led the Badgers on an 87-yard drive that was capped by Ingold's 1-yard plunge for a 7-3 lead. Watt picked off David Blough on the next offensive play.
Then Shaw scored on a 7-yard run with 3:03 left in the half. After another Blough interception, Houston hooked up with a wide-open Ingold on a 19-yard TD pass and Shaw added a 33-yard TD run in the last minute of the half.
All the Boilermakers (3-8, 1-7) could muster during that stretch was a 75-yard TD pass from Blough to DeAngelo Yancey. They never seriously challenged again.
Corey Clement rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown for Wisconsin.
The Badgers didn't get the help they needed to wrap up the West, but the win certainly keeps their playoff hopes alive.
Wisocnsin will try to keep the Paul Bunyan Axe for a 13th consecutive year when it hosts Minnesota.