lndiana State (1-0) at Purdue (0-1), Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Line: No early line from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Purdue leads 5-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Purdue had a few extra days to find a stronger finishing punch after last week’s frustrating loss. Beating the Sycamores of the Football Championship Subdivision would rebuild some of the lost momentum and put the Boilermakers’ season back on track. Indiana State’s season-opening win over North Alabama came 10 days after two players were killed and two more hospitalized in a car accident.
Indiana State QB Gavin Screws vs. Purdue secondary. Screws, a junior college transfer, threw for 141 yards and had two interceptions in his Sycamores debut. He must be more efficient this week to give Indiana State a chance. While Purdue coach Jeff Brohm wants to see his defense tackle better, he also needs the secondary to avoid yielding four more touchdown passes.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Indiana State: S Rylan Cole. On a defense that recorded eight sacks in the opener, Cole emerged as a playmaker. He posted a career-best eight tackles, 2 1/2 tackles for loss and picked off two passes. The first interception set up the go-ahead score and the second sealed the win. The reward: Being named Missouri Valley Football Conference defensive player of the week.
Purdue: WR Charlie Jones transferred from Iowa to join childhood friend Aidan O’Connell and the pairing was an instant hit. O’Connell threw 19 of his 60 passes to Jones last week. They hooked up 12 times for 153 yards — both career highs for Jones. Expect the FBS’ leader in receptions per game to be busy again.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Sycamores are trying to start 2-0 for the first time since 1986. … O’Connell needs one TD pass to become the seventh quarterback in Purdue history to throw 45 in his career. … Indiana State has played six current members of the Big Ten and is 0-17 in those games. … The Boilermakers are playing their first Football Championship Subdivision foe since 2016. They’ve won all 10 matchups against FCS teams since 2006. … Sycamores’ All-MVFC receiver Dante Hendrix is expected to play Saturday after missing the opener with an undisclosed injury. … Brohm said receiver Broc Thompson was “nicked up” after last week’s game but remains hopeful Thompson will play Saturday.
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