There seems to be a pretty good feeling around the staff this week as the boilers head to Chambana to try and get our Cannon back. It would be very nice to have at least one trophy in our possession at the end of the season. The last time Purdue went consecutive years without winning a trophy game was 1990 and 1991, which was the bridge between Fred Akers and Jim Colletto.
Hopefully, that worry ends tomorrow:
Purdue comes into this game riding a defensive hot streak and an offensive blizzard. Illinois responds with a team on an offensive hot streak and a defense that has a tough time stopping the walk, much less the run. In this pillow fight, the question becomes, who has the biggest pillow? Purdue takes it's show on the road to Memorial Stadium, and it won't be rattled by the sparsely populated stadium or noon day sun. The Boilermakers come in and run the ball left, run the ball, right, and run the ball middle game plan and dominates the Illini in the first half. Then, in a dramatic shift, Purdue comes out and attempts to sling the ball all over the field in the second half. Illinois closes the gap, but not enough to actually win. Purdue 24, Illinois 17
Rachel Van Gessel
In the battle of bottom of the Big Ten Purdue will come out on top. Frankie Williams and the Purdue defense will get enough stops to keep the Boilers in the game. On the other side of the ball our running game will break things open for us and take the pressure of the QB. Our offense barely outguns the Illini for the win. Purdue 28, Illinois 27
I am headed over to Champaign for this one, just as I have for every Purdue at Illinois game since 2002. Generally, good things happen to the Boilers when I go over there. Even the first visit, where Purdue fell behind 24-0, came back to lead 31-24, then got robbed twice in the final seconds of regulation when Illinois failed to break the plane on their TD and Purdue did on the Hail Mary, but was denied, was a good game.
I expect another good game tomorrow, mostly because both teams are terrible. It is a test to see if John Shoop and the offensive staff should be fired before the bus even reaches the Beef House on the way home. Illinois cannot defend against the run. They simply can't do it. They are one of the worst teams in the country against the run. Of course, they were last year too and what did Purdue do? They went away from it after having a successful first quarter.
If Purdue can't run on the Illini they can't run on anyone. I think (hope?) we can do this tomorrow and end the Big Ten losing streak. This is a very winnable game and one that hopefully will build some confidence before a murderous next four. Purdue 24, Illinois 20