staff, September 29, 2012

Purdue's passing attack looked sharp in the first 15 minutes of action, with 115 yards, and the Boilermakers lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Purdue took the game's first lead after Caleb TerBush tossed a nine-yard touchdown to Gary Bush on the last play of a 12-play, 89-yard drive.

Marshall got even after Rakeem Cato and Antavious Wilson hooked up for a four-yard touchdown to end a 12-play, 85-yard drive that tied the score at seven. Kevin Grooms' 20-yard run from the 34-yard line pushed the Thundering Herd into enemy territory.

A two-play, 44-yard scoring drive by the Boilermakers snapped the 7-7 stalemate, as TerBush and Antavian Edison combined for a 41-yard touchdown. Purdue began the drive with good field position after Akeem Hunt's big kickoff return.

Marshall will start the second quarter with the ball at the Boilermakers' 25-yard line.


Read more from senior writer Tom Dienhart here:

Player on the spot: Purdue defensive end Ryan Russell. He and the rest of a standout d-line need to contain and get pressure on Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato, who leads the nation in passing yards (1,481). Russell has been a bit banged up. Tackles Kawann Short and Bruce Gaston also could have a field day getting into the backfield to disrupt the timing of the go-go Thundering Herd offense.

Key matchup: Boilermaker cornerbacks Ricardo Allen and Josh Johnson vs. the Marshall receivers. This is one of the top corner tandems in the Big Ten and will get tested time and again vs. this prolific Thundering Herd passing game. Purdue can?t allow big plays and easy scores and get into a scoring competition with this Marshall attack.

Key number: 117th, Marshall?s rank in the nation in total defense. The Thundering Herd also is 97th vs. the pass, 112th vs. the run and 118th in scoring defense. Get the picture? The Boilermakers should be able to run, run and then run some more like they did in romping over Eastern Michigan 54-16 two weeks ago en route to ripping off 392 yards rushing and notching 576 yards overall.

Key note: Marshall offensive coordinator Bill Legg knows a thing or two about Purdue, serving on Joe Tiller?s staff from 2003-07. The last two, Legg was offensive coordinator for the Boilermakers.

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