Purdue hits the road for matchup against SEC foe Missouri
By DAVID GINSBURG
Sep. 14, 2017
Some things to watch in the Big Ten this weekend:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Purdue at Missouri. The Boilermakers (1-1) take to the road for a matchup with Missouri, Purdue's first game against a Southeastern Conference foe since 2004. After dropping a tough 35-28 decision to Louisville at the home stadium of the Indianapolis Colts, the Boilermakers rebounded at home last week with a 44-21 rout of Ohio and are looking to sustain the momentum against the Tigers (1-1). Purdue first-year coach Jeff Brohm says of Missouri: "A very good football team that has a lot of talent and skill that plays in an outstanding conference." Brohm left Western Kentucky with the goal of bringing the Boilermakers back to respectability after a 9-39 stretch over the past four years.
Iowa's defense against North Texas QB Mason Fine. The Hawkeyes yielded 41 points and 467 yards in a 44-41 overtime win over Iowa State last week. Now they face a squad that's amassed 91 points and 1,161 yards in two games — albeit against Lamar and SMU — behind Fine, who's completed 69 percent of his passes for 648 yards and six TDs. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says, "Offensively, they're very impressive. They've got very good skill players, very good speed and I'm really impressed with their quarterback. He reminds me of Matt McGloin, who played for Penn State five years ago and played for the Raiders. He's a sharp, nifty, very efficient and smart quarterback. Seems to me he like does a really good job of getting the ball where it should go, and he gets it there fast. So, we've got a lot of work to do."
BACK TO WORK
Rutgers offensive coordinator Jerry Kill will be on the sideline Saturday when the Scarlet Knights (0-2) face Morgan State (0-2). Kill was hospitalized Sunday after having a seizure, but coach Chris Ash says the 56-year-old is fine. "We're moving forward," Ash said. "No concerns at all. It was a minor setback. We're excited that Jerry is back in the office working." Because Kill has dealt with epilepsy for almost two decades, Ash said, "It's something that we all knew could potentially come up, and it did. But Jerry's been through this before. It's not his first rodeo with it."
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Ferentz is six wins short of tying Hayden Fry for most by an Iowa coach. Now in his 19th season at the school, Ferentz is 137-92. ... Penn State has reached the 30-point mark in nine straight games. The Nittany Lions will seek to make it 10 in a row Saturday against Georgia State. ... Maryland's prolific offense shuts down for a week with an early bye. The Terrapins (2-0) have opened the season with two straight games with at least 50 points for the first time in school history. ... Michigan's defense has scored three touchdowns in two games, and the unit has only yielded two TDs.
Illinois coach Lovie Smith hopes the matchup between the unbeaten Illini (2-0) and No. 22 South Florida (2-0) on Friday night will be a welcome diversion for several thousand Floridians still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma. "Hopefully football can take their minds off some of the other things going on down there," Smith said.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Wisconsin true freshman Jonathan Taylor leads the Big Ten with 310 yards rushing, and will strive to add to his lofty 8.9 yards-per-carry average Saturday against Brigham Young. "The moment hasn't been too big for him," said Badgers coach Paul Chryst. The 6-foot, 205-pound Taylor rolled up 223 yards and three touchdowns last week against Florida Atlantic.
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