Purdue heads into Minnesota a wounded team. A 2-2 record is only part of the blow as they’ve suffered fourth quarter losses to Penn St. and Syracuse.
Their only FCS win on the season happened last week against a Florida Atlantic team that gave up multiple chances to upset the Boilers at home. Some of this can be excused with wound - star quarter Aiden O’Connell watched the game from the sidelines in street clothes.
It’s unofficial what the injury is, just that it can be targeted, and its potential to hang around into the heart of conference scheduling seems very certain. It’s unfortunate for a team that looked like they had the easiest schedule in the softest division of the Big Ten Conference.
But instead, Coach Brohm’s Boilers are 0-1 in the conference and travel to now West favorites, Minnesota(4-0), as 12 point underdogs according to DraftKings. Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Purdue does not have a good history in Minnesota in recent years even with good teams. They’ve not won at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minnesota ever. The stadium was built in 2009. More concerning, it’s not clear at this point in the season that Coach Brohm has a team you could equate as good, especially if AOC will be in street clothes.
This is in stark comparison to Minnesota who has played a similarly soft opening schedule, but have dominated every game on both sides of the ball. They’ll be missing their own star and best receiver, Chris Autman-Bell, but Minnesota boasts one of the best running backs in the country, Mohamed Ibrahem, who has ran for nearly 600 yards already and the best defense in the country.
12 points might point to Vegas thinking that AOC will play because after Minnesota’s 34-7 road stomping on the road against Michigan St., they’re looking like potential world beaters in a Big Ten West that’s mostly just been beaten this season.
Of course Purdue fans will remember the infamous pass interference call that likely cost Brohm his last game in Minnesota. You could narratively argue that with their season backed into a corner, and Purdue needing something good to happen, this is the exact kind of upset that the universe owes them after being robbed... look folks, we’re barely a handful of paragraphs in and I’ve got nothing more to offer Purdue fans than hopes of universe that wants balance.
There’s no football reason outside of Charlie Jones and AOC that would make you think Purdue had a chance on the road against a Minnesota team that is looking really good. Purdue’s not been challenged like this and they found challenge in teams like Syracuse and Florida Atlantic, who they were supposed to walk through to a show down with Minnesota that would help determine the West.
But AOC is unlikely to play or if he does, be 100% and Minnesota has allowed just 24 points on the season. Purdue will need to be a different team on Saturday to have a chance.
I’m taking Minnesota and the points to cover. Hopefully I’m wrong again. Betting on Black and Gold hasn’t worked out well to this point.dr