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November 22, 2012

Matchup Preview: Purdue-Indiana





GoldandBlack.com breaks down how Purdue and Indiana might match up Saturday, when the Hoosiers visit Ross-Ade Stadium.

When Purdue's running ...

Indiana's run defense has been a turnstile and Purdue seems poised to take advantage, coming off back-to-back 200-plus-yard games. IU is allowing a staggering 235.5 rushing yards per game, one of the five-worst defenses in college football in that category. The Boilermakers' eyes should light up at the line of scrimmage. Purdue may be without Ralph Bolden, but Akeem Shavers is playing well lately as Purdue's focused more on between-the-tackles running.

Advantage: Purdue (decided)

When Purdue's passing ...

Purdue's run the ball very well of late and that's allowed the offense tremendous balance. The Boilermakers have been able to make big plays and protect the football, avoiding costly turnovers. Considering IU's weakness against the run, Purdue should be able to run to set up the pass, an ideal situation. Robert Marve is hot at quarterback right now.

Advantage: Purdue (slight)

When Indiana is running ...

This is almost immaterial, because if Purdue stops the pass, it will stop Indiana. IU averages for less than 130 yards a game, but that is a product of emphasis as much as it is effectiveness. The Hoosiers have shown some big-play punch in the running game at times, doing so off its passing game.

Advantage: Purdue (slight)

When Indiana is passing ...

IU will put tremendous pressure on Purdue's defense, which has shut down a pair of dysfunctional passing games the past two weekends. Indiana will be a different animal with its high-powered, high-scoring, Big Ten-leading passing attack. Indiana will get rid of the ball quick and keep pressure on Purdue to keep the ball in front of it and tackle well. Purdue hasn't intercepted a pass in a month.

Advantage: Indiana (decided)

Special teams

Purdue's coming off a few solid special teams games in a row. Cody Webster is punting well and Akeem Hunt is dangerous in the return game. And the kickers are making kicks lately. IU's kicker is solid and it's made some big plays in the return game this season.

Advantage: Purdue (slight)

Intangibles

This game is no lay-up for Purdue. IU can flat-out score, but Purdue should be the more the physical team and the line of scrimmage and it has so much on the line that you'd expect the Boilermakers to put their best foot forward. The levels of competition have been very different, but IU is coming off back-to-back losses and Purdue's coming off back-to-back wins.




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