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November 28, 2013

Matchup preview: Indiana

GoldandBlack.com breaks down how Purdue and Illinois might match up Saturday in Ross-Ade Stadium.

When Purdue's running ...

his has the makings of the same story as last week for Purdue. It started out well in the first quarter with long runs by Akeem Hunt and Brandon Cottom, but in the final three quarters Purdue wasn't good enough to generate points.

Advantage: Neither

When Purdue's passing ...

Indiana has youth in the secondary and at linebacker and is even worse against the pass than Illinois. Purdue didn't have great success in the pass game last week, but maybe Danny Etling will feel more comfortable after being protected relatively well for most of the game. It should be the same story this week. Still, the receivers have to avoid drops, something that was a problem last week.

Advantage: Purdue

When Indiana is running ...

The Boilermaker defense hasn't stopped Stephen Houston in two previous meetings, and if Tevin Coleman is still out with injury, it will likely struggle a third time. Still, the real fear is Coleman will return to create a truly lethal 1-2 punch. Coleman has shown even more of a big-play capability than Houston.

Advantage: Indiana (decided)

When Indiana is passing ...

Coach Darrell Hazell expressed genuine respect for the Hoosiers' passing game. Both quarterbacks can hurt you, but it is the talented receiving corps of Kofi Hughes, Cody Latimer and Shane Wynn that might have the Boilermakers in chase mode into the late November evening. Purdue will have to do what it hasn't done all year: create pressure on the quarterback. Now is a good time to start.

Advantage: Indiana (decided)

Special teams

Purdue was playing well on special teams, until problems in the field goal and punt units came to the fore. Hazell says Indiana is sound in special teams, especially with Wynn returning kicks. IU struggles in the punt game, ranking 10th in the league. Place-kicker Mitch Ewald proved he was human last week, clanging two field goal attempts off the goal posts, but Purdue's Paul Griggs is still struggling with two things: accuracy and reps.

Advantage: Neither


Indiana is smarting from a season that didn't meet expectations. But the Hoosiers also might be looking for someone to take their frustration out on. And that someone just might be the Boilermakers.

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