- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

No. 24 Penn State (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) at Purdue (3-4, 1-3), Noon (ABC/ESPN2)

Line: Penn State by 11½.

Series Record: Penn State leads 13-3-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

With Penn State suddenly in the mix for the Big Ten East title, it cannot afford to follow its biggest win of James Franklin’s tenure by slipping on the road. Purdue interim coach Gerad Parker is looking to build some momentum after a better-than-expected performance in last weekend’s loss at No. 7 Nebraska.

KEY MATCHUP

Penn State defense vs. David Blough. Purdue’s sophomore quarterback leads the Big Ten in yards passing per game (295.0), but he’s also struggled at times with interceptions (11). If the Nittany Lions defense plays like it did against No. 2 Ohio State, it could force Blough into more mistakes.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Penn State: Trace McSorley. The sophomore quarterback is only fifth in the league in yards passing (1,590), but he’s given the Nittany Lions a spark with his feet. He’s rushed for 217 yards and three TDs over the last three games and could excel again against the Big Ten’s second-worst run defense.

Purdue: Markell Jones. Before getting hurt against Cincinnati, Jones was expected to be a major factor in the Boilermakers’ offense. Since returning from the left shoulder injury, Jones has played in two games and has 19 carries for 69 yards against Iowa and the Cornhuskers. They’ll need more out of him to compete Saturday.

FACTS & FIGURES

Penn State has won seven straight in the series and will try to protect its first ranking since the 2011 season. … The Boilermakers are seeking their first win over a Top-25 foe since beating No. 23 Illinois in 2011 and their first win over the Nittany Lions since 2004. … The Nittany Lions have lost eight straight true road games, with their last win coming at Indiana in 2014. … Boilermakers WR DeAngelo Yancey needs one TD catch to make it into the top 10 in school history. He is tied for 11th with 15. … Penn State has allowed 74 points in the second half this season and has shut out two opponents in the final two quarters.

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AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org


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