Eastern Michigan (0-2) at Purdue (1-1)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 15, 12:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ross-Ade Stadium (62,500) -- West Lafayette, Indiana.
Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: EMU 0-1, Purdue 1-0. Away Record:
EMU 0-1, Purdue 0-1. Neutral Record: EMU 0-0, Purdue 0-0. Conference Record:
EMU 0-1, Purdue 0-0. Series Record: Purdue leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Eastern Michigan will continue to search for its first win of the
season when the Eagles travel to Ross-Ade Stadium for a non-conference battle
with the Purdue Boilermakers.
The Eagles' home opener was spoiled by costly turnovers as they suffered a
31-14 setback to the Illinois State Redbirds of the FCS. EMU committed five
turnovers and nine penalties while being held scoreless in the second half of
the defeat. Head coach Ron English was a perfect 3-0 versus Purdue while
serving as an assistant at Michigan from 2003-2007. English, now in his fourth
season as EMU's head coach, has an 8-30 career record. The Eagles have lost
their previous four games dating back to last season. Eastern Michigan has
outscored its opponents, 27-3, in the second quarter of its first two games,
but it has yet to get on the board in the first or third quarter of a game
Purdue came up just short its last time out as Kyle Brindza's 27-yard field
goal with seven seconds left gave Notre Dame a 20-17 victory in the instate
rivalry game. The Boilermakers erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter
before the Fighting Irish jumped back in front at the last second. Head coach
Danny Hope's squad is now 1-1 with two more non-conference tests before
beginning Big Ten play. The Boilermakers rank in the top half of the Big Ten
in nearly every statistical category.
This will be just the second meeting in history between EMU and Purdue. The
Boilermakers hold a 1-0 advantage after cruising to a 49-3 victory in their
first-ever matchup against the Eagles in 1991.
EMU has plenty of room for improvement offensively after two games. The
Eagles are averaging just 20 points and a MAC worst 307 yards of total offense
per game. Dual-threat quarterback Alex Gillett is leading the team with 230.5
total yards per game. The senior signal caller is currently ranked fourth in
program history in total offensive yards.
Gillett is producing a team-best 65 yards per game on the ground. Javonti
Green (88 yards on 15 carries) and Dominique Sherrer (51 yards on 18 carries)
could see their roles in the offense expand, as English is sure to mix things
up in an effort to cure EMU's offensive woes.
None of the Eagles' wide receivers have stood out so far in the early season.
Tight end Garrett Hoskins leads the team with five catches and two touchdown
Eastern Michigan's defense has been unimpressive, allowing 483.5 yards and 34
points per game. The inability to stop the run has been a glaring issue as
Ball State and Illinois State rushed for a combined 545 yards and seven
touchdowns in the first two games.
Defensive back Bryan Pali opened up the 2012 season with a team-high 17
tackles against Ball State and leads the team in stops for the season. Six
other players have recorded double-digit stops.
Senior defensive lineman Andy Malumba will be looking to ride some personal
momentum into West Lafayette after submitting a career-best nine tackle
performance against Illinois State.
With previously declared starter Caleb TerBush suspended for the season opener
for violating team rules, Robert Marve played well enough in his place to
convince Danny Hope to alternate the quarterbacks against Notre Dame. TerBush
got the start and threw for 79 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions on
8-of-19 passing in his debut. Marve completed 11-of-18 passes for 119 yards
and a score in the loss.
Senior WR Antavian Edison will attempt to extend his consecutive games with a
reception streak to 24. Edison and O.J. Ross are tied for the team-lead with
an average of 6.5 catches per game.
Purdue's ground attack has played second fiddle to its aerial assault so far,
but Akeem Shavers should be able to slice through EMU's weak rush defense and
improve upon his average of 55.5 yards per game.
The Boilermakers' defensive unit has stifled their opponents this season.
Purdue held Eastern Kentucky to just 190 yards of total offense, while Notre
Dame managed just 52 rushing yards on 39 carries. The Fighting Irish found
some success through the air (324 yards), but the Boilermakers managed to
record five sacks and force two fumbles in the contest.
Kawann Short is off to a hot start with three sacks in two games. The All-
America candidate defensive tackle is one of the biggest reasons Purdue is
nearly impossible to run against. He is a half sack away from placing himself
on the school's all-time career sacks top-10 list.
Purdue's special teams unit is amongst the best in the country as well. Punter
Cody Webster was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after
having six of his seven punts fall inside Notre Dame's 20-yard line.
EMU came out flat and failed to executive offensively last time out against an
FCS opponent. Purdue should have no problem shutting down Gillett and the
Eagles' offense TerBush and Marve's battle for time at quarterback will keep
the Boilermakers moving offensively as they bounce back from their
heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 38, Eastern Michigan 10
09/12 11:16:28 ET