Thursday, October 8, 2009

Getting to know Purdue

We all know that Purdue comes to the The Bank on Saturday as our Homecoming opponent, and we all know that football teams are supposed to beat whoever they play on homecoming.  Purdue is 1-4 with their 4 losses coming in their last 4 games.

But they have lost those 4 games by a combined 18 points, and 3 of those losses came against BCS opponents (Oregon by 2, Notre Dame by 3, NWestern by 6).  I doubt I'm the first person to say that this is the best 1-4 football team in the country.  I fully expect them to be the best 1-5 football team in the country after playing our Gophers this weekend, so let's take a look at how that might happen.

We know this: Purdue can score.

Points per game:
Boilers: 30.2
Gophers: 25.4

It also may be worth noting that those 30.2 pts/game are nearly all offensive points, no defensive points, and one special teams touchdown, whereas the Gophers 25.4 pts/game include two defensive touchdowns this season.

Offensive points per game:
Boilers: 29
Gophers: 23

It appears that the story of this game will likely come down to the Boilers offense vs. the Gophers defense.
So here are some head-to-head stats of this match-up to get your mind going heading into this game:

Boilers yards/game: 411.8
Gophers yards allowed/game: 377

Boilers Passing yards/game: 258.2 (3rd in Big Ten)
Gophers Passing defensive (Yds allowed/game): 202.4 (4th in Big Ten)

Boilers Rushing yards/game: 153.6
Gophers Rush defense (Yds allowed /game): 174.6 (10th in Big Ten)

Purdue individual stats:
QB Joey Elliott...
Passing yards: 1276 yds, 255 yds/game (both 1st in Big Ten)
Passing TD: 10 (1st in Big Ten)
Interceptions: 7 (tied for most in Big Ten)

RB Ralph Bolden
Rushing yards: 541 yds, 108.2 yds/game (both 2nd in Big Ten)
Yards/carry: 5.6
Rushing TD's: 4
Rushing attempts: 97 (2nd most in Big Ten)

Purdue has played from behind most of the season, so the passing yards could be a bit skewed because of that.  Nevertheless, it is a concern.  Ralph Bolden is also a concern, especially considering the fact that he's put up the kind of numbers that he has while playing from behind most of the year.

Another good test for our defense, but I expect our defense to rise to the challenge.

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