Rutgers football vs. Purdue preview

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Rutgers football has the chance to come back from two straight disappointing losses. The Scarlet Knights will face Purdue and try to come back from the last few weeks of play. If Rutgers can channel that same energy it showed Michigan last week, it should be able to dominate Purdue. This cross-conference game is a pretty fair matchup and a good opportunity for the Scarlet Knights to try to get another win for the season. The question is, can Rutgers finish out a game? It’s crucial it shows up on Saturday and plays the whole way through. This is the Scarlet Knights opportunity to put it all together. Let’s see if they can turn it around tonight.

Rutgers needs to stop Purdue’s offensive line

The Boilermakers are having a pretty solid season. They’re 2-2 but are coming off of two straight losses. They’re likely looking at Rutgers as an opportunity to turn their season around and obtain a winning record. For this reason, we can expect intensity and explosive offense from Purdue.

Purdue can pass, and it can pass well. This can be attributed to quarterbacks Aidan O’Connell and Jack Plummer. O’Connell has completed 88 of 132 passes, and Plummer is 35-for-42. Purdue has a combined 1,283 passing yards for the season and only 316 rushing yards. This team will not be running the ball much, and we can expect to see it in the air. In fact, Purdue has the top-rated passing offense in the Big Ten, while Rutgers has the 12th ranked passing defense. That’s not a good look for the Scarlet Knights, but there are some things they can do to stop the passing game.

Time to put the pressure on

Since Rutgers is not great at defending a strong passing team, it needs to put pressure on the Purdue offense. Specifically, this means getting on the quarterback. It is unclear who will start but since Plummer started last week against Minnesota, it is likely that we will see him again. He has passed for 367 yards and three touchdowns in just one game played. If Rutgers can come out with the defense it started the game against Michigan with, it can hold off Purdue. It’s going to be about keeping up the intensity of the pressure. Rutgers cannot slack and give Purdue the opportunity to take momentum.

Rutgers’ defensive line is pretty good and should be able to curb Purdue’s offense. We’re going to need a good game from linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi, who has stepped up as a defensive force. Eyes should also be on linebacker Tyshon Fogg. These two need to pressure the Purdue quarterback long enough to allow the Rutgers offense to get ahead.


This should be a good, competitive game to watch. The teams are generally well matched at a similar level of play. It’s going to come down to whether Rutgers can stop Purdue’s passing game. Assuming that Rutgers can adapt to their opponent, I’m picking the Scarlet Knights to win 31-24. It’s time for Rutgers football to turn its season around.

Photo by Kelly Carmack | The Daily Targum