Purdue Football 2021: Week 5 – Minnesota

12:00 PM ET


Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana (Cap. 57,236)


Forecast: 74°F, 42% chance of rain, Scattered Showers, Winds 8mph SSW

2021 Record

Purdue (3-1) 

Minnesota (2-2)

S&P+ Rankings

Purdue – 60

Minnesota – 56

All-Time Series Wins

Purdue – 52

Minnesota – 42

Ties – 4

Last Win In Series

October 7th, 2017 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana (31-17)

November 20th, 2020 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota (34-31)

Projected Starting Lineups


QB: Aidan O’Connell

RB: Dylan Downing

LT: Greg Long

LG: Spencer Holstege

C: Gus Hartwing

RG: Tyler Witt

RT: Eric Miller

TE: Garrett Miller

WR: David Bell

WR: TJ Sheffield

WR: Milton Wright

NT: Lawrence Johnson

DT: Branson Deen

DE: George Karlaftis

DE: DaMarcus Mitchell

OLB: Jaylan Alexander

MLB: Kieren Douglas

OLB: Jalen Graham

CB: Jamari Brown

FS: Cam Allen

SS: Marvin Grant

CB: Dedrick Mackey

K: Mitchell Fineran

P: Jack Ansell

LS: Nick Zecchino

KR: TJ Sheffield

PR: Jackson Anthrop


2021 Stat Comparison

Offensive Points per game26.225.5
Offensive Rushing Yards Per Game93.5209.3
Offensive Passing Yards Per Game314135
Total Offensive Yards Per Game407.5344.3
Defensive Points per game14.221.2
Defensive Rushing Yards Per Game124.377
Defensive Passing Yards Per Game176.8195.8
Total Defensive Yards Per Game301.0272.8

What to Watch For

It’s homecoming weekend and Purdue is looking to party like it’s 2007 tonight. A win today would propel the Boilers to their best start since 2007, but standing in their way are PJ Fleck, a few Gophers and some row boats. It’s an annual matchup where the squads don’t like each other all too much. Let’s see how they stack up.

On offense we are expecting Purdue to make the change at Quarterback position, with Aidan O’Connell sliding in to the starting role. Expecting King Doerue to be a game time decision, and eyes will be peeled during warm ups for his presence. Payne Durham may also be a game time decision but is unlikely to play, with Garrett Miller taking over the top tight end spot. All eyes will turn to David Bell, who may be returning from a concussion suffered against Notre Dame in week 3. As the offense looks to kick start a pulse this week, they will have a tough test against a very experienced and stout front seven for Minnesota. The Gophers two inside linebackers Sori-Marin and Gibbens lead them in tackling while, senior defensive end Boye Mafe leads their squad in sacks with 4. The Minnesota secondary has had some issues this season, in particular their nickleback and safety Justus Harris. According to PFF he has a high opposing reception rate at 73.7% and a low tackling grade. Purdue will be looking expose that by trying to keep Minnesota spread out. That means the offensive line will need to be able to handle 4 man rushes consistently. If Minnesota is able to get home on 3 man rushes today, it might be another long afternoon for the Boilermaker offense.

On the defense side, we are expecting Mitchell to be a go and Deen to be a game time decision. Purdue will need both and likely all the depth it can against an old, experienced, massive, and frankly great Minnesota offensive line. This will likely be one of the toughest lines Purdue will face all season long, and they will play quite a few good ones. Running the rock for the Gophers will be Treyson Potts and Mar’Keise Irving in relief. Potts is average 4.9 yards per rush attempts. Boilers will need production out of all front seven positions. Jalen Graham will likely spend most of the afternoon in coverage, defending Minnesota’s RPO offense that has frankly plagued Purdue defense for years. Purdue’s new press-man aggressive defense may not have been specifically picked to defend Minnesota’s RPO offense but it sure does matchup very well schematically. Throwing the pigskin for the Gophers is a familiar face for the Boilers, Tanner Morgan. Since having an incredible sophomore season in 2019, Morgan has slowly regressed, throwing 10 touchdowns to 7 interceptions dating back to last season. Chris Autman-Bell will be the biggest threat at the receiver position for Purdue and will likely draw the assignment of Jamari Brown, who has been quite the revelation the past two weeks. Dylan Wright and Daniel Jackson are two other primary threats in the passing game.

Obviously a 4-1 start for the Boilers would be massive, especially heading into a much needed bye week next week. With the Gophers coming off an embarrassing upset against Bowling Green at home last week, they will be playing angry and refocused. This will be quite the test for Purdue this week in a match that will bring a contender to the top from the middle of the pack.


Radio: Purdue Radio Network


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