First, just a reminder that we're tailgating on Slayter Hill with some kickass chili before the game. I am going to try and get there around 1:30pm, and if you stop by, look for a black Jeep Liberty with Purdue tire cover and Miami stickers on the back. BYOB and we can swap around different beers we have. Juan and I are both making chili, but it hopefully won't go too fast.
Now, on to the staff picks for tomorrow:
The joy of the win against Illinois quickly ends. The game last year was close only because MSU's offense still hadn't come together, not because Purdue played well. With a playoff berth on the line, expect Sparty to dominate this year.
Michigan State 30, Purdue 7
Ok, Drew, you can't really pick Purdue to beat Michigan St...Right? I mean, come on man, you know it's not going to happen. Purdue will be lucky to hang within three touchdowns of Sparty, you need to put your heart aside for a second and use your brain. Pick Sparty, make the score close if you want, but just pick Sparty and be done with it. Psssssh, what has my brain ever done for me? Michigan St. is walking into a buzz saw on Saturday. The upstart Boilermaker defense is primed to shut down Michigan St. Hunt, Mostert, and Appleby all find the endzone and Griggs hits a 50 yard field goal to seal the game in the final seconds. Purdue 24, Michigan State 21
Rachel Van Gessel
Unfortunately for Purdue its going to get ugly early. MSU is going to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Connor Cook is going to have plenty of time back in the pocket to make plays for the Spartans. Meanwhile Appleby and the backs will be harrased all day. At this point Purdue is not physical enough to compete with Michigan State. Michigan State 34, Purdue 10
I think Connor Cook and Tony Lippett will have huge days against a Purdue secondary that got torched last week. Both teams should be able to pretty much bottle up the run games but I still think Hunt or Mostert could break loose for a long run or two to keep things interesting. At the end of the day, Purdue just won't be able to put up enough points on that stingy D. Michigan State 45, Purdue 20
So I see Wisconsin's struggling defense and problems with passing and I start to dream a little when I look ahead. Maybe that Wisconsin game isn't so impossible to win. That's in the future though. This weekend Purdue is either going to predictably get blown out or will shock the world with a program-changing win. There is no middle ground, really. Even after winning last week expectations are low because Michigan State is the class of the Big Ten. They have a pretty easy stretch here to bide time, climb in the polls, and collect heads as they aspire to get in the playoff hunt.
A lot has to go right for Purdue to win this. Austin Appleby has to show that he really was the difference last week and not a terrible Illini defense. The Michigan State offense has to cough the ball up a few times and generally have an off day like last year. Even then, Purdue would need some things like a special teams score to get into it. The Boilers played Sparty close last season, but I'd be surprised if there is a repeat this year. Michigan State 34, Purdue 10