Matchup Preview: Purdue-TCU
TCU at Purdue
Date/Time/Place: Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019: 7:30 ET, Ross-Ade Stadium
Surface: Natural Grass
Capacity: 57,236 (Tickets Available but a crowd approaching capacity expected)
Series notes: Purdue leads 2-0 with most recent win 15-0 at Purdue in 1970
TV: BTN (Kevin Kugler, PBP; Matt Millen, analyst; Rick Pizzo reporter)
Radio (Purdue): Sirius 108 / XM 195 / Tunein.com (Tim Newton, play-by-play; Pete Quinn, analyst; Kelly Kitchel sidelines, Rob Blackman, studio host). Coverage concludes with Boilermaker Sports Wrap with Nate Barrett and Alan Karpick at 30 minutes after game.
Pregame: Gold and Black Radio
MORE: Coach's Corner: Defense must move on without Markus Bailey | Twin City Superstore Video: Barnes, Smiley, Mackey on TCU, Bailey, and more | Opponent View: TCU | Twin City Superstore Video: CB coach Greg Brown on TCU and more
TCU running game versus Purdue against the run
The Horned Frogs will attack the run game from a variety of ways. Both quarterbacks Alex Delton (17) and Max Duggan (15) can run the ball, with Delton, the K-State grad transfer, leading TCU in rushing last week and Duggan with a rushing TD in the opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Darius Anderson (6) and Sewo Olonilua (33) rotate at the running back position with Anderson having one of sixth highest rushing averages in TCU history buoyed by the longest rush from scrimmage in school history--a 93-yarder last year versus OSU. Olonilua, a load at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, was the MVP of last years Cheez-It Bowl with a 194-yard effort. They will be difficult to stop, especially with Purdue's most disciplined run tackler out for the season in Markus Bailey.
TCU passing game versus Purdue against the pass
Whether it it Delton or Duggan behind center, the Horned Frogs have one of the best receivers in the nation in Jalen Reagor (1) who has eight scoring grabs in the last nine games. The sentiment in Fort Worth seems to favor the freshman Duggan, but Delton has the experience (he was a team captain at KSU) to thrive in a hostile environment. Purdue will have to find a way to penetrate a capable TCU line and hope to put pressure on the TCU quarterback at a level exceeding what we have seen the first two weeks. Kenneth Major and Dedrick Mackey have been productive as Purdue's corners, and that will be a necessity on Saturday night.
Purdue running game versus TCU against the run
Purdue must find a way to manufacture more than the 63.5 yards per game it is averaging, or at least be more effective in the instances it chooses to run the football. It is unlikely that the Boilermakers will try to force the issue much in this area against a TCU defensive line that is stout, and led by NFL caliber tackles Ross Blacklock (90) and Corey Bethley (94). TCU was No. 1 in the Big 12 and 24th nationally in 2018 in total defense (338.2 yards per game) despite facing five of the nation’s top-12 teams in offense, and while there some new faces on the unit, there is plenty of skill to go around. Coach Gary Patterson is a master defensive tactician, so nothing will be easy against the Horned Frogs.
Purdue passing game versus TCU against the pass
Elijah Sindelar has been fantastic to date, and Rondale Moore the same. They are the nation's top passing duo right now. Purdue's offensive success will hinge on those two, but also how much Sindelar, who we expect to play after last Saturday's slight concussion, can continue to spread the wealth to his many other options in the passing game. Purdue's line will be tested big time with the TCU front, and it must keep Sindelar upright. Don't forget, Patterson's defenses are known for interceptions, leading the Big 12 in that category by a wide margin since it began league play in 2012. Corners Jeff Gladney (12) and Julius Lewis (24) will be among the be best Purdue faces in 2019.
TCU's Jonathon Song (46) hit all five of his field goal attempts last week against UAPB and has hit a couple of last-second game winning field goals in his career. Punter Jordy Sandy is a 26-year old true freshman from Australia, and placed 3 of 4 punts inside the 20 last week. In the return game Reagor is dangerous and Derius Davis (12) has had a punt return for a score in his career. Still, Moore can instantly give the Boilermakers an advantage, but they need a much better week out of freshman punter Brooks Cormier as field position could be a factor in this game.
It is really hard to know Purdue's frame of mind after the Bailey injury as the coaching staff will have its challenges keeping the Boilermakers focused and in the moment. The large crowd and night game energy should provide a lift to the home team, but will it be enough to carry the Boilermakers? TCU’s 39 road wins since 2009, all under 19-year coach Patterson, are third in the nation. The Horned Frogs are 39-14 (.736) in that stretch. This will not be easy at all as TCU is looking to rebound from a down season for them in 2018. A victory at Purdue would help in that process, but then again a win for the Boilermakers would really help the team get past the bad news of this week.
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