Daily Breakdown: A bounce back win for Minnesota is unlikely against Boilermakers

Purdue’s two losses come from No. 17 Louisville and No. 7 Michigan.

The Gopher football team runs onto the field on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Courtney Deutz

The Gopher football team runs onto the field on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Jack Warrick

Minnesota suffered its first loss to its first conference opponent, Maryland, by a score of 31-24 at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday.

The Gophers will have a chance to bounce back against a Purdue team with a 2-2 record, whose two losses came from nationally ranked teams. The Boilermakers lost 35-28 to No. 17 ranked Louisville and 28-10 to No. 8 Michigan last week.

The Gophers are 3-1 (0-1 Big Ten) going into their second Big Ten Conference game against Purdue this Saturday in West Lafayette, Indiana at 2:30 p.m.

When Minnesota runs the ball:

Minnesota had 80 total rushing yards in the 31-24 loss to Maryland on Sept. 30. The Gophers relied on the ground game in large prior to playing Maryland. In the two games before Maryland, the Gophers had 474 yards rushing and 280 yards passing.

The two leading Gophers rushers, Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks, were fresh off injuries last week and had 43 and 39 rushing yards, respectively — season lows for both.

The Purdue rushing defense is ranked in the middle of the Big Ten with 132 yards allowed per game this season. Last week, Purdue held Michigan to 139 rushing yards. Michigan averages 184.3 yards per game.

Advantage: Purdue

When Purdue runs the ball:

Purdue had 30 rushing yards in the Michigan game last Saturday. The leading rusher, Richie Worship, had 18 total rushing yards. However, Michigan is ranked the best rush defense in the conference — allowing under 70 yards per game on the ground.

The Boilermakers rank near the bottom of the Big Ten in rushing offense. They average 137.3 rushing yards per game. The Purdue leading rusher is Tario Fuller. He has 261 yards on 43 carries this season.

The Minnesota run defense allowed 262 rushing yards to to Maryland last week. Before Maryland, it allowed 177 in total.

Advantage: Minnesota

When Minnesota passes the ball:

Against Maryland, Minnesota relied on the passing game, throwing for 229 yards and a touchdown. The Gophers passing offense ranks fourth-to-last in the Big Ten with 187 yards per game.

Purdue’s receiving defense allowed 284 yards by air to Michigan in their most recent game. The Boilermaker’s pass defense ranks second-to-last in the Big Ten, with 254.5 yards let up per game.

Advantage: Minnesota

When Purdue passes the ball:

Purdue had 159 passing yards in its last game against Michigan. The starting quarterback, David Blough, reinjured his throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter of the game. The other quarterback, Elijah Sindelar, went 7-16 with 103 passing yards after that. Purdue had its bye week after the Michigan game, but it’s not clear if Blough will return against Minnesota.

The Gophers passing defense took a blow last week when safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. injured his hamstring just before halftime. Two other defensive backs, Zo Craighton and Duke McGhee, are also injured. All are not expected to suit up against Purdue.

Minnesota allowed 154 passing yards in the loss to Maryland, and overall, the pass defense ranks fifth in the Big Ten with 173.5 yards allowed per game.

Advantage: Purdue

Prediction:

Purdue 35, Minnesota 24

After an upset at home from a Maryland team, with a third-string quarterback running the offense, the Gophers look a lot different than when they were 3-0 against nonconference opponents. The Boilermakers, though they may be short a starting quarterback, have only lost to ranked opponents. They were leading No. 8 Michigan at halftime and they lost to No. 17 Louisville by a touchdown. Purdue has two weeks to prepare for Minnesota, as they are coming off a bye week.

Daily prediction record this season: 3-1

What else you need to know:

Start time: 2:30 p.m. CST Saturday, Oct. 7

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KFAN 100.3

Point spread: Purdue by 3