Coming off a big victory over Illinois last week everyone is asking the question, is Purdue back? No, wait, that’s Texas. I think the question is, has Purdue figured something out? I asked the staff for their predictions and they are below. What is your prediction?
Jumbo Heroes (3-2):
I just don’t feel confident in this Purdue team yet. They took down an Illinois team that isn’t very good as well as a Virginia Tech team that isn’t really good. This last week against Illinois they moved the coordinators up into the booth and Ryan Walters called the defense himself. Could that have been all that the team needed? Sort of like a, offensive coordinators hate this one simple trick to stop their offenses, sort of thing?
Purdue is currently getting 2.5 points on the road at Iowa according to Draft Kings and that seems about right to me. I think the injury to McNamara will really hurt the Iowa offense, will anyone notice is the question, but can the Purdue offense capitalize on that against a very stout Iowa defense? That’s the main question right now for me. Purdue has an offensive line that may be finding its way, a QB who can make all the throws, some very solid WRs, and a three headed running back monster. Will that be enough to eek out a victory of an Iowa team that can’t score to save their lives? I think it will be just enough.
Iowa is a good football team and there isn’t a lot of rationalization that can happen to make it any different. You don’t average 8.9 wins per season over the last 9 years, not counting 2020, and not be considered a good program. The issue is that Purdue is currently 4-2 over the last six meetings when Iowa has been really good (this includes 2020). When Purdue has beaten Iowa, they have gotten big plays and forced the Hawkeyes to play out of their comfort zone of running the ball and using defense and special teams to grind games down into the fourth quarter. Can the Boilers have that same impact this year? The Illinois game is a good indication that they can do just that.
Iowa will be without starting QB Cade McNamara who has proven to be a player who can escape the pocket and be threat in the running game while his backup is just...not that. Deacon Hill was a highly regarded recruit who headed to Wisconsin before transferring to Iowa but the burly QB who is 6’3 and weighs 240 pounds isn’t going to be a threat in the running game. That means Purdue will be able to focus more on the running backs of Iowa and not be too concerned about a QB pulling and running the ball. I don’t think Iowa’s offense will be explosive on Saturday but the question is can the Purdue offense score enough to win?
If this game was at Ross Ade I would probably have a different prediction but given this is at Iowa, the confidence meter is very low.
Another tough one to predict. Iowa is starting a new quarterback and has the same stuck in the mud offense they’ve featured over the last several seasons. That said, they’re coming off a big win over Michigan State. Purdue’s offense looks fine when it doesn’t stop itself. They finally managed to get out of their own way against Illinois. The defense looked much better last week with Coach Walters at the helm and continue to attack this week.
I think (hope) Purdue has too much on offense for the Hawkeyes, and the defense, in theory, should be able to handle what I expect to be a heavy dose of Iowa running the ball and dumping it short to tight ends. This game comes down to discipline. Iowa is going to need Purdue’s help to score. Purdue has been way to accommodating in the turnover area thus far. On defense, it’s all about maintaining discipline. Iowa likes to lull you to sleep and then hit you with a big play action pass over the top once the safeties start crashing down and the corners start peeking into the backfield. Purdue can’t give up anything easy to Iowa on a busted coverage.
Wow, look what a solid win does for the confidence of our Purdue fanbase. We went from talking about a 3 win season to suddenly being on the verge of talking bowl games again. Overconfidence is our drug and we are riding high right now. That being said, Iowa’s offense continues to be abysmal and now they are without starting QB, Cade McNamara. Transfer QB, Deacon Hill, will get his first career start but he already played in nearly a full game last week where he was not an improvement at the position. Purdue’s defense seemed to take a step forward last week, albeit against a struggling offense but the opponent is not going to get more difficult this week for the defense.
The real matchup in this game is Purdue’s offense against the Iowa defense. Purdue flexed its muscles last week but Iowa is a different beast. This has to be mistake-free football for Purdue because Iowa can and will take the ball away to give the offense a short field. If Purdue goes without a turnover, they should be able to move the ball, especially on the ground as the Iowa defense hasn’t been very effective up front this year.
The last thing that will really weigh in is Iowa’s ability to flip the field when they inevitably go 3 and out. I still submit that Tory Taylor is the best weapon on Iowa’s team and booming punts downfield really helps put more pressure on opposing offenses.
I think Purdue is working towards playing mistake-free games on offense as long as the fumble-bug gets squashed. With no turnovers and the ability to at least move the ball and flip the field, Purdue smothers the Iowa offense and does enough to win.
As much as I would love to see the boilermakers win this one and significantly boost their chances to get to six wins, I’m just not sure if they will get it done. Iowa may have lost Cade McNamara to injury, but it’s not like their offense was that potent to begin with. They win by grinding it out on the ground, smothering their opponents offense, and taking advantage of turnovers (which Purdue has been prone to do). I like the Hawkeyes to squeak one out in whatever you call the opposite of a barnburner. A shedfreezer…? Let’s go with that.
I was pretty sick when staff predictions went out so I forgot to send mine in but wanted to get at least my score out before the game started. What can you say? Iowa’s offense is sus at best and Purdue’s defense hasn’t been anything to brag about. Our offense will have their work cut out for them as Iowa’s defense and special teams is what they rely upon. Turnovers will be crucial, Mockobee has to hold onto the ball and Card will need to spread his offense. My brain is telling me, at Iowa, Purdue just doesn’t have a enough weapons to win this. But I’m someone who can’t ever ignore her heart so I’m going to bet on the Boilers for this one (surprise, surprise). Card connects with Burks for a TD late in the fourth to win this one on the road.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.