Previewing Purdue vs Ohio in Friday night Matchup

Writer Garin Turner


It’s Friday night lights tonight as the Purdue Boilermakers take the field against the Ohio Bobcats in week two of the college football season. The Boilermakers came up short last week against the Louisville Cardinals 35-28. They’ll look to break into the win column this week in the BIG vs MAC matchup.

This is the home opener for the Boilermakers. The game starts at 7 pm central time on FOX Sports 1. You can also listen to the game on Sirius 84. This will be the first game under Purdue’s permanent light fixtures at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Bobcats are coming off a 59-0 victory last week against FCS opponent Hampton. Tonight’s match-up will be the eighth in the series. Purdue is 7-0 but this is the first meeting since 1988. Every game has been at West Lafayette. The Boilermakers have scored 220 points in the series while the Bobcats have 26.

Home Cooking
Purdue is 88-36-4 in home openers. For the past 13 home games, the Boilermakers have won. This also includes winning 19 of their last 20 home openers. Against the Mid-American Conference, the Boilermakers have won its last three home openers. Purdue holds an 18-4 record in home openers against teams currently in the MAC which includes 5-0 against the Bobcats.

MAC Record
The Boilermakers are 41-12-1 against teams that are currently in the MAC.
Akron 2-0
Ball State 8-0
Bowling Green 0-3
Buffalo 0-0
Central Michigan 5-1
Eastern Michigan 2-0
Kent State 1-0
Miami (Ohio) 9-3-1
Northern Illinois 0-2
Ohio 7-0
Toledo 3-3
Western Michigan 4-0

No Freshmen Jitters
Purdue played 16 Freshmen in the season opener. Redshirt freshman WR Jackson Anthrop led the way statistically for all freshmen with seven catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball once for four yards and added nine yards on a punt return.

Keys to the game
Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue didn’t get a lot going in the running game in the season opener in a game that turned into a shootout. The leading rusher was sophomore RB Tario Fuller with 31 yards on eight carries. They’ll want to get more out of the running back group especially as it gets later in the year.

Purdue opened the season using two QB’s against Louisville. Sophomore QB Elijah Sindelar got the start over junior QB David Blough. They both had their moments but need to cut down on the interceptions if they want to avoid an 0-2 start. Sindelar was 15-31 for 118 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. Meanwhile, Blough was 18-26 for 175 yards and also threw for a pair of touchdowns. He also had two interceptions though. The Boilermakers also lost a fumble.

The defense did all it could to try to contain Louisville and the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. The defense surrendered 524 yards but also forced three turnovers and held the Cardinals to 6/8 in the red zone. They will look to improve those numbers against a Bobcat team that hung 59 on its opponent last week. Senior LB Ja’Whaun Bentley led the way with 10 tackles.

Ohio Bobcats
The Bobcats will look to run the ball against the Boilermakers. In last week’s win, the Bobcats ran for a total of 248 yards on 53 carries and seven touchdowns. Junior RB A.J. Ouellette had 12 carries for 63 yards while sophomore QB Nathan Rourke had six carries for 50 yards and three touchdowns. Rourke was also 6 for 10 passing for 72 yards so the Boilermakers will have to deal with a dual threat QB for the second week in a row. The interesting thing is Rourke is the back- up QB.

The Bobcats defense forced two turnovers by the way of fumbles and had 10 tackles for a loss and three sacks. Junior LB Evan Croutch had four tackles and two sacks with a forced fumble to pace the Ohio defense.

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