Michigan defensive players Desmond Morgan, Jordan Kovacs and Kenny Demens talk about the defensive…
Purdue multi-set offense has UM D's attention
Now enters the Purdue offense, which ranks 13th in the nation in scoring offense at 42.5 points per game, with a Boilermakers multi-formation system that has the Wolverine defense on full alert.
"Oh they are really good," said senior Kenny Demens. "I like what they do as far as getting the running backs and splitting them out as receivers. (They) put the receivers in the backfield and tight ends all over the place. I like what they do. They're going to be a good team. We just got to come out there prepared, and hopefully we can get a win."
Purdue senior quarterback Caleb Terbush leads the Boilermaker passing attack that is second in the Big Ten at 262 yards per game. TerBush took over for injured senior Robert Marve during the Notre Dame 20-17 loss in game two.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said the Purdue offense has a lot of skill, and that TerBush has stepped up in Marve absence.
"Offensively they've got good skill, and they've had good skill," Hoke said. "They had good skill last year. A lot of some of the same guys playing. I think (Caleb) TerBush is better. I think the quarterback, he was—(Robert) Marve was the guy; he got hurt. I think this guy has come in and been very—percentage pass-wise he done a good job with the football."
With Purdue having a high-powered offensive attack, sophomore Desmond Morgan said that playing a similar team tempo-wise to Air Force has the Wolverine defense prepared for the Boilermakers.
"I think the tempo—we have a little understanding of what it is like, just from playing that (Air Force) game," Morgan said on the Purdue style of play. "Obviously a completely different offense with a completely different style. It's going to be a whole new world out there. I think the tempo a little bit—just experiencing it in the past will help a little bit."
Morgan, said he watched the Purdue game on Saturday. He noticed the team speed in the Boilermakers 51-41 victory over Marshall.
"They're quick," Morgan said. "You know they are a high scoring high powered offense. That's something we got to slow down. And they run some quick tempo things and stuff like that. That's something we've got to adapt to and be ready to stop."
With the different formation sets, Demens says the defense has to focus on the Purdue players moving before the ball is snapped.
"We have to be good with our eyes," Demens explained. "We have to locate. They move guys around…we have to locate those guys. If we're in man coverage we have to play sound. They have good receivers. They have good speed on their offense also. "
With the Big Ten championship still up for the taking, Demens says the mentality of the defense going forward is to "play hard and play fast."
"We understand what's at stake here. One loss can do it for us. We don't want that at all. We just have to be on top of everything—any small detail that can lose a ball game for us. We just want to be on top of everything—play hard and play fast. And that's all we can ask for."
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