Don’t look now, but Coach Brohm has his Boilermakers making a run at the Big Ten West.
Vegas has noticed, as Purdue plays host to Nebraska, coming off two Big Ten wins of their own, with the Boilermakers as 14 point favorites against the Cornhuskers. Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Purdue’s two road wins in a row haven’t been the prettiest, but it’s impossible to not see the signs of a team coming to life. Aiden O’Connell appears to have healed from a midsection injury. Mershawn Rice is back in the lineup, providing AOC with a big go up and get it target that he used to the tune of a touchdown and 5 catches again Maryland. With lead receiver Charlie Jones drawing so much attention, there’s a lot of room on the field for a second wide receiver to take advantage of.
Nebraska had their own early season disappointments, culminating in firing Scott Frost despite a $14 million go away policy. They’ve now won two straight Big Ten games since, even if the games were against the two worst teams in the Big Ten not in Evanston - Rutgers and Indiana.
Purdue’s early loss to Penn State and Syracuse had Purdue reeling and near late game collapses against Florida Atlantic and Maryland has Purdue’s record not feel like a team with the Big Ten West in their hands, but a win here and Purdue will continue to have just one loss in the West with a big game on the road against Wisconsin that’s their toughest test left. The Big Ten West is definitely winnable for Coach Brohm and his Boilers.
So what happens when two 4-2 teams play under the lights? One team is destined to show themselves as a paper tiger while the other will be in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten West.
I could pretend to look into stats and say that Nebraska’s lack of an elite pass maker or even a decent defense makes them unlikely to pull off the upset, but really, you don’t have to go much past their name - Nebraska. No longer 90’s, the Cornhuskers name doesn’t carry the same concern it used to. The football team has been a disappointment for the last decade, now it’s just plain bad. The Big Ten probably should have reconsidered inviting a school to the conference based on nostalgia.
But I digress. AOC is getting hot at the right time. Their playmakers are starting to make plays, and despite a few key injuries, the Boilers will have enough to not just beat Nebraska, but to cover the two touchdown spread under the lights at Ross-Ade.d