FORT WAYNE – Minnesota coach Jerry Kill summed up this Saturday’s game against Purdue in five words.
We both need a win, Kill said during his weekly news conference Tuesday.
Purdue (3-4 overall, 0-3 Big Ten) and Minnesota (4-3, 0-3) are looking to capture their first conference victory of the season.
Both have lost three straight. Purdue lost a 29-22 heartbreaker in overtime at Ohio State last week.
Coach Danny Hope saw some improvements, particularly in tackling. He credited a strong week of practice.
I believe we got some carry-over in the game this past Saturday. We tackled much better this past Saturday than a week ago, Hope said. So we have to go out and practice well, practice like we did last week with a great sense of urgency.
And we have everything in the world to gain. We’re in a one-game season. It’s a huge game for our football team this weekend, and all of our focus has to be directed (toward) playing our very best against a good Minnesota football team.
Kill’s words can also be applied to Saturday’s game between Indiana (2-5, 0-3) and Illinois (2-5, 0-3).
The Hoosiers have lost five straight. Illinois has lost four consecutive games.
We are in a position where in our time we went from maybe significant plays needed to win a game, now it’s a play, but to do that, we’ve got to believe that we’re going to make the plays, IU coach Kevin Wilson said Tuesday.
RB making strides
Purdue running back Ralph Bolden had a team-high nine carries for 35 yards against the Buckeyes.
It was Bolden’s second game after a knee injury in last year’s regular-season finale at Indiana. He has 13 carries for 42 yards this year.
He can’t go out and carry the ball an inordinate amount of times from a stamina standpoint, Hope said. But I thought this past Saturday he made good plays and showed great quickness against top competition.