Last Saturday's win in Iowa did a lot to raise the spirits of Purdue's football team. After dropping five straight conference games and faced with the challenge of winning out just to become bowl eligible, the Boilers pulled off an unlikely nail-biter of a victory against the Hawkeyes.
Fortunately for Purdue, that win might just be the start of the momentum they need to go bowling. Another must win comes this Saturday for the Boilermakers, and it should be an easier task than last weekend. Purdue plays at Illinois, and while this game is on the road, Illinois is awful!
Just how awful, you might ask? For starters, the Illini are 2-8 and have dropped 7 games in a row. Actually, they were completely blown out in all of those games. Since they romped Charleston Southern, an FCS school, at home back on September 15th, Illinois lost every game since by at least 14 points! I know that Purdue hasn't been that great this season. But at least we are 2-5 through the last 7 games, and one of our losses went to overtime.
While this game might be a battle between two bad teams and the victor will come out as the lesser of two losers, Purdue still has a flickering chance of going bowling. Illinois doesn't. Through this 0-7 drought by the Illini, their defense has been atrocious--giving up an average of 37.5 points--and their offense hasn't been able to produce much of anything themselves; Illinois has scored an average of 14 points on opponents through the 0-7 stretch.
Purdue's defense hasn't been much better through that same time frame. They have given up an average of 36 points in their last seven. But at least the offense is producing, putting up over 23 points per game.
So, if nothing else, Purdue appears to be the better team in this matchup. Tack on the fact that they are still fighting for a shot to get to a bowl game, unlike Illinois, and it seems that Purdue stands a good chance of winning Saturday's game.
Opponent: Illinois Fighting Illini (2-8, 0-6 B1G)
2011 record: 7-6 (2-6 B1G)
Bowl result: Won Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl 20-14 vs. UCLA
Last week: Lost 3-17 at home against Minnesota
Date of game: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Kickoff time: 3:30 PM ET
Game location: Memorial Stadium, 1402 South 1st Street, Champaign, IL
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: Purdue Sports Network (All PSN radio channels can be found here), Sirius Channel 123, XM Channel 194
Series record: Illinois leads 42-39-6
Series record in Memorial Stadium: Tied 15-15-1
Last meeting: Last year, Purdue beat Illinois 21-14 in Ross-Ade.
Last meeting in Memorial Stadium: In 2010, Illinois crushed the Boilermakers 44-10.
Last Purdue win in Memorial Stadium: In 2006, Purdue won a 42-31 shootout.
Ticket information: Purdue Athletics is selling student visitor tickets for the game in Champaign at purduesports.com, but they cost $50 a pop. I know for a fact that over at StubHub, you can buy tickets for the game at a measly minimum of $1.70. StubHub claims that they have less than 1,000 tickets left for the game, but a lot of them cost less than $10. If you were even considering going out to Champaign on Saturday, this is a deal that you just can't pass up.
Opponent blogs: The Champaign Room
Weather at kickoff: According to weather.com, Saturday in Champaign is supposed to pretty nice--a high of 53 degrees, mostly sunny, 0% chance of rain and just a slight 7 mph breeze.
Other Week 12 B1G games:
- Iowa at No. 21 Michigan, Saturday at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN
- Northwestern at Michigan State, Saturday at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN2
- Indiana at Penn State, Saturday at 12:00 PM ET on Big Ten Network
- Minnesota at No. 14 Nebraska, Saturday at 3:30 PM ET on Big Ten Network
- Ohio State at Wisconsin, Saturday at 3:30 PM ET on ABC/ESPN2
Other noteworthy Week 12 FBS games:
- No. 18 USC at No. 17 UCLA, Saturday at 3:05 PM ET on FOX
- No. 23 Texas Tech at No. 24 Oklahoma State, Saturday at 3:30 PM ET on FSN
- No. 13 Stanford at No. 2 Oregon, Saturday at 8:00 PM ET on ABC