Photo courtesy of Purdue athletics
Purdue will have no time to sulk.
The Boilermakers will have a short week to prepare for a trip to take on Minnesota on Friday night. After a 2-0 start, the Boilermakers fell short at home against No. 23 Northwestern last week, 27-20.
Well… that did not go as planned. Until a fourth quarter “explosion”, Purdue only had 187 total yards — 40 of which came on one play. The contest was among head coach Jeff Brohm’s worst games at Purdue.
Purdue’s offense was boring, bland, and predictable — not a good game plan when playing one of the best defenses in America. The score is a lot closer then the game really was, however. The defense was a bright spot throughout the night, so at least there was some good news.
Minnesota at a glimpse
Minnesota’s offense is easy to break down. The Golden Gophers want to run behind that gigantic offensive line with stud running back Mohamed Ibrahim. This wears down your defense and opens you up to the passing attack, which is headlined by star wide receiver Rashod Bateman. Quarterback Tanner Morgan is seeing some regression from last year when he set the Big Ten West on fire, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still pick apart a secondary.
The Minnesota defense has had to replace several starters from last year, but there are still some solid pieces on the team. Defensive Back Tyler Nubin leads the defense in tackles with 25. Defensive lineman Boye Mafe leads the team with 3.5 sacks. James Gordon and DeAngelo Carter lead the Gophers in interceptions with one apiece. The Golden Gophers’ defense has forced three fumbles this year.
Passer: Aidan O’Connell, 88-for-136 passing, 916 yards, seven touchdown passes, two interceptions (game-time decision, undisclosed injury)
Rusher: Alexander Horvath, 53 attempts, 252 yards, touchdown run
Receiver: David Bell, 31 catches 321 yards, four touchdown catches
Tackles: Derrick Barnes, 27 tackles
Sacks: George Karlaftis, two sacks (might play limited reps due to high ankle sprain)
Interceptions: Cam Allen, two
Notable team statistic: Six forced fumbles
Passer: Tanner Morgan, 61-for-106 passing, 769 yards, four touchdowns, four interceptions
Rusher: Mohamed Ibrahim, 130 attempts, 715 yards, 10 touchdown runs
Receiver: Rashod Bateman, 32 catches, 413 yards, two touchdowns
Tackles: Tyler Nubin, 24 tackles
Sacks: Boye Mafe, 3.5 sacks
Interceptions: DeAnelo Carter and James Gordon, one each
Notable team statistic: Three forced fumbles
What to know for game day
Kickoff is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be played at TCF Bank Stadium — a venue where Purdue has never won. The weather for kickoff will be cool but there is no forecast for any rain or snow. There will be a wind of roughly 10 miles per hour. The contest will air on Big Ten Network.
Head coaches Jeff Brohm for Purdue and Minnesota’s PJ Fleck aren’t known to get along. Brohm is 1-2 vs. Fleck during his time at Purdue. Purdue has announced uniforms for the match-up while Minnesota has yet to do so:
🛡 FRIDAY'S BATTLE ARMOR.
— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) November 19, 2020
Purdue 31, Minnesota 24.
The contest will feature mediocre defenses and offenses, whose strengths vary significantly. Purdue can sling it while Minnesota can run the ball.
The same goes for the defenses: Purdue is better vs. the run but weaker vs. the pass. Minnesota is stout against the pass, but struggles to defend the run.