West Lafayette – After a convincing win over the Ohio Bobcats, the Purdue Football team faces its first true road test Saturday as they start the home and home series with the Missouri Tigers. The Boilers are having a great amount of success with the two-quarterback rotation, as David Blough is currently 29 of 39 (74%) 410 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. Blough’s performance Friday night was sensational and helped Purdue to a win. The test gets extremely tougher this week, especially for the defense.
Who: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Missouri Tigers
When: Saturday September 16, 2017 4:00 p.m.
Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, MO
How: SEC Network
The Boilermakers head into Missouri as a 7.5-point underdog, which is frankly a shock if someone would have said this at the beginning of the season. Some outlets are even saying the Boilermakers will beat the Tigers Saturday. A win Saturday could catapult the Boilermakers into the beginning of the conference season.
The offense for Missouri is outstanding to say the least. It was the most productive offense last season in the SEC, and they returned 10 players from last year’s offense. In week one, Missouri put up 73 points and an astounding 815 yards of total offense. The Tigers are led by Quarterback Drew Lock. Lock had a terrible game last week against South Carolina. Lock was 14 of 32, 245 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. On the season Lock is 35 of 66, 766 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions. The leading receiver for Missouri is J’Mon Moore. Moore has seven receptions for 216 yards, and two touchdowns. As the Tigers’ passing offense ranks 11th in the nation, the rushing offense isn’t to shabby at 29th. The leading rusher for the Tigers is Damarea Crockett. Crockett has 299 yards on 36 rushes (8.3 ypc) and two touchdowns.
Markus Bailey said after last week’s game that Purdue is set up to stop the run. It will be important for that to be correct this week to make the Tigers one dimensional on offense. Lock was good in week one against an FCS foe, however when the competition got harder, his efficiency went down.
As good as the Tigers are on offense, they are completely opposite on defense. After the game Saturday, Missouri fired its defensive coordinator. Even though changing defensive coordinators could give Purdue problems, the number of things the Tigers need to fix won’t be fixed in a week. Look for this game to be a high scoring affair, with an over/under of 78 Vegas feels the same way.
The Tigers are ranked 81st against the run, and 115th against the pass. After a breakout game in week two, Tario Fuller could see plenty of opportunities to break off big chunk plays again on the ground. The combination of Blough and Elijah Sindelar should be effective as well. Leading the Missouri defense is Cale Garrett. Garrett has 16 total tackles on the season with a fumble recovery and one tackle for loss.
Purdue continues its season of progressive tests as they head to Columbia Missouri. There is a tremendous amount around the program after the first two weeks. Even one blog talked about the possibility Purdue could compete for the West title. While it seems as though Purdue is still a few seasons away, it is apparent the culture is changed in West Lafayette.
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