FORT WAYNE – Records: Boilermakers (0-1); Sycamores (0-1)
When: Noon today
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1380 AM
3 matchups to watch
Rob Henry vs. the Indiana State secondary: Last week, the fifth-year senior quarterback went 18 for 35 with two interceptions and just 161 passing yards. Fans were up in arms on Twitter about the quarterback play, and Henry took to social media to apologize for his performance and say he will be better prepared for today’s game. Now is the time to prove it. The Sycamores line up in one-on-one coverages on the outside, and while Purdue doesn’t have a great receiving corps, Henry should be able to take advantage of some of those matchups. He also has tight end Gabe Holmes, who Indiana State doesn’t have the personnel to contain, and running backs Dalyn Dawkins and Akeem Hunt catching passes out of the backfield. Henry needs to hit the open man and prevent turnovers.
Purdue defensive line vs. Indiana State offensive line: The Sycamores lost star running back Shakir Bell in a 73-35 loss to Indiana in Week 1. Bell, who is a NFL prospect and ran for more than 100 yards on the Hoosiers before suffering a separated shoulder, was the lynchpin to the Indiana State offense. That bodes well for the Boilermakers, who were picked apart by Cincinnati in their first game. Purdue doesn’t want to make the miscommunication errors it did against the Bearcats, but against an FCS opponent, the costs won’t be as great if it does. With Bell out, this game lines up to be a bounce-back matchup for the Boilermakers defense, particularly its defensive front.
Purdue’s running game vs. Indiana State’s defense: The Boilermakers didn’t get the run game going against Cincinnati last week, with only three yards per carry on 22 attempts. That won’t cut it in Darrell Hazell’s offense. Everything Purdue does, Hazell said, is based off establishing its run. The Boilermakers couldn’t do that against the Bearcats, and the offense was out of sync from the start. Dawkins, the No. 2 back who led the team in all-purpose yards in Week 1, and Hunt should be able to have big games against ISU. And they need to.
Prediction: Purdue 35, Indiana State 10