clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Maryland football vs Purdue preview

Saturday will be a battle of the backups.

Mike Locksley vs Rutgers Sarah Sopher / Testudo Times

After securing its first Big Ten win of the season, Maryland football will remain on the road and head to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face the Purdue Boilermakers, who will be wearing special astronaut-themed jerseys.

The Terps comfortably won their first two games of the season, beating Howard and then-No. 22 Syracuse by a combined 122 points. The team then suffered two tough losses against Temple and then-No. 12 Penn State.

However, the team suffered another loss on the road this past weekend as starting quarterback Josh Jackson went down in the final minute of the first half with what is being classified as a mid-foot, high-ankle injury, according to Maryland head coach Mike Locksley.

Backup quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome will be the starting quarterback for Maryland this week as Jackson remains day-to-day. And even though Pigrome will be behind center on Saturday, there won’t be many alternations to the offense.

“We’re not going to change anything,” running back Javon Leake said. “But I feel like we’re going to take a [few] more shots and just open up the offense a little bit while we do the quick game.”

Saturday’s game is slated to start at noon ET and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Purdue Boilermakers (1-4, 0-2 Big Ten)

2018 record: 6-7, 5-4

Head coach Jeff Brohm is in his third season with the Boilermakers, guiding them to an even 13-13 record during his previous two years with the program. Prior to coming to West Lafayette, Brohm spent three years as the head coach of Western Kentucky. He led the Hilltoppers to two conference championships and a 2014 Bahamas Bowl win over Central Michigan.

Brohm and the Boilermakers are coming off of a season where they finished second place in the Big Ten Conference West Division and a Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl appearance — but were crushed by Auburn, 63-14.

Players to know

Jack Plummer, redshirt freshman quarterback, 6’5, 220 lbs, No. 13: Plummer didn’t begin the season as the Boilermakers starting quarterback but was thrust into the starting position due to an injury to starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar.

Since appearing in three games, and starting two, Plummer has gone 49-97 for 545 yards, with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s also been sacked 14 times and only has a 30.9 QBR. With Purdue struggling to establish a run all season, averaging just 50.8 yards per contest, the team’s offense has relied on the pass. Since his first career start, Plummer and Purdue’s offense average 259.5 passing yards and 19 points per game.

David Bell, freshman wide receiver, 6’2, 210 lbs, No. 3: With sophomore wide receiver Rondale Moore, who isn’t expect to play against Maryland, dealing with injuries, Bell has stepped up for Purdue’s receiving corps. The freshman has 17 catches for 300 yards and a touchdown. But Bell has clearly developed a relationship with Plummer as 11 of his 17 receptions this season have come in Plummer’s two starts.

“We like to play man coverage, we like to pressure the quarterback,” Locksley said. “And one thing when you watch [Purdue] on tape that they do a really good job of is on the back-shoulder throws, which versus man coverage is one of the toughest throws to defend.”

Ben Holt, fifth year linebacker, 5’11, 225 lbs. No. 44: Following four years at Western Kentucky, Holt transferred to Purdue to play under his father, Nick Holt, who is the Boilermakers’ co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. In his first season in West Lafayette, he has made a huge impact on defense. The Western Kentucky transfer is currently second in the Big Ten in total tackles with 55, including 30 solo and 25 assisted. For reference, defensive end George Karlaftis is second on the team in tackles with 27 and Maryland’s leading tackler is linebacker Ayinde Eley with 35 total tackles.


Receiving. Even with Moore out, Purdue has four players with over 150 yards of receiving, including three with over 200 receiving yards. As Wes noted, the Boilermakers thrive on getting their playmakers in space — a surefire way to build up Plummer’s confidence with easy passes when the rushing attack is struggling.

“[Purdue has] a lot of different personnel groupings that they play. That’s tough for any defense to prepare for,” linebacker Shaq Smith said. “They can go from a spread college football team to a pro style NFL team within different personnel groupings.”


Rushing. As eluded to earlier, Purdue has averaged just over 50 yards per game on the ground. The majority of the Boilermakers’ carries go to freshman King Doerue and sophomore Zander Horvath, who have a combined 81 carries.

But with the Purdue offense unable to establish a ground game, more pressure is added on the team’s redshirt quarterback to generate points. The Terps may continue to limit the Boilermakers’ rushing on Saturday considering Maryland’s defense allows an average of 114 rushing yards per game.

Three things to watch for

  1. How will Pigrome do in his first start of the 2019 season? In limited playing time, Pigrome thrived against Rutgers, finishing 13-18 with 111 passing yards and 22 rushing yards. With a win over a Purdue team that went to a bowl game last season, Pigrome could steal the starting quarterback position from Jackson. Although Pigrome has been used in sub-packages this season, Locksley has told him to be prepared in the case that his number is called.

“One of the things we’ve always tried to do was to prepare him mentally that you have to be ready when your opportunity comes,” Locksley said. “You never know when that is, and that’s where I think we’ve seen Piggy’s maturation in terms of preparing as if he’s a starter and not necessarily allowing in that I’m that backup, or looking at himself like a backup.”

2. Will the Terps remain undefeated against the Boilermakers? Maryland and Purdue have met a total of two times, once in College Park and another time in Orlando for the 2006 Champs Sports Bowl. The Terps walked away with victories in both instances, outscoring the Boilermakers 74-14. In this matchup, Maryland will travel to West Lafayette, Indiana, for the first time ever to take on Purdue with its undefeated record on the line.

3. How much will Purdue’s injuries impact the game? Similar to Maryland, the Boilermakers are dealing with quite a few injuries, causing a few shakeups in the offensive and defensive lines. Defensive tackle Anthony Watts, who had 11 total tackles this season, is out, according to Sports Illustrated.

After allowing 10 sacks to Plummer last weekend against Penn State, Purdue’s offensive line is still searching for answers. According to Tom Dienhard of, the Boilermakers have tried nine different offensive lineman in the past two games. Sophomore Sam Garvin will be making his first career start at center for the Boilermakers, replacing Viktor Beach who is out with a back injury.


Vegas: Maryland -3.5, O/U 53.5 (as of Thursday night)

ESPN FPI: Maryland 64.7% chance to win

Me: Maryland 35, Purdue 21

Catch up before the game: