Penn State defeated a team ranked in the top 2 of the AP poll for the first time in 26 years when the Nittany Lions knocked off No. 2 Ohio State at Beaver Stadium this past Saturday.
The win propelled the team into the top 25 for the first time since 2011. At 5-2 with a win against the Buckeyes, Penn State also has a chance to reach a New Year’s Six bowl game. First, the Nittany Lions must win a game away from Beaver Stadium.
Trips to Pittsburgh and Michigan did not go as planned. This game at Purdue could be the first road victory of the season, secure bowl eligibility and keep Penn State rolling. The Nittany Lions haven’t won four straight conference games since Oct. 2011.
Purdue is 3-4 and former coach Darrell Hazell was fired Oct. 16. The Boilermakers led Nebraska at halftime in interim coach Gerad Parker’s first game in charge before losing 27-14. They haven’t won against a ranked team since Oct. 21, 2011 when they defeated No. 21 Illinois. Purdue is 18-44 since that victory, including losses in 33 of 41 conference games.
Penn State at Purdue game time, details
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016
Location: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.
What TV channel is Penn State vs. Purdue on?
The game is being carried nationally on either ABC or ESPN2. Most of the Big Ten’s footprint will see the game on ABC.
How can I watch Penn State vs. Purdue online?
The game will be streamed on WatchESPN and on the WatchESPN app for mobile viewers.
Penn State vs. Purdue keys to the game
1. Limit big plays
Purdue leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game, but sophomore David Blough hasn’t been particularly efficient. Penn State’s pass defense has been very solid this season, and the Nittany Lions will have success if they keep the Boilermakers receivers in front of them and force Purdue to try and manufacture long drives.
2. Establish the run
The Boilermakers are 13th in the conference against the run, yielding nearly 250 yards per game. Penn State wasn’t consistent in the running game against Ohio State, but a few big plays made a big impact. Saquon Barkley should find room to run, and Trace McSorely should continue to supplement him and keep defenses off-balance. McSorley barely completed more than one-third of his throws against the Buckeyes, but if Penn State finds success early on the ground at Purdue, he should find plenty of open receivers as the game progresses.
The Nittany Lions are young, and they probably spent this week being showered with adoration from friends, family and classmates after a gigantic win. This team must now prove it is mature enough to handle real success, and the only way to do that is to not mess around against one of the worst teams in the league. Penn State should be able to move the ball on offense and pressure Blough into mistakes on defense. It should have little trouble winning this game, but the Nittany Lions wouldn’t be the first team to struggle one week after a monumental, emotional victory.