First year Purdue head coach Ryan Walters has had a disappointing debut season in West Lafayette.
Like IU, the Boilermakers are 3-8 and only playing for pride and The Old Oaken Bucket on Saturday.
Here’s a quick transcript of what Walters had to say about Indiana and coach Tom Allen before his first game in the rivalry series. Further below you can read Allen’s specific comments on Purdue during the week.
The Hoosiers and Boilermakers kick at Noon ET at Ross Ade Stadium Saturday (BTN).
RYAN WALTERS ON INDIANA
Q. Just with respect to Indiana, what are the challenges? The quarterback has played better of late. They’ve lost two close games here recently. What do you see in the Hoosiers?
RYAN WALTERS: Like you said, they are playing their best ball towards the end of the year. They have a lot of experienced guys up front offensively.
The quarterback is a tough, bigger guy that can run around and throws a good deep ball.
Running backs are big, powerful, Big Ten-type backs. One is, like, 6’3″, 240. The other one is 5’11”, 225. Big bruiser-type backs.
They have a lot of length on the outside. Then they have a speedy slot/running back, No. 12. I think they do a good job of utilizing the personnel and getting into different formations that are unique within that personnel grouping.
Their run game and pass game complement each other, so you have to have your eyes in the right spot all the time, and their guys on the outside do a great job of winning the 50/50 balls.
Defensively they’re multiple. They’re aggressive. So they pose problems that way. They’re long on the secondary as well, so it’s a good football team. It’s going to be a rivalry game. The atmosphere is going to be awesome, and so it’s going to be a tough and physical game for sure.
To me it’s how disciplined can we play, how clean can we play? That will be the telltale by the end of the game.
Q. Have you run into Tom Allen? Obviously you have coached against him over the years at Illinois, et cetera. Talk about him and what he brings to their program.
RYAN WALTERS: He’s a great guy. He’s very familiar with the state, with the high school background. Defensive mind. So I always pay attention to defensive guys.
I’ve been impressed with his career and what he’s been able to do, but he’s an old-school, hard-nosed, does everything by the book type guy. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.
TOM ALLEN ON PURDUE
Q. Obviously personnel-wise Purdue is different than past years, but obviously they changed over coaching staffs from the teams that you’ve played over the past several years. What have you been able to see from Purdue and what differences do you see in the way this team operates?
TOM ALLEN: Well, different offensive system, different defensive system, so schematically quite a bit different. Obviously they’ve always thrown the ball well. They’re running the ball really well lately.
Last two games in a row they’ve been over 300 yards rushing, which is very impressive. They’ve got two talented running backs and their O-line is being very effective in what they’re doing. They’ve made adjustments throughout the season.
Very talented quarterback, which has been consistent since I’ve been here. Hudson Card is a very, very talented player. He can beat you with his legs, beat you with his arm. He’s an elite football player in my opinion.
Then defensively the scheme obviously, Coach Walters being a defensive guy and bringing that system they ran at Illinois so well there, and they do a really good job in lot of those areas.
Definitely a lot of changes, a lot of changes in personnel, as well, and new team. Just but same bucket, and that’s really what this is all about, is getting back the bucket.
Q. On the strength of Purdue’s running game
TA: They’re running different schemes and they’ve adapted throughout the season just to be able to match their talent up front with their talent in the backfield. I think they’ve got two elite running backs who do a good job of running what they do, and that’s obviously a huge part of it. And they have a third guy who is very effective, as well. So, between the combination of the talent in the backfield as well as being able to do the things up front that their guys can do well. It’s been effective, there’s no doubt about it. Obviously, the proof is in the numbers and the film doesn’t lie. So, hats off to them for being able to adapt to their personnel and be able to get the most out of that so obviously takes a ton of pressure off your throw game when you run the ball that effectively.
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