West Lafayette – Head Coach Jeff Brohm and the Purdue Football team turned plenty of heads last week as they took the No. 16 team in the nation down to the wire at Lucas Oil Stadium. Many have said in the days since the game that expectations are a bit higher for the team, as they show they could hang with one of the big boys. The key for the Boilers will be how they respond the next week. During the previous two coaching staffs, the Boilers would play well against teams they should get blown out against, then come out completely flat the next week. If the Boilers want to show that there really is a change in the culture around Purdue football, it will be this week against the Ohio Bobcats.
Who: Ohio Bobcats vs. Purdue Boilermakers
When: Friday September 8, 2017 8:00 p.m.
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
How: Fox Sports One
In week one the Bobcats took on the Hampton Pirates. It was more of a glorified scrimmage as the Bobcats handled the FCS Pirates 59-0. Offensively the Bobcats were a juggernaut on the ground rushing for 248 yards running more that twice as much as they passed. Ohio averaged 4.7 yards on the ground as a team and the Boilers will need to focus on A.J. Quellette. Quellette ran the ball 12 times for 63 yards. Another threat on the ground is QB Nathan Rouke. Rouke ran the ball six times for 50 yards and had three touchdowns. The Boilers shouldn’t see the Bobcats run the ball 53 times in the game, but they do not hide the fact that they will run the ball to set up the pass.
Passing the ball in their first game was Quinton Maxwell and Rouke. The two combined to go 13 of 19, 172 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Purdue did well at times in the secondary last week against the Cardinals, they’ll need to be that way again on Saturday against the Bobcats. Leading the Bobcats last week in receiving was Cameron Odom. Odom had four catches for 75 yards, with a long of 48 yards.
Defensively the Bobcats turned in a successful season in 2016. Other than one team no teams cored more than 29 points on Ohio. The knock on the defense for Ohio last season was giving up the deep ball. They gave up over 400 yards passing twice last season. But they also do a great job at intercepting the ball. Last week against Hampton, they held two QB’s to six of 24 passing and only 61 yards, no touchdowns, but also no interceptions.
Purdue showed last week that it has two QB’s who can move the ball down the field, especially Elijah Sindelar. Purdue will be playing two QB’s again this week, and it appeared to be successful the week before. It will be important for David Blough to stay out of his own head and have a short memory. As long as both QB’s can find leader Jackson Anthrop, who went off against Louisville, the Boilers have a good chance of winning.
Purdue opens it’s home schedule with the first ever Friday night game as Ross-Ade stadium. With the permanent lights in place, and fans full of excitement, it will be a breeding ground for good things to happen. Everyone, from the fans to players to coaches love the atmosphere of a night game; no matter who they are playing. What adds a little bit more excitement? New helmets as Purdue unveils a new gold chrome for the game Friday. Everything is in position to show the world that this team is different, it’s now up to Purdue to do it.
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