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INDIANA vs PURDUE: Game preview, odds, how-to-watch, and more

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NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info / How to Watch

Who? Indiana Hoosiers (5-6 [2-6], #80 S&P+) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (5-6 [4-4], #42 S&P+)

When? Saturday, 11/24/18 12:00 PM, Bloomington, IN

Channel? ESPN2

Vegas? Purdue -4

S&P+ Projection? Purdue -4.9


Tom Allen has spent a lot of his time in Indiana talking about a breakthrough. Indiana failed to breakthrough last season in the exact same scenario they’re in this year. In a vacuum, a 10-14 mark in his first two seasons as the head coach of Indiana would probably be accepted. But things are analyzed in a vacuum and losses to Purdue to end the season in consecutive years would be tough pills to swallow.

A win this season would put a bow on a season that has been frustrating at times. It’d show the IU coaching staff could work with an imperfect roster. It’d also keep any momentum the program currently. A loss would put a lot of pressure on the coaching staff. A win wouldn’t wipe away a lot of their flaws but it’d help turn a blind eye to it for a month or two.

It hasn’t been a perfect season but it could still be a successful one. But it requires an upset at home against your biggest rival. Time to breakthrough.

To the numbers

Four Factors

- Explosiveness (86%) Efficiency (83%) Field Position (75%) Finishing Drives (72%) Turnover Margin (73%)
- Explosiveness (86%) Efficiency (83%) Field Position (75%) Finishing Drives (72%) Turnover Margin (73%)
INDIANA (#81 offense) 1.03 (120th) 43.4% (52nd) 30.3 (56th) 4.04 (114th) 5 (30th)
PURDUE (#74 defense) 1.12 (47th) 43.7 (91st) 28.9 (54th) 4.52 (70th) -3 (86th)
- - - - - -
PURDUE (#17 offense) 1.34 (9th) 43.7 (48th) 30.0 (66th) 4.81 (45th) -3 (86th)
INDIANA (#75 defense) 1.20 (82nd) 42.7% (83rd) 30.2 (91st) 4.85 (94th) 5 (30th)

This late in the season, the stat profiles are generally what they are without much variance. Indiana did jump in keeping teams out of the endzone after forcing Michigan to settle for field goals as opposed to touchdowns, which is one of the large reasons Indiana was able to stay close.

If Indiana can replicate that this week, it’ll be huge for hopes of winning a the bucket back.

The Opponent

Purdue has had a bizarre season. The Boilermakers started 0-3 with the three losses coming by a combined eight points. They responded with four-straight wins, capped off with the blowout at home of Ohio State.

For many, that’s the last images of Purdue with Rondale Moore running all over the Buckeyes. However, Purdue is 1-3 in their last four with overall percentile performances of 42, 81, 4 and 52 percent. While the offense has had two 90th-percentile performances in that stretch, the defense has largely disappeared since the Ohio State game.

The Purdue defense is the exact opposite to its offense in that it’s predicated on not giving up big plays. The passing defense is putrid other than the fact they are 43rd in explosive plays allowed. They allow a completion percentage of over 60 percent and have a sack rate that ranks 95th in the country.

The area that’s been gashed in recent weeks, though, is the rush defense. Wisconsin rushed for 385 yards on 7.5 yards per carry last week and Minnesota ran for 265 yards on 6.5 yards per carry. Indiana has had better rushing performances in recent weeks and could take advantage of a reeling unit.

Offensively, as stated and as widely known, Purdue is a unit that is big on the explosive plays, led by Moore. On 15 carries, the freshman is averaging 14.03 highlight yards per opportunity, meaning do not allow him into the second level. The 91 catches for 1,023 yards speak for itself but he also has a catch rate of 70.5 percent. He gets the ball early and often for Purdue and makes big plays when he has it.

To David Blough’s credit, he has been impressive this season, throwing for 3,211 yards with 22 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. The passing attack is both efficient and explosive and the Purdue line doesn’t give up many sacks.

The Purdue offense opts to pass rather than run. They have the exact same amount of points per scoring opportunity as Michigan did entering last week’s game. Whether that spells good news for Indiana - who stopped the Wolverines last week - or bad news for the Hoosiers - Purdue is ranked 45th in finishing drives - will be one of the big keys to to watch.

Things to Watch

  • Penalties and turnovers - Indiana had some backbreaking penalties and turnovers last week that they can’t afford to do this week. There is no next week. It has to be fixed this week.
  • Explosive plays - Stevie Scott ripped off a big run early against Michigan while the Indiana receivers came down with some big receptions. Last week, those types of plays simply kept Indiana in the game against Michigan. Against a lesser team, it could be the thing that puts them over the top.
  • Chaos - This is a Purdue defense that has struggled in recent weeks and an Indiana defense that isn’t good. Expect plenty of chaos.

Prediction

This season starter with a ton of optimism. We might as well end it with some, too. The Hoosiers win on a last second field goal for nostalgia’s sake. Indiana 45, Purdue 42.