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Purdue to Open with Illinois State in Cancun Challenge

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Brock Spack is torn.

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Illinois State at Northwestern Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The draw for the Cancun Melbourne, Florida Challenge is out and we have the Brock Spack Bowl as our opening game on Tuesday, November 24th as our early season tournament. Purdue will face Illinois State, where Boiler alum and former defensive coordinator Brock Spack has been football head coach since 2009:

The other side of the bracket will pit Clemson vs. Mississippi State with both contests being aired on the CBS Sports Network. The Boilermakers and Redbirds will tip off at 6 p.m. ET.

In addition, officials have announced that Purdue will host Rider in a preliminary game in Mackey Arena on Friday, Nov. 20.

Purdue leads the series with Illinois State by an 8-0 advantage, but hasn’t faced the Redbirds since the 2001 NIT, won by Purdue 90-79.

Clemson leads the series with Purdue by a 3-2 margin (last meeting: Nov. 28, 2012), while Purdue and Mississippi State have met just once, a 77-46 Purdue win on Dec. 28, 1984.

The Rider game was previously announced, but the Purdue non-conference schedule is still in flux. Our ACC/Big Ten Challenge game (likely on the road) and Gavitt Games (home game) have not been announced yet, and the December 29 game vs. Yale will likely be moved due to to the Ivy league cancelling all sports until January 1.