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What to know: Purdue spring football game

On3 imageby:Tom Dienhart04/11/24

TomDienhart1 Video: Ryan Walters, Spring Practice No. 11 - Sd 480p

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Here’s what to know about Purdue’s spring football game.

• Kickoff is at noon ET on Saturday inside Ross-Ade Stadium. Admission is free.

• The game will be shown live on BTN and has a two-hour window. Rob Blackman will do play-by-play with Jake Butt serving as analyst. Brooke Fletcher will work the sidelines.

• This will be Ryan Walters‘ first spring game at Purdue. One was not held last year, due to a lack of personnel. The 2023 spring game was slated to be held at Folk Field (the women’s soccer facility), as Ross-Ade Stadium was not available due to on-going renovation work.

• Walters says the format of the 2024 spring game will be similar to a four-quarter game with players in full pads.

The No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense will be on one team. The No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense will be on the other team. That will allow the first-team offense and first-team defense to square off. And the second-teams to battle each other.

“The ‘Ones’ tempo will be what they call ‘punch’ tempo, where we’re pretty much live up front,” said Walters. “But when it comes to the ballcarriers, just two hands, palms down and tag them on the hip and they’re down. That way, guys aren’t having big collisions and staying up.

“But when the ‘Twos’ are out there, it’ll be live. We’ll tackle a little bit, get good work.”

• If it’s third and 1, it will an automatic first down, so as to avoid hard collisions. If it’s goal-to-goal from the 1-yard line, it will be an automatic touchdown.

• On punts, the defense will just take the NCAA average punt distance and flip the field. Instead of kickoffs, offenses will start on the 25-yard line.

“So, we’ll still get some game-like flow, which is modified a little bit to take care of each other,” said Walters.

• Walters does not expect to hold out any players.

“I don’t anticipate so just because of the format,” said Walters. “We might pull a couple guys after halftime or so. We’ll just kind of get a feel for it. I might get to a point where I’m like, ‘OK, he’s done. We’ve seen enough.’

“I kind of have a good feel for who our guys are and who we’re gonna count on from this group right now. So, like I said, the utmost importance is to just remain healthy going into the summer session.”

Some key players who figure to be limited as they come off injury in 2023:

C Gus Hartwig

OT Marcus Mbow

G Mahamane Moussa

TE Max Klare

DL Damarjhe Lewis

WR Jahmal Edrine

CB Derrick Rogers

And there is no need for proven healthy vets like RB Devin Mockobee, QB Hudson Card, ILB Kydran Jenkins, NT Cole Brevard, CB Markevious Brown and S Dillon Thieneman–among others–to play a lot. But, stay tuned. We shall see.

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