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Southern Illinois at Purdue: H&R Staff Picks

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Most of the staff smells victory on Saturday.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It is Friday afternoon, so in 24 hours we're either going to rest a little easier having seen a more dominant Purdue or we will be greatly concerned entering the conference season. I think we see the former and not the latter. This is an FCS team we're playing, and Big Ten teams don't schedule them to be close contests. For one more day, at least, Purdue should be the victor.

Let's see what the Hammer & Rails staff says:

Juan Crespo

I want to say Purdue wins. I really do. I love my Boilermakers, but something tells me things might be bad on Saturday. This team lost most of its momentum after the Central Michigan loss, and most confidence that was built up during the ND game was lost by the end of the game. Call me pessimistic, but I think Purdue is caught hungover from the ND game and looking ahead to the Iowa game, losing a close game to an FCS team for the first time in school history. Purdue tries to put up a fight at the end, but gets the game tying field goal blocked at the end of regulation. Please, oh please, prove me wrong and win a damn game, Purdue. Southern Illinois 24, Purdue 21

P.S.: After the Quantum Physics edition of the State of Indiana Power Rankings, I propose we treat the football season right now like Schrödinger's cat: that it is both dead and alive, and we find out the results in the next two weeks.

Rachel Van Gessel

Defense will be the key Saturday. Our defense will limit SIU's time of possession with the help of our offense. Purdue will deny SIU early and later force a few turnovers. In the fourth quarter we will hold off the Saluki's to preserve the win. David Hedelin will provide the O-line with some depth and help open up some holes for our backs. Danny will play like he did in the first half of the ND game, and DeAngelo Yancey will assert himself and haul in 5 catches. Purdue 34 Southern Illinois 28

Andrew Zimmerman

I am pretty worried about this game because Southern Illinois is a good team that can quickly put points up on the board.  If Purdue can't stop their running game, then all hope is lost for the season.  The same goes for a loss.  No outcome is acceptable tomorrow except for a win, but I think it will be close with both teams scoring easily, especially early on.  I could see some of Purdue's more talented skill position players (namely Hunt, Sinz, Mostert, and Yancey) having big days.  In the end, I'm hoping that Purdue's superior athletes get the job done and pull away late.  Purdue 41, Southern Illinois 27

Drew Schneider

Southern Illinois takes a step up in class when they walk into Ross Ade this Saturday. They won't be fazed by Purdue's Northwesternesque empty stadium home field advantage or the noon day sun. I think they keep it close for a little while, but Purdue's running game and improving defense overwhelm the Salukis, sending them back to FCS with a loss. Purdue 28 SIU 10

T-Mill

Common sense says that if Purdue drops this game it goes 1-11 again, but as bad as some Big Ten teams have looked this year you just never know. The 20 minute stretch where Purdue looked pretty good on both sides of the ball against Notre Dame gives me some confidence. The sustained 60-minute turd we left on the field against Central Michigan does not.

I'll be honest: the two good running backs and decent quarterback that SIU has are major concerns. Malcolm Agnew is a really, really good running back. He is better than the two MAC running backs that already carved us up with ease. If he keeps the clock moving and keeps SIU's offense on the field while our own offense sputters we could be in for a long day.

I am going to be positive though. I think we break a kickoff return for a touchdown and I think Raheem Mostert and Akeem Hunt combine to rush for 200 yards. I think Danny Etling finally solves his depth perception problems when throwing to DeAngelo Yancey and the receiver has a big day. I think we see Austin Appleby in the fourth quarter, but in a mop-up role. Purdue 48, Southern Illinois 24