West Lafayette, IN– It was announced today via ESPN’s Brett McMurphy that the Purdue Football team would be opening the 2017 campaign against the Louisville Cardinals. What makes this match up even more intriguing is that it will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This will be the second time in four seasons that Purdue will play in Lucas Oil Stadium. They lost their last match up with Notre Dame, 30-14.
This will be only the second that the Boilermakers and Cardinals have ever met. The last time they met was during the Reagan administration in 1987 in Ross-Ade Stadium. The game ended in a 22 to 22 tie between Purdue and Lousiville. The Cardinals of then are definitely not the Cardinals of now as Louisville posses a potent offense that can score, and score quickly. With the return of Head Coach Bobby Petrino after Charlie Strong headed to Texas, it would seem more of the same is expected to continue south of the Ohio river.
In terms of what this means for Purdue, it is apparent that under Head Coach Darrell Hazell there is a scheduling shift to better competition. Under the Danny Hope era, there were plenty of opponents from the MAC as well as from smaller FCS schools, as well as the annual game with Notre Dame. However with the implementation of the College Football Playoff format, Purdue had to make a shift to a more competitive schedule, especially with the loss of the Notre Dame game.
Since the loss of the Notre Dame game, Purdue has added a home and home series with Virginia Tech, which will begin next season, as well as adding a home and home with Nevada and Missouri. The 2017 schedule is particularly good for Purdue as not only do they play Louisville but they also begin the series with the Missouri Tigers, in Columbia. In the current football format, teams have to get impressive wins and get them early, and Purdue is following suit.
Chris Jewell is the College Sports Editor for Indiana Sports Report. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisJewellISR and Indiana Sports Report @IndySportsRep