Once again, we're doing picks from the members of the Hammer & Rails staff here as week 2 gets underway in less than 24 hours.
If we can continue running the ball as well as we did against WMU, and if Etling can make better throws, we should be in good shape for most of the game. The main problem is that the defense needs to buckle down and actually stop the opponent's offense. Seriously, I think even University Place's Senior Citizen team could have scored a few touchdowns against Pur_ue last week (see what I did there?). The WMU game should have been over in the 3rd quarter, but the defense almost blew it in the 4th. I don't think Hunt or Mostert will have as big of a game this week, Etling should be better, and I hope the defense can at least stop a nose bleed. Once again, Purdue will need to wrap this up in the 4th quarter to seal the deal in a not-so pretty win, but at least they will double last year's win total and give us our first winning streak since 2012.
Purdue 34, Central Michigan 28
Purdue continues its surprise run to a final 4 spot in the inaugural college football tournament on Saturday. As I mentioned last weekend, a team does not just into Ross Ade at noon and leave with a victory. The sun will be high in the sky and the throbbing of the world's biggest drum will be reverberating through the Chips ears as they enter the field and gaze into the sea of Black and Gold packing the stands. The fans, full to the brim with bloody mary's and mimosa's after a full morning of tailgating will be frothing from the mouth and screaming for blood, and Purdue football will oblige. Purdue 34, Central Michigan 17
I expect an ugly game on Saturday, with the winner coming out on top of the turnover and special teams battles. Both quarterbacks could have tough days, but if Purdue can establish the run early, limit turnovers, and continue to overachieve on special teams, they will come out victorious. I really, really, really want to see a much improved run defense and better offensive line play. Another big day from Frankie Williams wouldn't hurt, either. Purdue 27, Central Michigan 17
Rachel Van Gessel
Central Michigan is tougher than Western Michigan, and Purdue will have to play better if they are going to win Saturday. Our wide receiver corp will pick up the slack this week. Etling will make it a little easier for them by making better throws. On the other side of the ball we will actually slow down the Chippewas run game. Purdue 27, Central Michigan 21
Central Michigan barely eeked out a win against FCS Chatanooga last week, giving up 148 yards on the ground to the #13 FCS school. I'd expect another big day out of Mostert and Hunt. The Boilers cover the spread and win. Purdue 38, Central Michigan 28
If Purdue is going to be competitive at all in the Big Ten this season it has to win this game. It sets the stage for at minimum a 3-1 start, which can provide a boost of much needed confidence for this program as a whole. It really is an important game because a loss feels like it would be a huge step back simply based on perception. Decent Big Ten teams take care of their MACtion, and I think Purdue finds a way. Purdue 31, Central Michigan 24