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Legg returns to Purdue

MU football
Sep. 28, 2012 @ 12:54 AM

HUNTINGTON — Bill Legg will be walking down memory lane Saturday.

Legg, Marshall University football team’s offensive coordinator, spent five seasons from 2003 to 2007 at Purdue including the last two seasons as co-offensive coordinator.

Marshall (2-2) and Purdue (2-1) meet at 3:15 p.m., Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium in Legg’s former home of West Lafayette, Ind. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network, which is Ch. 742 on Huntington cable.

While Legg said he loved his time at Purdue, he plans to utilize the same strategy he uses for his offense — he’s going to move on quickly.

“Yeah, we’ll take a chance to reminisce for about 30 seconds and then we go to work,” Legg said. “My job is to help us find a way to play to the very best of our ability and see what happens after that. That’s what I’m focused on.

“I’m not focused on ‘Hey, we’re going back to a place that I worked at’ or ‘Hey, there’s people I know there.’ There are some great people there, and we’ve got fond memories but at the end of the day, it’s all about us. It’s all about Marshall.”

Much like what Legg has done with Marshall’s offense this season, his time at Purdue was filled with lots of yardage and lots of points put up on the scoreboard.

Legg was in charge of play-calling in 2006 and 2007, a time when the Boilermakers were on top of the Big Ten offensively.

In 2006, Purdue led the Big Ten in passing offense with 291.6 yards per game while also leading in total offense at 415.7 yards a contest. Those numbers were good enough to rank the Boilermakers sixth and 13th nationally, respectively.

Once again, in 2007 the Boilermakers were the Big Ten’s top total offense with 435.9 yards per game while scoring a league-best 34.3 points per game. The team also ranked 12th nationally in passing offense at 307.15 yards per game.

Fast forward to 2012, and Legg’s offense at Marshall is in the top 10 nationally behind quarterback Rakeem Cato.

The Thundering Herd leads the nation in passing offense with 383.5 yards per game and is seventh in total offense at 561 yards. Marshall is also a top 20 team in scoring offense with a 41.0 average.

Legg’s offense is going against a Purdue defense that is top 20 nationally in nearly every category.

“Every game presents different challenges,” Legg said. “At the end of the day, where can we create confusion? Where can we create mismatches? Are there mismatches to be created? That’s a good defense.”

While Purdue has a solid defense, Legg’s experience of facing Big Ten defenses while with the Boilermakers certainly helps going into this contest.

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