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Purdue At Wisconsin 2013: H&R Staff Predictions

The Staff of Hammer & Rails picks tomorrow's Big Ten opener.

Michael Hickey

Only two other staff members got back with me this week, but at least Paul was positive when it comes to tomorrow's trip to Madison:

Paul Branham - Pilot, Boilermaker Special VII

This is the week that our linebackers get to prove how much they have (or have not) really improved. Wisconsin's running game is strong, as always, and our front 7 (or all 11, I honestly don't care, as long as we stop them) is going to have their hands full. We won't be able to rely on any last-second shenanigans since we will have a Big Ten officiating crew and not some #TouchdownSeahawks crackpots from the Pac-whatever-the-heck-they-are-now, so we'll need to have something better up our sleeves, like an offense that moves the ball similar to last week (but with no turnovers this time) and a defense that rises to the occasion when it matters most.

Coach Hazell spoke this week about how, physically speaking, most of our mistakes are a foot or less from being in the right physical spot to land that missed tackle or catch that incomplete pass. If we can find a way to close that foot-length gap (and if Wisconsin gets caught looking ahead), I give us a fighter's chance - mostly because I REALLY want The Curse to come to an end and I'm willing to make completely ridiculous predictions to convince myself that it's remotely possible at this point. Wisconsin's reign of terror over us comes to an end this Saturday and the football gods turn their unforgiving wrath somewhere else for the first time in 9 years. Perhaps Texas? I hear Mack Brown could use some help driving the Struggle Bus. Purdue 24, Wisconsin 21

Rachel Van Gessel

Purdue is heading in to Camp Randall after a promising performance last week against Notre Dame. The team looked way better than it did the first two weeks of the season. After Saturday's game we'll know more whether that was Purdue playing out of its mind in front of a packed house or if they played so well because they are capable of that every week.

Wisconsin is a tough team and Camp Randall is a very hostile environment for visiting teams. Per usual they have a formidable run game. I think we will do a decent job containing it. Seeing as we were so close to breaking things open last week with a  pick, I think we'll get one this week. On offense I think we'll start slow. Rob Henry won't take a step forward or a step backward this game. He'll do just enough to keep us within striking distance. This won't be enough though to overcome Wisconsin. Wisconsin 31, Purdue 20


It often does not get as simple as it does when it comes to looking at Wisconsin. Purdue has to slow down the run to have any chance. If it does not, the Badgers will win in a laugher. We've known this for years and it has still been a decade since we have tasted victory over Wisconsin.

The Boilers did at least look better last week. Rob Henry had his best game of the season and now there are rumors that Raheem Mostert, who was successful against Wisconsin two years ago, is supposed to have more of a role in this game than in the past. That isn't a bad idea, but Purdue is going to need more than that. Henry needs to be perfect, Akeem Hunt needs to get going on the ground, and, as I said, Purdue has got to find some way to slow down the running game.

If the Purdue of last week shows up the Boilers should hang around longer than we're used to. If the Purdue of old shows up pick Wisconsin by a lot with 450+ yards rushing. Wisconsin 38, Purdue 24