WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue’s football team will be in Eugene, Ore., by Friday, the final step in adapting to the three-hour time difference.
But before the Boilermakers leave for the Pacific Northwest, coach Danny Hope has other plans to try to get them prepared for a late game against Oregon.
Instead of a late afternoon practice that wraps about 6:30 p.m., Purdue will push practice back to a likely 9 p.m. start. The team will practice for a couple of hours in hopes of getting their bodies prepared for what will be a 10:15 p.m. kickoff.
Hope said he’s not worried about the odd travel schedule – the team likely won’t return to West Lafayette until early Sunday morning – affecting the group’s preparation.
Getting back around daylight is nothing unusual, Hope said. You sleep on the bus or the plane on the way back, run home, shave, kiss your wife and go back to work. We can manage that.
I don’t really see it being different than any other game or any other trip. We have to get ready to play.
Go West, young men
With a non-conference schedule that has largely consisted of home games the past four years, some players are excited to play in a new venue, even if it’s one that’s expected to be a hostile environment.
Purdue has played at Toledo, Notre Dame, Hawaii and Arizona since 2005.
Going to Oregon is going to be a special venue, fifth-year senior quarterback Joey Elliott said. Supposedly, they’re wearing their glow-in-the-dark jerseys for the night game, which will be something special and unique to see and be a part of it. I’m just like any other college fan. I like to going to different venues and seeing different places.
My freshman year, we went to Arizona. It’s one of the loudest places I’ve been. I think the stadium was shaking the whole time we were out on the field. I think Oregon will compare to that.
Inside the huddle
Despite Ralph Bolden breaking through with 234 rushing yards and Jaycen Taylor being a more than capable No. 2 back, Hope said he hasn’t considered redshirting freshman running back Al-Terek McBurse. McBurse was injured for much of camp and didn’t play in the opener, but Hope said he wouldn’t count him out for this season. Hope said he expects everyone who was healthy for the opener to be back on the field Saturday. The Bermuda grass practice field is ready to go and has been lined. But with Oregon playing on FieldTurf, Purdue likely won’t practice on grass this week.