FORT WAYNE – Purdue can make a statement with a victory Saturday against Michigan.
But coach Danny Hope put the game in perspective during his weekly teleconference Tuesday.
Its a fantastic opportunity for our football team, our program, all of the Boilermaker nation. Its not necessarily a do-or-die situation. Theres still a lot of good football to be played, and obviously there seems to be a lot of parity in the league, Hope said.
Were in a different division, but this one certainly counts. It would be huge for our football team to get another win in Ross-Ade Stadium and continue to be undefeated in Ross-Ade Stadium, and a win over a quality opponent like Michigan would be just fantastic for our team and our program.
The Old Brass Spittoon is on the line when Indiana faces Michigan State on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Spartans have a 41-12-1 lead in Spittoon games. The trophy has been awarded to the winner of the contest since 1950.
We havent made that the focal point or rallying cry, but we have talked about Michigan State being a team well play each year and embracing that challenge, IU coach Kevin Wilson said Wednesday. If you have success, there is a trophy that goes with the game and that would be great for the program.
Purdue is averaging 42,090 fans in its first three home games.
We still have some empty seats, and I think thats a work in progress, Hope said. I think the fans are coming back. I dont know where the student body count is at, but I like the student body participation.
I think the stadium is alive again and theres energy in there, and our football team is playing well, and I think the fans that are there are having a great time, but theres still some empty seats. But this weekend is huge from a fan-base standpoint.