Boilers face toughest test of season welcoming #8 Michigan to town on Homecoming

Written by Garin Turner
In the first BIG Ten conference game for both teams the Purdue Boilermakers are at home Saturday against the #8 Michigan Wolverines. The game is at 3 pm central time and can be seen on FOX. This game is homecoming for the Boilermakers and coach Brohm’s first look at Big Ten competition.

Michigan leads the all-time series 44-14. The last meeting was in 2012 with the Wolverines winning 44-13 in Ross-Ade Stadium. The last time Purdue beat Michigan was in 2009 38-36.

Purdue (2-1) are opening eyes week after week. They were in a good position to beat Louisville in week one. The Boilermakers have won back-to-back games for the first time since 2012. Last week they dominated Missouri 35-3 on the road. It was Purdue’s largest road win since they defeated Central Florida 47-13 back in 1999.

Michigan (3-0) is looking to go 4-0 for the second time in three seasons under coach Harbaugh. Michigan’s offense has been less than stellar so far. They’ve pulled away late in games making them seem like blowouts but that hasn’t been the case. The Wolverines defense and special teams have carried the load so far but their young defense might be tested in this one.

Purdue is leading the Big Ten in red zone efficiency scoring on all 13 trips. 10 of those trips ended in touchdowns. They also rank third in the conference in passing where they are averaging 298 yards per game and are fourth in scoring at 35 points per game. Look for junior quarterback David Blough to get the start in this one as he’s had the hot hand the past two weeks. It will be interesting to see if the Boilermakers play both him and sophomore QB Elijah Sindelar.

Michigan has had subpar QB play from senior Wilton Speight. He’s 42 for 77 with 571 yards passing and three touchdowns versus two interceptions. Both of those Int’s where returned for touchdowns in their first game of the season against Florida. Michigan will want to take the pressure off of Speight by establishing the running game which they hope will open up play action pass. The Wolverines have a rotation of running backs. Senior Ty Isaac leads the way with 47 carries for 336 yards but is yet to score a touchdown this season.

The Boilermakers will want to stack the box and force Michigan into 3rd and long and challenge Speight to beat them in the air. The Boilermakers are improved on both sides of the ball and they’re looking to pull off the upset and be halfway to becoming bowl eligible. One thing that Purdue does well on offense that’s given the Wolverines trouble over the years is the spread offense which coach Brohm is known for. If the Boilermakers can provide protection for whoever is behind center they have a legitimate shot. This has the potential for a low scoring game. The Boilermakers are ranked 68th in total defense while Michigan is ranked 5th. Take away the Louisville game and Purdue’s defense could be a lot higher.

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