Players to Watch: Purdue

Check out two players to watch as Indiana takes on its rival Purdue on Saturday. One of them is making his return from injury.

With every game Indiana plays this season, we'll take a look at a few players that we think could be key contributors in the upcoming game. Here are the key players for the Purdue game.

OFFENSE

Nick Stoner

The Hoosier passing attack has struggled since Nate Sudfeld was lost for the season. While a lot of that may lie on the shoulders of the inexperience at quarterback, the young receiver corps certainly hasn't helped. Against Rutgers two weeks ago, Indiana receivers dropped four third down passes. Last week against Ohio State, the drops continued to haunt the Hoosiers. With a lot of freshmen and sophomore receivers in the lineup, the group has missed one of its senior leaders in Stoner, who hasn't played since the Michigan State game on Oct. 18 due to a hamstring injury.

The 6-foot-1 senior has a solid combination of hands and speed, which he will be able to use to get behind the Boilermaker secondary on Saturday. Zander Diamont has been forced to rely heavily on Shane Wynn, who has 18 receptions for 213 yards and one touchdown in his last two outings. It will be helpful to have a second reliable pass catcher, and Stoner is someone that Diamont will be able to find in order to spread out the attack. Stoner has 18 receptions for 177 yards and one touchdown in seven games this season, and he will look to surpass his single season career-high of 226 receiving yards in his final game in crimson and cream.

DEFENSE

Mark Murphy

Murphy has been an impact player for four years now, and in his final game as a Hoosier he could be a difference maker, both in stopping the run and in coverage. The four-year starter at safety has a knack for making big plays, his most notable of the season coming in the form of a pick six against Penn State.

Murphy has been all over the field for the Hoosier defense this year. He currently is tied for fourth on the team with 48 tackles, to go along with 2.5 tackles for a loss and two interceptions. Murphy's biggest strength is coming up with big plays on key downs. On numerous occasions this season, Murphy has made a huge open-field tackle to stop an opponent short of a first down. He works extremely hard on every play, and he will leave it all out on the field in his last career game.


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