Game 7 Prep: Sellout Crowd Awaits Purdue Football's Return Home - Purdue Boilermakers (2024)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After back-to-back road wins in conference play, Purdue Football returns home to host Nebraska in a battle between two teams atop the Big Ten West. The Boilermakers and Cornhuskers are set to play in front of a sellout crowd at Ross-Ade Stadium, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. ET on BTN.

Purdue is 4-2 for the second consecutive season. The last time the Boilermakers were 4-2 in back-to-back seasons was when Joe Tiller led the program to consecutive eight-win campaigns (2006-07).

The Boilermakers are coming off a 31-29 victory at Maryland, their third straight win. The last time Purdue won three games in-a-row came during the 2018 season, a four-game winning streak that included a 49-20 thumping over No. 2 Ohio State.

LAST TIME WE MET NEBRASKA
• Behind four interceptions from the defense, Purdue went on the road and defeated Nebraska 28-23 (Oct. 30, 2021) in the previous matchup between the two Big Ten West foes.
Jalen Graham led the way with a pair of INTs, including a pick six that helped him earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Cam Allen and Chris Jefferson hauled in picks as well.
Aidan O'Connell completed 34-of-45 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns, while King Doerue added 74 yards on the ground to lead the Boilermakers offensively.
• The victory was Purdue's third in the past four meetings with Nebraska.

THREE IN-A-ROW
• Purdue returns home riding a three-game winning streak for the first time the 2018 season.
• The Boilermakers won four straight games in 2018, which included the memorable 49-20 victory over No. 2 Ohio State.
• Purdue has won three games in-a-row only three times over the past 15 seasons, two of them being under Jeff Brohm. In the previous nine seasons prior to Brohm's arrival, the only Boilermakers' three-game winning streak occurred during the end of the 2012 season to earn bowl eligibility.

BIG WINS AWAY FROM HOME
• Playing on the road in Big Ten play hasn't fazed Purdue lately. The Boilermakers have won six of their past seven conference games away from home, including the past two weeks against Minnesota (Oct. 1) and Maryland (Oct. 8).
• Two of those victories were over ranked teams. Purdue beat No. 2 Iowa 24-7 last season (Oct. 16, 2021), while knocking off No. 21 Minnesota this October.
• Last season, Purdue went 3-1 in B1G games away from home, which included a neutral site win over Northwestern at Wrigley Field. The Boilermakers ended the 2021 campaign with five victories away from Ross-Ade Stadium, their most since 1943.

RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS
• While Purdue is primarily known for its passing game, the Boilermakers have rushed for 11 touchdowns compared to 13 through the air.
• Just six games into the season, the 11 rushing TDs match the total from the previous two seasons combined (7 in 2021, 4 in 2020).
• The total is already the most in a season since Purdue rushed for 20 touchdowns in 2018.
• The Boilermakers have six rushing touchdowns over their three conference games, ranking second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State (8).

WELCOME BACK 6
• The Boilermaker defense welcomed back one of their leaders, Jalen Graham, in the 31-29 win over Maryland.
• Graham, who missed the previous four games due to injury, returned to record a team-high nine tackles to go along with one tackle-for-loss and one pass breakup.
• Despite playing in just two games this season, the senior ranks eighth on the team in total tackles (15); his 7.5 tackles per game pace Purdue.

AIDAN ADDING TO HIS LEGACY
• Beginning his career as a walk-on and eighth on the quarterback depth chart, Aidan O'Connell worked his way up to the starting role and didn't stop there. The sixth-year QB has etched his name in the school record books, and he continued to rise up the career charts early this season.
• O'Connell already ranks in the program's Top 10 in several career categories: completion percentage (1st – 68.0%), 500-yard games (T1st – 2), 400-yard games (2nd – 5), 300-yard games (4th – 11), touchdown passes (6th – 53), passing completions (7th – 649) and passing yards (8th – 7,288).
Aidan O'Connell paces the Big Ten in passing yards and total offense. His 311.8 passing yards per game rank ninth nationally, while he stands 17th in total offense with 306.8 yards per game.
• O'Connell has kept up his game against conference opponents as the only Big Ten quarterback to average more than 300 yards passing in league play (308.0 ypg). His 297.33 yards of total offense in B1G action also lead the conference.
• Since 2000, O'Connell became one of just three Big Ten quarterbacks to throw for 1,000 yards over the first three games of a season (Christian Hackenberg – 1,008 yards, 2014; Richard Lagow – 1,002 yards, 2016).
• He torched the Syracuse defense with a season-high 424 passing yards and three touchdowns.
• O'Connell now has five 400-yard passing games; only Drew Brees has more (7).

