Fresno State wide receiver Erik Brooks (3) goes to the...

Fresno State wide receiver Erik Brooks (3) goes to the ground with a pass in front of Purdue defensive back Markevious Brown (1) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. Fresno State won 38-35. Credit: AP/AJ Mast

Purdue (0-1) at Virginia Tech (1-0), Saturday, noon ET (ESPN2)

Line: Virginia Tech by 3, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Virginia Tech leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Purdue is trying to give new coach Ryan Walters his first win, but also looking to avoid the program’s first 0-2 start since 2018. With another Power Five matchup next week against Syracuse, the Boilermakers can’t afford to be staring at a possible 0-3 mark. Brent Pry is trying to get the Hokies off to a 2-0 start in his second season after they went 3-8 last year.

KEY MATCHUP

Virginia Tech's passing game against the Boilermakers' defense. Hokies quarterback Grant Wells has a big arm and threw for three TDs in the opening win against Old Dominion, all to wide receivers from the transfer portal. Transfer Ali Jennings caught two and has the ability to turn short passes into big gains, potentially turning a questionable first-down catch into a back-breaker.

Purdue running back Devin Mockobee (45) runs past Fresno State...

Purdue running back Devin Mockobee (45) runs past Fresno State linebacker Malachi Langley (9) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. Fresno State won 38-35. Credit: AP/AJ Mast

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Purdue: WR Deion Brooks. The team’s fastest player had a breakout peformance in Week 1 in the loss to Fresno State, catching four passes for 152 yards and the first two TDs of his career. His previous two-year totals: 16 catches, 175 yards. Could the Big Ten’s early leader in yards receiving emerge as the next in Purdue’s line of NFL receivers following Rondale Moore, David Bell and Charlie Jones?

Virginia Tech: Wells. He threw bad interceptions at times last season when he didn't have a receiving corps that was equal to his arm strength. Jennings is the most accomplished of the three newbies, but Middle Tennesse State transfer Jaylin Lane also caught a 20-yard TD.

FACTS & FIGURES

Virginia Tech's Josh Fugan (6), Jaden Keller (24) and Norell...

Virginia Tech's Josh Fugan (6), Jaden Keller (24) and Norell Pollard (3) celebrate a stop against Old Dominion during the first half of an NCAA college football Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Blacksburg, Va. Credit: AP/Robert Simmons

Purdue QB Hudson Card was 17 of 30 with 254 yards, two TDs and no interceptions in his first start at Purdue. ... Tyrone Tracy Jr returned a kickoff 98 yards for a TD. ... Purdue is 15-16-2 all-time against ACC foes and has won four of its last six road openers. ... Virginia Tech won the lone previous matchup, 51-24, in West Lafayette, Indiana, in 2015. ... Pry faced Purdue twice during his time as defensive coordinator at Penn State, with the Nittany Lions winning both matchups, 62-24 in 2016 and 35-7 in 2019.

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