Boilermakers locked in as they head to No. 25 Northwestern for Nightcap

Written by Garin Turner


​The Purdue Boilermakers (4-5, 2-4 BIG 10) snapped a three-game losing streak last week defeating the Fighting Illini 29-10. They’ll look to build on that as they travel to Evanston, IL to face the No. 25 Northwestern Wildcats (6-3, 4-2 BIG 10) 6 pm CST on ESPN 2 Saturday.

The win came with some bad news, as quarterback David Blough was lost for the season with a leg injury. Fortunately for the Boilermakers, Elijah Sindelar has plenty of game time experience as the Boilermakers have gone with a two-quarterback system for most of the year. On the year, Sindelar is 80 for 150 for 939 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

Purdue running back D.J. Knox will shoulder most of the load in the running game. Last week against the Illini he carried the ball 14 times for 85 yards and a touchdown. Knox is the leading rusher for the Boilermakers this year with 387 yards on 64 carries and the one touchdown.

For the Wildcats, they’re riding a four-game winning streak including three straight overtime victories which set a new FBS record. Speaking of firsts, this will be the first night game in Wildcat history in the month of November.

Running back Justin Jackson looks to have a big day against the Purdue defense. He has 798 yards on 181 carries with eight touchdowns. Behind him is Jeremy Larkin who has 51 carries for 243 yards with three touchdowns.

The Wildcats will need better quarterback play if they want to continue their win streak and move up in the rankings. Clayton Thorson has thrown 11 interceptions on the year. He does have 10 touchdowns and 2,287 yards passing but the mistakes haven’t cost them in the past few weeks.

Despite their records, the teams seem evenly matched. Northwestern is averaging 407 yards a game while Purdue averages 388.9. On the defensive side of the ball, Northwestern gives up 383 yards a game while Purdue gives up 367.3.

This game could very well be another overtime game, the keys are in Sindelar’s hand without having to worry about Blough coming in. Purdue also likes to throw in a few trick plays so the Wildcats will have to be on the lookout for that, especially if they do turn the ball over.

A win for the Boilermakers would put them just one away from being bowl eligible. A win for the Wildcats keeps them mathematically alive to win the BIG 10 West depending on the result of the No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 20 Iowa game.

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