Facts & Figures: Gophers at Purdue

Matt Jessen-Howard, Publisher
The Gopher Report

Associated Press

Time: 2:30 PM CT
TV: ESPN2 - Jason Benetti (play-by-play), Kelly Stouffer (analyst), Kris Budden (reporter) Beniati (play-by-play)
Radio: KFAN 100.3 - Mike Grimm (play-by-play), Darrell Thompson (analyst), Justin Gaard (sideline), Kevin Falness (host), Corbu Stathes (host)


Vegas: Purdue by 4
S&P+: Minnesota No. 44, Purdue No. 72
F/+: Minnesota No. 36, Purdue No. 71
FEI: Minnesota No. 33, Purdue No. 67
TeamRankings: Minnesota No. 34, Purdue No. 53



- Minnesota is 37-23-3 all-time against Purdue and has won the last four meetings. The four game win streak is Minnesota’s longest win streak against the Boilermakers. The Gophers are just 6-20 all-time playing in West Lafayette.

- Minnesota’s giving up just 13.8 points per game, which is No. 11 nationally and fourth in the Big Ten. The Gophers are No. 12 and fourth in total defense, giving up 283.3 yards per game.

- The Gophers played 108 minutes and 49 seconds of second half football without giving up a score before allowing Maryland to score last week.

- The Gophers have allowed opponents in the redzone just seven times this season, which is tied for the second fewest in the nation.

- Minnesota’s scored four touchdowns of 60+ yards this season. The last time the Gophers had four 60+ yard touchdowns in an entire season was 2006.

- Conor Rhoda is seventh in the nation in yards per completion, at 15.9. The Gophers had just 18 completions of 25 yards or more last season. Rhoda already has 17.

- The Gophers have two 30+ wins this season, against Maryland and Oregon State. The last time they had two 30+ wins was in 2006.

- Rodney Smith is just 215 yards away from cracking into the Gophers’ top ten all-time rushing yards list. He’s just one touchdown away from cracking the top ten for all-time rushing touchdowns.

- Before both backs fumbled against Maryland, Rodney Smith had gone 238 carries and Brooks 206 without fumbling.

- The Gophers are eighth in the nation in average time of possession, with 34:29.

- Minnesota’s the fifth-fewest penalized team in the nation and the least-penalized team in the Big Ten.

- Emmit Carpenter is the most accurate kicker in school history. He’s 28/33 (84.8%). Chip Lohmiller is second, at 76%.

- Minnesota has two players from Indiana: Nate Wozniak of Center Grove HS in Greenwood and Esezi Otomewo of Ben Davis HS in Indianapolis.


- Purdue’s coming off a bye week. Their last game was a 28-10 loss to Michigan and the first Ross-Ade Stadium sellout since Joe Tiller’s last game in 2008.

- Jeff Brohm comes to Purdue from Western Kentucky, where he went 30-10 and won Conference USA championships in 2015 and 2016. Under Brohm, the Hilltoppers averaged 44.6 points per game and 356.6 passing yards per game. His quarterbacks completed 69.2 percent of passes and threw 131 touchdowns to just 25 interceptions.

- Brohm’s offense is first nationally in games scoring 50+ points since 2014 and games scoring 40+ points since 2014.

- Purdue receiver Terry Wright was a one-time Gopher target under Tracy Claeys and played at Coffeyville CC with Donnell Greene.

- Sophomore running back Brian Lankford-Johnson grew up in Minnesota and attended Cretin-Derham Hall for freshman year, a part of his sophomore year, then transferred to St. Paul Johnson, and then to a school in Florida. He’s Purdue’s No. 2 running back. Jared Sparks is a freshman quarterback and receiver (yes, both) that played with Coney Durr at Duchtown HS in Louisiana. Sophomore running back Jack Wegher played with Brock Annexstad at IMG Academy.

- Purdue is 15/15 scoring in the redzone this year.

- Purdue cornerbacks coach Derrick Jackson coached at Northern Illinois when Matt Simon played there and coached at Wake Forest when Gopher graduate assistant Keli’kuewa Kekuewa was there as a recruiting intern.

- Joe Tiller passed away on September 30 at the age of 74 in Buffalo, Wyoming. Tiller was the winningest coach in school history, posting a 87-62 record, including 53-43 in the Big Ten. Tiller introduced the spread offense to Purdue and basketball-crazed Indiana dubbed the offense “basketball on grass.”

- After ranking 117th in scoring defense last year, the Purdue defense ranks No. 46 this year, allowing just 21.8 points per game.

- The Purdue pass rush has been inconsistent. Before the Michigan game, the defense had just one sack and eight tackles for loss. In the first half alone against Michigan, Purdue had three sacks and six tackles for loss.

- Tight ends Cole Herdman and Brycen Hopkins have combined for 20 catches for 383 yards and four touchdowns this season, making them one of the more productive tight end combos in the country. Herdman leads tight ends nationally in yards per catch and has caught passes in 21 consecutive games.

- Purdue just completed construction of a new football complex, which cost $65 million. It’s a three-level, 112,000 square foot facility.

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