After two comfortable wins over Tennessee-Martin and Wyoming, Missouri goes on the road for a Saturday night game against Purdue.
The Boilermakers trounced the Tigers 35-3 last season in Columbia, but have started the year 0-2. Eastern Michigan rallied to beat Purdue 20-19 on Saturday.
This is a must-win game for Missouri coach Barry Odom, to show progress from last season and to keep fans engaged.
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Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: KMBZ (98.1 FM)
The line: Missouri by 7 1/2
Five things to know
This is a tough matchup between Missouri’s defensive line and Purdue’s offensive line: The Boilermakers return four starters to protect quarterback Elijah Sindelar, giving defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. and Co. plenty of experience to go up against.
Purdue lost a lot from its defense: The unit that held Missouri to three points only returned four starters and is ranked No. 93 in total defense. Missouri’s offense could run away with this game.
It’s the Sparks brothers bowl: Missouri cornerback Adam Sparks’ older brother Jared is a wideout for Purdue. The Sparks family wore shirts to last year’s game that read “PurZou” and likely will again Saturday. There’s a chance the brothers could be matched up against one another.
Missouri’s run game needs to do SOMETHING: In two blowout wins, the Tigers are averaging 4.1 yards per carry. That isn’t going to cut it in conference play. While the run game had twice as many yards on Saturday than in the season opener, Drew Lock helped inflate those numbers with his 51 rushing yards. The offensive line hasn’t helped much. Something’s gotta give.
Which team does Cuonzo Martin root for? Missouri’s basketball coach played at Purdue and was a longtime assistant coach there before being hired by Missouri State. But his alma mater isn’t signing his paychecks anymore. Any chance he calls the Sparks family for a size XL shirt?