Maryland football will be heading on the road to face Purdue Saturday in search of its fourth win on the season and second in Big Ten play.
The Boilermakers come into this matchup truly aching from injuries and will be without starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar and potentially wide receiver Rondale Moore.
Even with such injuries, Purdue is a team that plays with no fear and will be hungry for its first conference win of the season on its homecoming day.
Here are some things to look for as the Terrapins and Boilermakers square off:
The Purdue offense is one-dimensional
Nothing about the Boilermaker offense stands out more than its minuscule 50.8 yards per game on the ground.
Even without Sindelar under center, backup quarterbacks Jack Plummer and Aidan O’Connell lead a pass-heavy offense.
As seen against Penn State last time out, Plummer had no issue trying to take chances with the ball in his hand. He uses this play-action pass to roll out to his right and hit wide receiver David Bell for a big gain down the middle.
The offense also thrives on getting players in space, even without Moore as one of its weapons. Here Plummer hit running back Zander Horvath out on the flank after a pre-snap motion for a touchdown against Minnesota.
Look for Purdue to try and utilize quick, easy passes to build momentum at the quarterback position due to its lack of a rushing attack.
Getting to the secondary is key
The Purdue defense is the unit that can make or break its game. The Boilermakers rank No. 113 in the nation in team defense, giving up 452.8 yards per game.
Minnesota utilized the quick pass against Purdue to help get their wide receivers in space. Chris Autman-Bell was able to catch this slant just 13 yards off of the line of scrimmage, but found his way through the secondary and in for the long score.
Penn State was also able to break down the Purdue secondary by getting the ball to playmakers like Jahan Dotson the ball in space downfield, allowing them to break tackles to gain extra yardage or even score.
The Purdue front seven is a group that can create havoc, however, tallying 12 sacks so far on the season. If Maryland is able to negate the pass rush and get through this unit on the ground, it could be a big day for the Terrapin offense.
Special teams could make a difference
Last time out against Penn State, Purdue showed some weakness in its punting and punt coverage game, with KJ Hamler making a difference for the Nittany Lions.
Hamler was able to take these punts and give Penn State better field position on its first two drives of the game to help the team jump out to an early 14-0 lead.
Despite not having DJ Turner back fielding punts, look for Rayshad Lewis and the Terrapins to try and create a starting field position mismatch against Purdue as well.
The bottom line
Maryland is facing a team without a lot of its weapons on both sides of the ball. Purdue will try to minimize this impact by getting the ball into space and testing the Terrapins’ offensive line.
Having Tyrrell Pigrome at quarterback will open the door for more designed runs and plays to help the offensive line manage any threats and get the ball down field.
With both teams hurting, look for the Terrapins and Boilermakers to simply try and outlast the other on Saturday.