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Purdue Boilermakers

The opponent: Purdue (4-5, 2-3) plays host to No. 3 Ohio State (10-0, 5-0) at noon Saturday (WRTV-6, WNDE-1260 AM). The Buckeyes are allowing just 12.8 points per game, third best in the nation. "What's impressive is the way they come at you with numbers," coach Joe Tiller said. "They certainly have seven defensive linemen that could start for any team in the league."

Quarterback update: Tiller said freshman quarterback Brandon Kirsch, who chipped a bone in his throwing hand during an off-the-field altercation on Oct. 27, is questionable for Saturday after being fitted with a new brace on Monday. Tiller said he will watch both Kirsch and Kyle Orton -- whom Kirsch displaced as the starter two games ago -- in practice the next two days and may not announce a starter until just before game time. "I was pleased with the way Kyle practiced last week," Tiller said. "We're pretty comfortable with the way he fits in the game plan right now."

Support for Kirsch: Tiller said any punishment Kirsch receives for getting into the fight at a Purdue fraternity house will be kept private and won't involve missing game action. He also said he believes Kirsch was provoked. "It's hard for me to discipline a player for something I might have done or anyone else in this room might have done."

More injury news: Defensive tackle Craig Terrill, who has started 29 games in his career, also is questionable for Saturday after suffering a knee injury in a 42-13 victory over Northwestern on Oct. 26. "Our concern is playing him in this game and risk not having him for the last two games," Tiller said.

Ranked-foe woes: Purdue is 0-3 against teams in this week's Associated Press poll -- having lost to No. 6 Iowa, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 13 Michigan -- and has lost seven in a row to ranked opponents overall.

-- Michael Pointer
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