After the surprising victory over Nebraska last weekend is it possible that Boilermaker Nation is feeling a bit optimistic? Let's take a look at the predictions below and find out. Be sure to make your pick on the Crowd's Line widget below and leave your thoughts in the comments.
T Mill Says
As I have said all week, if Purdue is really taking a step forward under Hazell it wins this game. They are playing a team they have beaten before, Illinois has no running game at all, and Purdue is playing at home on Homecoming. This has to be a win. Purdue should be able to have some room to run on the ground and as long as David Blough takes care of the ball it can score some points. On defense Purdue has to worry about one receiver: Geronimo Allison. This is a recipe so simple I think even Shoop and Hudson can't screw it up. Purdue 31, Illinois 21
Suddenly, Purdue has hope again (inb4 no not Danny Hope) after finding another team in the B1G that might be worse than them. It has given all of us a bit more optimism, and thinking that there's still a slim chance for Purdue to make it to a bowl game if they win the rest of their games. And maybe, if the stars align, Purdue could win the division! But at the end of the day, we all know how this story ends...all optimism is killed after a win or a loss where Purdue looked decent. And frankly, I think it'll happen again. Yes, last week was nice thanks to Shoop's offensive boner, but I still don't trust this coaching staff to build off an actual win. I learned my lesson after the Minnesota game. Illinois 21, Purdue 14
Andrew Holmes Says
Illinois is bad. We are bad. Who is worse? I'll say Illinois because I am an ever hopeful Purdue fan and I can't help but be optimistic even though I've been disappointed too many times to count. Purdue 34, Illinois 24
Jumbo Heroes Says
This is an interesting game to me because of the fact that prior to last week Illinois was the only conference foe this coaching staff had beaten. That leads me to believe that they can do it again right? I mean Purdue is clearly better on both sides of the ball this year than last (ducks behind wall) and Illinois is still Illinois. Both of these teams actually managed to beat Nebraska but while Purdue dropped 55 on Nebraska the Illini could manage just 14 points. Will that matter? I don't know but it seems to say to me that perhaps if firing on all cylinders the Purdue offense is better.
Hazell has said in his press conference that this aggressive style of play will continue for the rest of the season. What does that actually mean though? If you base it off of the Nebraska game and Hazell's post game comments only it seems to mean Purdue will be going for it on fourth down and trying to score touchdowns and not settling for field goals. I wholeheartedly support this strategy. The plain truth of it is that Purdue simply isn't that good to give away four additional points when they get in field goal range. Purdue has to take advantage of scoring opportunities. On defense Purdue has to be better against Illinois than they were against Nebraska. If not they have basically no shot at winning. It helps that this game will be at home on Homecoming. My hope is that a bigger crowd is in attendance to help the team.
Well I'd love to be able to tell you what it all means but frankly I don't know. My gut told me to pick Purdue last week and I ignored it. This week it tells me to again pick Purdue so I'm going to trust it. Purdue 38, Illinois 31
Staff Results after Nebraska:
Andrew Holmes: 2-4
Jumbo Heroes: 5-3
No pick last week:
Rob St. Claire: 2-1
Drew Schneider: 0-4