RED ZONE, END ZONE
• The Boilermakers have been successful in the red zone this season, scoring 24 out of 25 times for a 96 percent rate and ranking No. 8 in the country.
• Even better, 21 of those 24 red zone scores have been touchdowns (88%).
• The Boilermakers are 12-for-12 (9 touchdowns, 3 field goals) in the red zone against B1G foes, one of three teams to be perfect in conference play.
• Purdue was a perfect 5-for-5 in the red zone against Maryland, punching in four touchdowns and adding one field goal.

YOU'LL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT
• Purdue has produced one of the best red zone defenses in the country. With opponents scoring only 71 percent of the time in the area, the Boilermakers rank third in the Big Ten and 14th in the country.
• The defense also is efficient in getting off the field with a third down defense that ranks 23rd nationwide. Opponents are converting 30 percent of the time on third down.
• The Boilermakers have done a good job of limiting the run, surrendering less than 100 yards per game (96.7) to rank 17th nationally and only allowing 2.9 yards per rush.
• Purdue's rush defense has been even better in conference games, limiting the opposition to 71.3 yards on the ground per contest (2.6 yards per carry).
• The Boilermakers are one of 19 teams to allow three or fewer rushing touchdowns this season, and only one of those touchdowns has been by a running back.
• In the win over No. 21 Minnesota, Purdue held the Golden Gophers to 44 rushing yards on 26 carries; Minnesota entered the contest with the nation's No. 2 rushing attack with 294.5 yards per game.

PAYNE TRAIN
• Tight end Payne Durham once again came through in the clutch, catching the go-ahead touchdown pass before rumbling 56 yards to set up another late Purdue touchdown to help the team beat Maryland.
• Against the Terps, Durham made seven catches for 109 yards, both team highs, to record the third 100-yard game of his career.
• Durham moved into a tie for 11th in program history with 16 receiving touchdowns.
• Durham is now third on the career list for touchdown receptions by a tight end, trailing Dave Young (27, 1977-80), Brycen Hopkins (2016-19) and Dustin Keller (16, 2004-07).
• The senior tight end sits second on the team this year with 28 receptions for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
• Durham's progression in college from backup to all-conference caliber is made more impressive when you consider he played one year of high school football after playing lacrosse all his life.

SO CLOSE
• While Purdue is 4-2 on the season, the Boilermakers are 64 seconds away from being 6-0.
• Both losses came to teams that are currently ranked and unbeaten.
• No. 10 Penn State scored a go-ahead touchdown with 57 seconds to go to leave West Lafayette with a season-opening victory (Sept. 1)
• In the first road game of the season, the Boilermakers suffered a heartbreaking loss to now-No. 21 Syracuse after the Orange found the end zone with just seven seconds left in the ballgame.
• Four of Purdue's six games have been decided by four points-or-less.

FAST STARTS
• Whether it's the beginning of the game or coming out of the locker room, Purdue has gotten off to fast starts.
• The Boilermakers are outscoring the opposition 50-10 in the opening quarter.
• Purdue has scored a touchdown on three of its six opening drives.
• On the other side of the ball, Purdue's defense has forced a fumble and four three-and-outs by the opposition to kick off games; only Maryland found success on the opening drive, scoring a touchdown.

Game 7 Prep: Sellout Crowd Awaits Purdue Football's Return Home - Purdue Boilermakers (2024)
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