The passing attack has really been quite underwhelming for the Boilermakers so far. Purdue passes at a rate of 202.5 yards per game. Starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar has two passing touchdowns on the year, but he also has thre interceptions. In Sindelar’s first game against Northwestern, he threw for 196 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions. An underwhelming performance for Sindelar to say the least.
Backup David Blough contributed as he threw 12 for 16 on the day for 74 yards. In the Boilermakers' last game against Eastern Michigan, the passing game went absolutely nowhere as the combo of Sindelar and Blough combined for 135 yards on the day, with Sindelar throwing for a touchdown.
So far through the two games for the Boilermakers, its easily noticed that (at least so far) the passing game is definitely not a strength of the offense.
The run game has been the strength of the offense for the Boilermakers. So far, they are averaging 271.5 yards per game on the ground and that makes Purdue the 19th best team in rushing yards per game in the nation. In Purdue’s first game of the year, Rondale Moore, a very impressive freshman, ran for 79 yards on two carries.
Moore is actually a wide receiver, but he carried the ball twice. The Boilermakers ran for a total of 202 yards vs Northwestern. In the second game of the year against Eastern Michigan, they ran for 341 yards, but it wasn’t enough as the Boilermakers lost 20-19.
Obviously, this is the strength of the Boilermakers offense and is definitely something to look out for Saturday night.
The pass defense for Purdue has been average this year. The Boilermakers allowed 235 yards passing in the air against Northwestern, did not allow any touchdowns and did not have a turnover. Eastern Michigan was a completely different story, as the Eagles threw for 347 yards against the Boilermakers. If Eastern Michigan can throw for 347 yards against Purdue, imagine what Drew Lock could end up doing Saturday.
Purdue’s run defense has been decent this year though they are allowing 121.5 yards per game. In the first week against Northwestern, the Boilermakers allowed 172 yards on the ground. The starting running back for the Wildcats, Jeremy Larkin had a pretty good game on the ground as he ran for 143 yards on 26 carries.
When the Boilermakers faced off against Eastern Michigan, again it was a different story, as the Boilermakers only allowed 71 yards and did a good job of letting the Eastern Michigan run game go absolutely nowhere. But Mizzou is no Eastern Michigan. When Purdue played Northwestern they allowed a good chunk of yardage, so this could be good for Missouri’s ground game.
Boy, Drew Lock is off to a good start this year, as is Emanuel Hall. I don’t even know where to get started in this section as the pass game is clicking on all cylinders. Drew Lock is off to a great start as he has passed for 8 touchdowns, 687 yards, no interceptions and a 74% completion percentage through two games. The Lock to Hall connection is back, and better than ever as Hall has 342 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. Also, another notable thing so far is that Derek Dooley still implements the play-action crossing route to Albert O or Kendall Blanton that no team can seem to stop.
Mizzou had two touchdowns off that one play against Wyoming, with one to Albert O and one to Kendall Blanton. Drew Lock has looked better when it comes to his decision-making and not making too many risky throws. Also, the offensive line has done a great job of protecting Lock as they have allowed no sacks so far this year. If Eastern Michigan can throw for 312 yards against Purdue, just imagine what Lock has the potential to do.
Disappointing. I feel like that’s what most Tiger fans are saying so far this year. The bar was set to the sky for the run game this year, but so far the Tigers are not executing on the ground like most people thought they would. Against pitiful competition in UT-Martin, Crockett, Rountree, and Badie only combined for 132 yards on the ground.
Considering how high the bar was set it was a very underwhelming performance. The Tigers only had two runs of 10 yards or more. Against Wyoming, it was more of the same. The Tigers averaged just under four yards per carry. The run game hasn’t been really bad so far, but its lacking the big explosive runs that we all expected to see. The run game will face a test with Purdue as Purdue’s run defense has proved to be decent.
The pass defense has looked tremendously better than last year. The Tigers only allowed 168 yards passing against UT-Martin. Yes, you might be thinking well that’s not great competition, but it’s still impressive to say the least, considering last year the secondary looked terrible against Missouri State.
Against Wyoming, the pass defense looked even better. The Tigers held Tyler Vander Waal to just 160 yards passing on the day, and held him to a 46% completion percentage. The Boilermakers' passing game looks to be a weakness so far, so if the secondary can play like they have been, then this could get ugly.
The run defense has also stepped up from last year as well, as the Tigers are allowing 91 yards per game on the ground. Against the Skyhawks, the Tigers allowed 94 yards on the ground, with leading rusher Ladarius Galloway only running for 31 yards.
Against the Cowboys it was even better as the D-line held them to only 88 yards rushing. Obviously, this week will be tougher, especially since Purdue has been good on the ground through the two games they have played.
Keys to the game:
1. Stop Purdue’s run game:
Purdue has proved to be good on the ground as they are averaging 271 yards. Mizzou has been good against the run, but they really haven’t played against a good running game. If Purdue keeps up the trend they have had with their pass game and Mizzou takes away the run game, then this one could get ugly.
2. Get the run game going:
So far, the ground game has been pretty disappointing. It going to be hard for the Tigers this week as Purdue has proved to have a relatively good defense against the run. Although the potential is there, the Tigers just haven’t executed. We have a great offensive line and great running backs in Crockett and Rountree, so what is going on? Unfortunately, that is unknown but the Tigers have to have a better ground game this week so that they can make Drew Lock's job easier.
This week will be tougher of course, as it is a road game and Purdue is hungry for a win. But Mizzou is hungry for revenge. The game will be a competitive one, but the Tigers will put the game away late in the third quarter. Drew Lock will have a great day through the air, and Emanuel Hall will have a 100-yard day. The run offense will be a bit better having more than 150 yards on the ground.
Mizzou: 38, Purdue:21