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Rutgers at Purdue: 5 Things to Watch

5 things to look for Saturday at 4 PM.

Purdue v Minnesota Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

We are on to Rutgers.

I want to complain even more about the OPI. But, I will let it go. For now.

Purdue comes into this game as double digit favorites per Las Vegas. This is a must win game for the Brohm Era. A loss will make me question where we are headed as a program, a lot.

I have five things I feel that we should pay special attention too. Here they are:

1. Defensive Line Play

  • I felt like the defensive line got a little beat up last week, especially early on. They got stronger late in the game. But, this is a group that should have 6 to 8 guys that can play. Keep them fresh and let’s be the team that allows less than 100 yards rushing - for once.

2. Jack Plummer or Aidan O’Connell?

  • Jakc Plummer played the best game we have seen at quarterback in a while, but it was also against the worst defense we have seen this year. If AOC is healthy, who is playing? I tend to lean to Plummer who showed a bit more zip on the ball and was pretty accurate. It is easier to say that when Rondale Moore is out there catching balls again, but, Plummer showed some mobility as well, breaking the pocket and getting some yards with his legs, extending drives, something we lack with AOC.

3. Commitment to the run game

  • In our two wins this season, Zander Horvath has had over 100 yards rushing and as a team we were over 100 yards rushing. Knowing that stat alone as a common fan and not on the sidelines coaching should tell us. Run the ball more. Late last week, we went away from it, once again, Horvath was averaging over 5 yards per carry at that point and we willingly went away from it. I want to see us commit to the run game. Control the clock a bit more and have over 100 yards rushing as a unit. I think this is necessary for success this week against a defense this is allowing 36 Points Per Game, good for the 108th ranked defense. Run it with Rondale, run it with Zander, I don’t care who.

4. Special Teams

  • Listen, I thought hiring Biagi would make us pretty creative in this department, but we have been one of the worst special teams units in the Big Ten so far. The return game is basically non-existent. We finally gave Marcellus Moore a crack last week and he crapped the bed. Return game needs to show improvement this game.
  • Can we return to J.D. Dellinger not missing kicks again? The one in 2nd half was on him, but at the end of the first half, multiple people allowed a rush to their inside gap - which is what you DON’T do on PAT or Field Goal. Making kicks wins games. We win last week with less mistakes.

5. Halftime Adjustments

  • Will the defense adjust at halftime? I don’t think we have seen that since week 1 against Iowa. The bend but don’t break defense has been bending and breaking. How will Brohm handle some creativity from Schiano? Schiano is a defensive guy and will throw the kitchen sink at Coach Brohm.