Players to watch: Purdue

Our series continues today with Purdue, which hosts Notre Dame on Sept. 14 in yet another prime-time contest. The game will be the Boilermakers' third under new head coach Darrell Hazell.

To read previous entries, click here.

Offense: Akeem Hunt, RB. Think of Hunt as the Purdue of version of George Atkinson III, because both will be counted on to provide more offense this year. Hunt ran for just 335 yards and two scores last season but averaged 8.0 yards per carry, 15.7 yards per catch and 22.2 yards per kick return. He added two receiving touchdowns and a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown. Four different times in 2012, Hunt reached the end zone on plays of 50 or more yards. His 19 carries for 134 yards and a touchdown in Purdue's spring game only enhances his case heading into the fall.

Defense: Ricardo Allen, CB. Allen was selected by Big Ten coaches as a second-team all-conference performer in each of the last two seasons, and the media named him second-team All-Big Ten as a freshman in 2010. Allen notched 45 tackles last season, including four for loss, to go with a sack, four break-ups, five passes defended and one interception -- which he returned 39 yards for a score in a Week 3 victory over Marshall, giving him the school record of four career pick-sixes. He is one off the national record of five. Allen has seven picks for his career, and he forced a fumble against Notre Dame during the Irish's 2011 win in West Lafayette, Ind.