2:30 p.m., TCF Bank Stadium • TV: ESPN2 • Radio: 100.3-FM • Line: Purdue by 10½ • Series: U leads 37-33-3
On Sept. 23, Purdue was an underdog to No. 23 Boston College in West Lafayette and looking at an 0-4 start. Instead, the Boilermakers rolled the Eagles 30-13, starting a stretch of five victories in six games. Purdue is tied with Wisconsin for second in the Big Ten West at 4-2.
Player to watch
True freshman wide receiver Rondale Moore opened the season with 313 all-purpose yards vs. Northwestern, and he leads the Big Ten with 186.3 per game, along with 74 receptions. He was slowed last week against Iowa because of a lower-body injury.
Gophers offense vs. Boilermakers defense
Though Purdue ranks 10th in the Big Ten in total defense in conference games, it is sixth in points (24.2 per game). After a solid showing vs. Indiana, Gophers QB Tanner Morgan took some lumps at Illinois. Advantage: Purdue
Gophers defense vs. Boilermakers offense
Here ya go, Joe Rossi. The Gophers interim defensive coordinator will try to slow a Boilermakers offense that is averaging 35.8 points in Big Ten play. QB David Blough (above) could have a field day. Advantage: Purdue
Both the Gophers and Boilermakers have solid kicking and punting games, but what gives Purdue the edge is Moore, who can be dynamic in the return game. Advantage: Purdue
The Gophers could get a slight boost from the change in defensive coordinators, and they do play better at home, but the Boilermakers still have West Division title hopes. They need Northwestern to stumble, but just playing with those hopes will bring them added motivation against the Gophers. Advantage: Purdue
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Purdue presents a challenge, “everywhere.’’ He’s right.