Jumbo Heroes (5-6):
I just can’t fathom picking IU here. Even if it was what I really thought, it’s not. I want that Old Oaken Bucket back, I want a share of the Big Ten West, and with help from Nebraska later today I would love a shot at the Big Ten Title game in Indianapolis.
I don’t have much faith in IU’s passing game since they completed just two passes in their double overtime victory over Michigan State. That’s good because I don’t necessarily have a lot of faith in the Purdue passing defense. IU is going to try and establish the run early and go from there. The Purdue defensive line and linebacker corps has been surprisingly stout this year against the run. Let’s hope they can keep it up for one more game.
Plus, the IU defense is not great. I think Purdue should be able to put up points but given what we know about this Purdue team I’m sure it will be closer than we all would like. Regardless, I think Purdue wins.
This has been a season for Purdue that has been another full of ‘what if’s’ with close losses to PSU and Syracuse preventing them from playing for a 10 win regular season. Instead, the Boilers will be battling for a West Division title and a chance at the B1G Title. To get any of those they need to beat an Indiana team that has struggled mightily most of the season on both sides of the ball.
Purdue will look to establish the run early to take pressure off AOC and force Indiana in to man to man coverage where Charlie Jones and Payne Durham can make the Hoosier defense pay. On defense, Purdue will want to make Indiana one dimensional by taking away the QB run and forcing Dexter Williams to throw the ball. If Purdue can do those things, Purdue wins going away.
We’ve got a battle of styles brewing in Bloomington on Saturday. The air raid (especially if Mockobee is out) of Purdue faces off against the new found ground attack of the Hoosiers. This is a weird game for Purdue. They need to take the lead early and make Indiana chase. If they get sucked into a grind it out game where the Hoosiers dominate time of possession this thing could be closer than anticipated. The Boilermakers pull this thing out in the end, because the Hoosiers won’t be able to hit 28 but they will make things uncomfortable.
The Boilers are favored in this game for obvious reasons and they are the better team. However, a win won’t come easy. Senior night, bucket game, rivalry all come into play on a game like this and IU would love to be the reason Purdue misses a chance at a Big Ten West title. And in true Purdue fashion, we usually play down to our opponents (I see you northwestern.)
IU proved last week that they can actually play football but I don’t think their defense will be able to contain AOC and co. Purdue has more to lose, more weapons and has shown they can be a really solid football team. I think Brohm will have these guys ready to play and Purdue will take a lead early on and never look back.
I think the Purdue offense comes out firing in this one as the IU defense has given up plenty of points and yards this season. Aiden O’Connell has done better at limiting turnovers and spreading the ball around. I like him to continue that trend during his last regular season game, especially given the weather conditions.
The only IU weapon I am nervous about is Jaylin Lucas in the return game, because since when do guys have multiple return touchdowns in this economy? On defense, it will be strength on strength as IU’s pass game was very Navy-esque last week, relying almost exclusively on the running game. Purdue might just stack the box and dare IU to throw the ball.
I think Purdue brings the bucket back home once again. Let’s just hope that Nebraska takes care of business today first.