Maryland vs. Purdue: Two Boilermaker starters won’t play

Purdue will be shorthanded on the offensive line for the second consecutive week.

Right tackle Matt McCann (ankle) and left tackle Martesse Patterson (personal reasons) aren’t listed on Purdue’s current depth chart. Neither played in the Boilermakers 24-14 win over Nevada this past weekend.

Junior Jalen Neal will get the start in place of Patterson and fifth-year senior Cameron Cermin will start at right tackle in McCann’s place.

Purdue’s offensive line didn’t seem to have any sort of their struggles in their absence. The unit surrendered just one sack and quarterback David Blough ended up passing for 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns despite first quarter struggles.

Running back Markell Jones returned from injury and accumulated 124 rushing yards and a touchdown behind the Boilermaker offensive line. It was Jones’ second 100-yard game of the 2016 season.

Jones currently ranks third in the Big Ten in rushing with 105.3 rushing yards-per-game. He is also averaging 5.2 yards-per-carry.

The lack of a pair of starters on the offensive line really shouldn’t alter Maryland’s defensive strategy a whole lot.

After all, Cermin and Neal did an admirable job filling in for McCann and Patterson against the Wolf Pack.

It also helps that Blough is a very mobile quarterback. In fact, he has also rushed for a pair of touchdowns on the season.

Obviously, he’s not going to be categorized as a dual-threat signal caller. However, he has the ability to slide in the pocket and even escape the pocket to make throws down the field.

Four of Blough’s five touchdown passes have come from 35 or more yards.

Maryland currently ranks seventh in the Big Ten with eight sacks on the season. Jesse Aniebonam leads the team with 2.5 sacks and also ranks eighth in the conference in that department.

Regardless of who lines up on the offensive line on Saturday, the Terps are going to be coming after the quarterback quite frequently.

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