IOWA CITY, IA - NOVEMBER 12: Marvin McNutt, Jr. #7 of the Iowa Hawkeyes is pursued by Marcus Rush #44 of the Michigan State Spartans at Kinnick Stadium November 12, 2011 in Iowa City, Iowa. Michigan State beat Iowa 37-21. (Photo by Reese Strickland/Getty Images)
Wednesday night is podcast night, but it does not mean I am appearing on the Handsome Hour (though I might try later). The propaganda rag of Our Most Hatred Rival is trying to parlay for peace by inviting me on the Black Heart Gold Podcast. Talking to
Pravda Black Heart Gold Pants does not mean I am informing the enemy of our most closely held secrets like the nuclear reactor under the Engineering Mall the plan that Robert Marve is really starting.
Today is also preview day. Riley already provided a look at the Hawkeyes this morning from his perspective as
resident spy a student at Iowa that has seen them play several times this season. With Iowa being 0-3 on the road this year, there is reason for confidence on Saturday. These guys got torn apart by Iowa State's Steele Jantz. If you think that name is a porn name as opposed to the name of a starting quarterback you're wrong.
We know Caleb TerBush is starting. We know Robert Marve will play. We know that Kevin Ballinger wants Spencer Dawson, who has led a scoring drive on every drive he has played, to play some. The man may have a point, especially since he is an expert on heckling.
The goal is clear: Beat the Hawkeyes to go 6-1 at home and clinch a bowl bid. It is time once again to Show Up for the Seniors.
2011 Record: 6-4, 3-3
2010 Record: 8-5, 4-4
Bowl result: Won Insight Bowl 27-24 over Missouri
Blog Representation: Black Heart Gold Pants
Series with Purdue: Purdue leads 45-33-3
Last Purdue win: 10/20/2007 31-6 at Purdue
Last Iowa win: 11/15/2008 22-17 at Iowa
|Marvin McNutt Jr.||10||4||53||5.3||13.3||0||65||1089||108.9||16.8||10|
|Marvin McNutt Jr.||10||65||1089||108.9||16.8||10|
James Vandenberg has good numbers on paper. He has a 60% completion percentage with over 2,000 yards and a 20:5 touchdown to interception ratio. In three road games he has three touchdowns and two interceptions, with his best game coming at Iowa State with only 207 yards and two scores. He is not the running threat that Nathan Scheelhaase, Denard Robinson, Russell Wilson, and Braxton Miller have been the last four weeks. He has three touchdowns, but only 62 total rushing yards on the season. He is as about as much of a straight up pocket passer as we will see this year. When you combine Marve and TerBush you nearly have his passing numbers, but based on consistency alone I have to give them the edge. Slight Edge: Iowa
Marcus Coker is one of the best backs in the league, and we have been hit and miss against the running game. I think Montee Ball just scored on us again, but we kept Dan Herron contained last week. Coker is at 1,158 yards and 13 scores, but he is by far the sole rushing threat. No one else on the roster has even 80 yards rushing, and Vandenberg is the only other player with a rushing touchdown. Their running game lives and dies with Coker, while we go by the committee of Akeem Shavers, Ralph Bolden, Jared Crank, Antavian Edison, and Raheem Mostert. It is really quantity vs. quality. Edge: Even
This is another heavily skewed area. Marvin McNutt is probably the best wide receiver in Iowa history. His numbers (65-1,089-10) are among the best in the Big Ten, but the Hawkeyes have a tendency to rely on him a little too much. Keenan Davis (34-533-4) is an excellent second option, but Kevon Martin-Manley is the only other receiving threat. With Iowa you know what you are getting offensively. Coker is going to run and McNutt is the primary passing target. We at least offer a little more versatility, but don't have one standout receiver like McNutt. Edge: Even
The line is obviously an asset in blocking for a guy like Coker, but they have given up 22 sacks on the season. Markus Zusevics and Adam Gettis provide senior leadership, while redshirt freshman Brandon Scherff is the biggest player at guard. Lately our own line has improved. We're blocking well in the run game and both Marve and TerBush have avoided sacks. Even the dumb false start penalties are down. Edge: Purdue
Which Purdue defensive line will show up? In the last two home games they have been the difference makers against Illinois and Ohio State. Kawann Short in particular has been in beat mode, while Bruce Gaston provided the latest heroics. I think Ryan Russell is beginning to come into his potential on the end as well. Broderick Binns and Mike Daniels have combined for nine of Iowa's 16 sacks, but like us, they lack consistency. Based on the way we have played at home on the line lately, I give us the edge. Edge: Purdue
Christian Kirksey and James Morris are their top two tacklers with a combined 178 stops between them. They are involved in almost every play and they also each have an interception. There still should be some room to run as Iowa gives up 159 yards per game on the ground. Dwayne Beckford is coming on for us in the middle, which is a welcome relief. These units are about even. They aren't great, but they aren't awful, either. Edge: Even
Josh Johnson seems like he has been close to about 5 interceptions lately, but instead of getting them, he whiffs on them and it leads to a big game. Ricardo Allen will likely draw McNutt, but he could need help. Their coverage last week led to a lot of contain sacks of Miller. That will be key, especially in keeping with McNutt this week. Micah Hyde has three interceptions for Iowa, but this is not a unit that causes a ton of takeaways. They give up almost 240 yards through the air per game, so there will be open guys for TerBush/Marve to find. Edge: Purdue
Cody Webster struggled with the wind last week, but I think he'll be fine. Eric Guthrie is a decent punter at 41 yards per game for them, so that make it about even. Mike Meyer is a decent kicker, going 13 of 18 on field goals with along of 50, but he does not have a leg for touchbacks. That is where Carson Wiggs has a major edge. His ability to boot it through the end zone will limit Justin Bernstine on returns. On the other side, Raheem Mostert will have chances this week to keep breaking them, as we have one of the best return games in the country now. Edge: Purdue
Kirk Ferentz has been as consistent as they come in Iowa City. He's almost Tiller-esque in that he keeps churning out bowl teams with the occasional Big Ten title contender, but the fans are starting to clamor for more. He has whiffed in two bowl games and a major home game that had Big Ten title implications this year. That hasn't endeared him, but he is still getting to the postseason. As much as we have ripped Danny Hope, he came up with a solid plan last week. Except for the Notre Dame this year he has gotten the job done at home. If he does it one more time, we're bowling against the odds. Edge: Even
I honestly like our chances here. We're a different team at home this year, especially if you throw out the Notre Dame game. The last two home games, especially defensively, have been night and day different from our last two road games. If we keep up that trend we should be fine.
Iowa, on the other hand, has struggled mightily on offense away from Iowa City. They did next to nothing at Penn State and fell apart at Minnesota. Against Iowa State they got in a shootout and lost. It seems they have lost in every way possible on the road, so they probably lack confidence away from home. Unless they break into the IAF and paint our locker room pink I think we'll be okay.