Purdue likely without two starters at Missouri

Stacy Clardie, GoldandBlack.com staff
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Purdue running back Markell Jones, who started Game 1, and safety T.J. Jallow, also a Week 1 starter, likely won't play Saturday at Missouri.

Jeff Brohm said after Purdue's Thursday practice he's hopeful Jones will return to the field next week — Jones injured his knee on a kickoff return against Louisville. He called Jallow "doubtful" for Purdue's first true road game. Jallow's injury is unknown. He played limited reps in Purdue's home opener last week.

It's likely sophomore Navon Mosley will start in Jallow's place again — he did last week against Ohio. Mosley also can play nickel.

"Navon has done a good job," Brohm said. "He’s played a lot of snaps. We’ve got to find a way to make sure we spell him at least a little bit. But I think when he’s in there, other than a few times a game, he’s in the right position. He practices hard. He likes the game of football. I think he’ll continue to get better as the season goes on."

One player who could spell Mosley: Walk-on Antonio Blackmon. Brohm said Blackmon worked at safety and nickel during practice this week. Blackmon played sparingly in Week 1 but didn't get any defensive snaps last week.

"He’s had a great week of practice," Brohm said. "He’s wanting and itching to get on the field. Now is going to be his opportunity."

Brohm said he expects Purdue's top eight offensive linemen to be available for the game, and the Boilermakers likely will rotate again there. The plan will be to rotate on defense, too, but Missouri's uptempo offense can make that challenging, at times.

Etc.

• Brohm said Saturday's game against an SEC opponent on its home turf is a great opportunity for the Boilermakers. He'd consider a victory there a "great accomplishment."

"We need to take the next step forward," he said. "We don’t have a lot of margin for error. Our guys have to come ready to play. We’ve got to play hard. We’ve got to do the small things. We’ve got to take care of the ball. If we do that, I think we can be in the game. Really, that’s all you ask, be in the game in the second half, have a chance when the game is on the line and let’s see who can tough it out and find a way to win. Really this game, and all the games after that, that’s probably going to be the method for success. We’re going to have to fight to win every one.

"When you face teams like this, you never know what’s going to happen. You could be down 24 at half, you could be up 17. You’ve got to play 60 minutes. So it’s what you’ve got to try to build, the mentality that regardless of how it goes the first half, you continue to play hard. If you look at our first two games, we played hard just like we wanted, but we had very good first halves where we came in at halftime with the lead. That’s not going to happen every time. So we have to be ready for that. That’s where I want to see how we respond, in a situation like that."

• Brohm isn't going to say who's starting at quarterback, but he did say Thursday that he didn't factor into the equation this week that Purdue is playing in a true road game. The rest of his comments on the QBs were the same as they've been: They've improved and both can help Purdue win.

"You’ll probably see both of them in the game again," Brohm said, referencing David Blough and Elijah Sindelar, who's started the first two games. "I think both guys understand this is an important game for us. It’s a very good football team on the road. We’re going to have to play well at that position in order to win."

• It's been a unique summer/start to the season in that Purdue hasn't practiced much in extreme heat. But it will play in it Saturday with temperatures expected in the 90s in Columbia. Staying hydrated has been a point of emphasis, even when the local temps haven't been too high this week.

"I try to remind our guys cramping is not allowed," Brohm said. "So we’ve got to do whatever we can to not cramp and continue to play as much as we need them.

"We’ve got a couple different methods. We’ve got some cold tubs ready. We’re going to try not to IV anybody, but if we have to at halftime, we will. I really think just drinking the fluids and really filling yourself up with them, it’s got to be a constant thing. Sometimes you think you’re full of fluids, but you’re not. You’ve got to continue to put them down. I think our guys should handle that well. We’ve got one or two that are guys who could easily cramp because they’ve shown it, so we have to make sure we protect those especially but I think they’ll do a good job with it."

• Purdue defensive coaches were preaching to players this week to quickly run back to the line of scrimmage after each play, knowing Missouri's offense doesn't take much time between plays. Brohm said the Tigers hurry up, in part, to get some "cheap" plays against defenses that aren't lined up. He's hoping Purdue isn't one of those examples.

"I think we’ll do a good job of it," he said. "I think what has to happen as they get going throughout the drive and we get a little tired, maybe we’re not subbing as much as we’re able to, then I could see some problems happening. But we’ve worked it hard.

"I think what we’ve done in the past is we’ve got some automatic calls we go to just in case they’re going so fast you can’t see the sideline. Then from there, then we might make a call. What we try to do is even if our play caller passes out, they know what to line up in and we can go. That’s what we try to tell them — don’t wait on us. Get lined up to the formation, then look at us. If you don’t have time to look at us, we’ve got an automatic call to go to."

• Purdue will wear its gold chrome helmets for the second consecutive week Saturday. There could be changes to the uniform combination — Brohm approved a not-yet-worn look earlier in the week — but he said Thursday he couldn't remember what the jersey-pant pairing would be.

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