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The running game is a joint effort between the backs and the offensive line, and neither was up to par on Saturday. Cierre Wood missed the game as he served the final game of a two-game suspension, but the stars of last week’s win over Navy, Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III, did little.
Riddick managed only 53 yards on 15 carries, while Atkinson III’s lone carry went for no gain. Purdue sold out against the run with a fair amount of success. T.J. Jones and Robby Toma each got carries on reverse plays, going for eight and six yards respectively.
It was a significant step back after last week, but Purdue has one of the stronger defensive fronts the Irish will see all season. However, next week's opponent, Michigan State, may have a better one. The running game must improve for the Irish to survive in East Lansing.