WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Coming off an upset victory over then-No. 2 Iowa, the Purdue football program entered the AP Top 25 Poll at No. 25, snapping the longest drought among Power Five schools.
However, the celebration is behind the Boilermakers as they prepare for a home matchup against Wisconsin at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday. The team hasn't defeated the Badgers in 18 years, dating back to 2003.
Here are three things Purdue must do to keep it's mojo heading into the matchup to give itself a chance to end the losing streak.
Protect the Quarterback
- Through six games, Purdue has given up 15 sacks on the year. The Boilermakers gave up just one sack to No. 2 Iowa.
- With time in the pocket, fifth-year senior quarterback Aidan O'Connell completed 75% of his passes against the Hawkeyes, good for 375 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
- Wisconsin enters the matchup with 12 sacks on the year, which ranks in the bottom half of the Big Ten.
Defense: Keep Doing What You've Been Doing
- The Purdue defense has allowed just 14 points per game this season, which is second in the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation, trailing Penn State and Georgia.
- Opposing teams are averaging just under 15 first downs per game against the Boilermakers, good for second in the conference.
- Purdue has struggled with generating turnovers, but recorded four interceptions against Iowa on the road.
Special Teams Needs to be Special
- Transfer kicker Mitchell Fineran started the season perfect on his field goal attempts, but he's missed a kick in each of the last two games.
- Purdue has struggled in the red zone, so Fineran must return to form and help the team generate points near the goal line.
- Australian punter Jack Ansell is averaging just under 40 yards per punt but is fully capable of booming the ball more than 50 yards. He's gotten better as the season has gone on and will need to maintain consistency to help this strong Boilermaker defense.
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