By the numbers: Purdue

Purdue's offense is explosive, but one of its biggest areas of exploitation has been in its pass defense.


Anthony Vazquez

Purdue quarterback David Blough throws the ball during the Iowa v. Purdue football game at Ross–Ade Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. The Iowa Hawkeyes beat the Purdue Boilermakers 49-35.

Pete Ruden, [email protected]

Purdue has been a hot team in Big Ten play, but it fell to a tough Michigan State squad in East Lansing last weekend. With the Boilermakers and Hawkeyes both coming off losses, the teams need a bounce-back game. Here’s a look at the Jeff Brohm-led Boilermakers, by the numbers.

2,350: David Blough’s passing yards

Blough has only started six of the Boilermakers’ eight games, but he still ranks second in the Big Ten with 2,350 passing yards, trailing only Ohio State quarterback and Heisman candidate Dwayne Haskins.

His 572-yard performance against Missouri on Sept. 15 was one of the most impressive air attacks the conference has seen this season, if not in its history. It set a school record, and his 590 total yards broke the Big Ten record for most in a single game, passing Ohio State’s Dave Wilson, who set the record in 1980.

Blough also ranks second in total yards and third in passing efficiency.

Purdue started the season 0-3, and two of those losses came with Elijah Sindelar under center. Since Blough has been the No. 1 guy, however, the Boilermakers are 4-2.

He has had his downfalls, however. Against Michigan State — Purdue’s most recent loss — the Boilermakers only managed to put up 13.

68: Rondale Moore’s receptions

Moore is a freshman, but he leads the conference with 68 receptions and ranks second with 802 receiving yards, trailing Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson by just 5. Moore is tied for second in the conference with 7 touchdowns.

He also has 163 yards on the ground on 11 attempts for an average of 14.8 yards a carry. Moore leads the conference with 179.1 all-purpose yards a game — more than 30 yards better than the conference’s next best. Again, Moore is a freshman.

The Boilermakers will try to get the ball in the hands of one of the conference’s best playmakers by any means necessary.

Whether it’s through the air, on the ground, or in the return game, expect the Hawkeyes to keep a keen eye on Moore.

Iowa has had some success containing electrifying players this season.

Jonathan Taylor racked up 113 against the Hawkeyes, his third lowest output of the year, and he struggled to make plays in the second half.

Iowa State’s David Montgomery finished with a season-low 44 yards on the ground when he faced Iowa.

Johnson of Minnesota had 6 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown against Iowa, though, so it’ll be interesting to see if Iowa can step up to the challenge at receiver — especially if true freshmen are starting again.

293.1: passing yards allowed per game

The Boilermakers enter the game with the worst pass defense in the Big Ten, allowing nearly 300 yards a game.

That’s something the Hawkeyes can take advantage of — if there’s not a repeat of Oct. 27’s game against Penn State, that is.

Nate Stanley and the offense were on a roll before battling the Nittany Lions. There was a point in the season where Stanley had 10 touchdown passes in a two-game stretch. Now, he has 0 in the past two weeks, and punter Colten Rastetter has thrown more TDs than him.

The wind against Maryland made passing difficult, and he may have hurt his hand against the Nittany Lions, so don’t cast Stanley out yet. If he plays to his potential, he and the Hawkeye receivers can have a field day against the Boilermaker defense.

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