Jones' return gives Purdue offense much-needed jolt

When Purdue walks through the tunnel on to the field at Camp Randall Stadium, a lot of eyes will gravitate towards one player: Junior running back Markell Jones. In his second game back from injury, Jones will be looking to prove his doubters wrong and get right back on track by improving numbers.

Jones had established himself as a key cog to the Boilermakers’ offense. He led the Boilermakers in rushing yards in both of the last two seasons with 875 yards in 2015 and 616 in 2016. Jones has also been a force in the passing game, recording 454 career receiving yards on 66 catches. For the Boilermakers, Jones has been a spark plug, producing positive plays as the offense remained otherwise inept.

Back in week one, Jones’ season seemed to be over before it really started. During a first half kick return against Louisville, a defender torpedoed directly into Jones’ knee and sent him immediately to the ground. There was relief among the Boilermakers, though, as they soon received news that a seemingly gruesome injury was not as severe. Jones returned to the field last weekend and has since put together a respectable stat line, rushing for 52 yards on 12 carries and adding five receptions for 12 yards.

After a dogfight of a game for the first three quarters, Jones seemingly willed the Boilermakers to put together an 18-point fourth quarter which was capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by Jones, giving the Boilermakers the jolt they needed to come back and put Minnesota away.

Another week of practice will help Jones regain his confidence and start to put up his regular numbers. Jones will look to be the spark plug once more against the Badgers and lead the charge for Purdue’s offense. His electrifying presence could give the Badgers fits if they don’t handle him properly and could lead to a shocking upset if he is allowed to run wild.

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