Penn State-Purdue Preview
Penn State (5-1; 2-0 Big Ten) heads into the Homecoming Game against Purdue (3-2; 1-0 Big Ten) on a three-game winning streak. The Nittany Lions are heavily favored to beat the Boilermakers, but it might not be so easy after Derek Moye injured his foot. The teams will take to the Beaver Stadium field on Saturday for a noon match-up.
Team: Purdue Boilermakers
Conference: Big Ten
Head Coach: Danny Hope (48-39; 12-17 in three years at Purdue)
Series History: Penn State leads 10-3-1
Players to look for: QB Caleb TerBush, QB Robert Marve, RB Ralph Bolden, RB Akeem Shavers
Prediction: Penn State wins 27-10
Purdue features a strong running attack that could potentially give Penn State issues. The Bolden-Shavers tandem has accounted for 515 yards this season. RB Akeem Hunt and TerBush both have over 100 yards rushing as well.
Like Penn State, Purdue features a two-quarterback system. While TerBush gets a majority of the plays, Marve has been effective throwing the ball. The Nittany Lions will have to keep on their toes and game-plan for each of the quarterbacks.
On the other side of the ball, the Boilermakers are giving up nearly 143 rushing yards per game. This bodes well for the Nittany Lion offensive line, which seems to have started to gel against Iowa. Purdue’s weak defense should give plenty of space to Silas Redd and Curtis Dukes to run the ball.
Penn State will have to worry about the passing game, however. Moye is out for two games with a broken bone in his left foot. Without the star receiver, Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin will have to find new targets to rely on. The Boilermakers are not terrible against the pass, giving up about 200 yards a game, so the Nittany Lions could have some trouble through the air.
Overall, though, Penn State should sweep past Purdue without too much trouble. The 5th-ranked Penn State defense will be able to contain Purdue’s prolific running attack. Even if the Nittany Lions struggle initially on offense, Redd and Dukes should eventually wear the Boilermakers down.
Strong defense and a resurgent running game will mean a 27-10 Homecoming Game victory for Penn State over Purdue on Saturday.