9/1/22 Penn State, Aidan O'Connell

Sixth-year quarterback Aidan O'Connell walks off the field during Purdue's loss against Penn State in Week 1. 

The Boilermakers may be without their starting quarterback this Saturday.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported earlier today that sixth-year quarterback Aidan O’Connell’s ability to play against Florida Atlantic (2-2, 1-0 Conference USA) will be a “game-time decision” due to an “unspecified injury.”

O’Connell has thrown for 1,000 yards so far this season and has thrown just one interception compared to eight touchdowns. The former walk-on has been the starting quarterback for the Boilermakers since the team played Minnesota in Week 5 of the 2021-22 season. O’Connell helped lead Purdue to two upsets of two No. 2 teams and a win in the Music City Bowl, cementing him as the team’s No. 1 QB.

Sixth-year quarterback Austin Burton has been considered O’Connell’s backup, evidenced by him being the first quarterback to enter the game against Indiana State after O’Connell was substituted out.

Against Indiana State, Burton threw the ball just three times, completing them all for 33 yards. He also ran the ball twice, picking up 15 yards. Burton’s running ability is an additional weapon the Boilermakers can use. Last season, he was substituted in for his ability on planned quarterback-runs.

O’Connell joins senior wide receiver Broc Thompson and senior running back King Doerue on the list of players potentially out against the Owls. On Monday, head coach Jeff Brohm said both were “too early to tell” and noted that Thompson was “probably doubtful.” Senior linebacker Jalen Graham is also sidelined due to an injury he sustained in Week 1.

FAU is Purdue’s last non-conference opponent before playing nothing but Big Ten teams the rest of the year. The Boilermakers travel to Minnesota the week after playing the Owls and will be hoping to avoid losing a second conference game before winning their first.

Originally published on purdueexponent.org, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.

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