Syracuse braces for stiff challenge from Purdue


Syracuse has been impressive through the first two weeks of the season, but a stiff challenge awaits Saturday when the Orange travel to take on Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.

The Orange (2-0) trounced Colgate 65-0 on Sept. 2 and whipped Western Michigan 48-7 last Saturday. They are third nationally in scoring offense, trailing only Oregon and USC, and their defense has been stout, as well. No team has yielded fewer points per game than Syracuse (3.5), which has recorded a defensive touchdown in each of its first two games.

That is particularly noteworthy because Purdue (1-1) is one of only nine FBS teams that has yet to commit a turnover this season.

The Boilermakers outlasted Virginia Tech and Mother Nature — there was a weather-related delay of nearly 5 1/2 hours — in last weekend’s 24-17 road triumph. But Purdue first-year coach Ryan Walters certainly won’t be satisfied with one early-season victory.

“The goal was never to get just the first one. It’s to get them every week,” Walters said. “I didn’t put any added pressure going into Week 2 with dropping Week 1. Preparation and the routine week in and week out is going to be the same no matter who we’re playing or what’s at stake.”

Hudson Card has two passing touchdowns and a rushing score thus far this season for Purdue, while running back Devin Mockobee has found the end zone in each of the first two games.

“The guy is good, there’s no doubt about it,” Orange coach Dino Babers said of Card, a transfer from Texas. “He will be the best quarterback we face so far.”

Of course, Syracuse has a formidable two-man attack of its own. Garrett Shrader enters this one with 543 passing yards and five touchdowns (plus a running score), while LeQuint Allen has averaged 5.3 yards per carry with four TDs on the ground.

Syracuse won last season’s meeting with Purdue, 32-29, as the teams combined for 42 fourth-quarter points. Shrader finished with three passing touchdowns, two coming to Oronde Gadsden II, who injured his foot last weekend and is questionable for Saturday’s clash.

–Field Level Media

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