Just because we do not like Our Most Hated Rival does not mean we do not respect them. The Hawkeyes are rightfully favored during their visit tomorrow, and it has now been three years since Purdue won its Homecoming game. Perhaps that can change tomorrow:
Cry 'Havoc!', said he who fought chaos with chaos, and let slip the dogs of war.
Purdue 21, OMHR 20
Like most of you reading this, I hate Iowa with a deep, fiery passion. The passion is so deep and fiery that my eyes burn just thinking about it. Iowa is a terrible state with nothing to offer this world other than eternal pain and suffering. Having said that, they do have a football team from Iowa City that is visiting West Lafayette on Saturday (probably looking for a more habitable and enjoyable place to live).
Reluctantly, I feel that the rushing offense of Purdue is no match for the hulking, primordial Hawkeyes of Iowa. If the Boilermakers stand a chance in this game, it will rest on their special teams (field position/return game/field goals) and a few big plays in the passing game. I think it will be close, but Our Most Hated Rival knows how to win close games and Purdue is still growing.
As much as it pains me to say it.... Iowa 20, Purdue 13.
Purdue opens B1G play with the vilest of opponents, hailing from a wasteland also known as Iowa. Kirk Ferentz will bring his collection of future first round offensive line busts into West Lafayette for what looks to be an interesting game pitting good vs evil. Iowa, like Southern Illinois, will have to contend with Purdue's new "empty stadium" home field advantage and the ever present noon day sun. Purdue's defense is looking better, and are primed to stop the run and make Iowa throw the ball. Danny Etling has a big day and Akeem Hunt runs for 100 yards and 2 tds. Purdue wins 28 - 17, and all is right with the world.
Purdue has not earned any respect. Mostly because of the Central Michigan game we're still considered to be the worst in the Big Ten and many feel we'll be lucky to win a conference game even with as bad as the league has looked. That's why this game could be a turning point not only for this season, but for many seasons going forward. Iowa is a respectable team, but they are flawed. They have a habit of keeping their opponent close all game long. Purdue needs to seize on that and come away with a win.
A victory tomorrow could mean a 2-0 start to league play, which would be very surprising. It also would ignite at least some faint hopes that the Boilers could reach the postseason. Should Purdue get Iowa and Illinois it only needs two more wins somewhere else, likely out of the trio of Minnesota, Northwestern, and Indiana.
That's getting ahead of ourselves, however. Right now we need to focus on Iowa, a team that has struggled offensively, yet still wants to power run with Mark Weisman. This is still Purdue's biggest defensive weakness. We know it is coming, so it is time to stop it. It is homecoming in West Lafayette and I think there is a different attitude with this team after two productive weeks. Since Iowa likes to keep it close that is an opportunity for Purdue, and I think the Boilers find a way to take advantage to squeeze out a win. Purdue 27, Iowa 24