Purdue Goes on the Road to Start Big Ten Play
With the non conference schedule completed, Purdue (2-1) heads to Maryland (3-0) to begin Big Ten play. The game will be at 3:30 on the Big Ten Network.
This will be Purdue’s first ever trip to Maryland. The Terrapins are coming off a double overtime win on the road over Central Florida 30-24. Saturday’s game will be homecoming weekend for Maryland.
Coach Hazell has had very little success in Big Ten play in his tenure. If he has any chance of keeping his job, he has to win games like the one on Saturday. Let’s look at three keys to the game for Purdue to have success against Maryland.
Purdue has to quit turning the ball over. They have had nine turnovers the last two games against Cincinnati and Nevada. Nevada took advantage of a David Blough interception and a Markell Jones fumble in the first half last week by scoring two touchdowns off those turnovers. Nevada should have never been in the game, but Purdue’s sloppiness with the ball kept them in the game all afternoon. The Boilers won’t win many, if any, games in the Big Ten turning the ball over at their current rate. Winning the turnover battle is a must for Purdue to have a chance in this game.
2. Stopping Maryland’s Running Game:
In a double overtime game against UCF, Maryland and quarterback Perry Hillis only threw for 127 yards on 10-23 passing. Purdue needs to crowd the box and make Maryland beat them through the air. The Boilers have some practice with that as Nevada was primarily a running team. Purdue held them to 68 yards rushing and 2.1 yards per carry average which is phenomenal. Look for Jake Replogle and Eddy Wilson to have big games in the interior of the defensive line. If Purdue limits Maryland’s rushing attack and forces them to throw the ball, they will have a good chance to come away with a win.
3. Balanced Attack on Offense:
When Maryland played against UCF, they struggled with stopping UCF’s offense. If they hadn’t won the turnover battle 3-0, they would have lost that game. When Purdue isn’t throwing away or fumbling the ball, they have had a lot of success with moving the ball. Getting Jones established early will be a big key for the offense. The more pressure off Blough the better. Blough has had back to back 300+ yards passing games and Maryland’s defense should allow him the opportunity to make that three in a row. As long as the Boilermakers can hold on to the football, they should be able to move the ball on this Terrapin defense.
Rob Dupre and Clinton Cole talked to Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier as well as Roman Stubbs, the Maryland Sports reporter for the Washington Post.
Check out the interviews: