Purdue takes on the Golden Gophers tomorrow and somehow head into the game as the favorite. Purdue sits at 2-7 on the season and has somehow looked even worse than that. The staff has been beat down and despondent these last few weeks. Has the mood changed with Purdue returning home and seeing the Gophers on the schedule? Let’s take a look and see what their crystal ball says.
Jumbo Heroes (5-4):
I have lost all faith in this team on the offensive side of the ball. I’ve not seen any progress from the start of the season to now. In fact, I’ve seen regression in a lot of areas. Sure, you can find excuses. Purdue lost a bunch of talent at a number of the skill positions, but they also lost folks to injury/retirements, the transfer portal, and in-season injuries. The losses of Broc Thompson and Milton Wright looms larger to me each and every week. Those two guys would really make this offense look completely different. On the defensive side of the ball while there are still plenty of problems, I mean the team is 2-7, you can see progress, growth, and bright spots particularly along the defensive line.
Minnesota has challenges of their own with injuries on the offensive line and a QB and receiving corps that doesn’t exactly strike fear in most opposing defensive coordinators. However, I’m just not sure I’ve seen enough from this Purdue offense to make me believe that they can put the defense in a chance to succeed. Purdue has failed to put many points on the board in the last few weeks and, I’m not a highly paid coach, but I know that points are important to winning. Until I see a change in that I’m going to struggle to believe in this Purdue team. Purdue opened as a one point favorite on Draft Kings but currently finds themselves a one point home dog.
Well, this may end up being Purdue’s best chance at a win remaining this season given it is a home game against a struggling Minnesota program. The issue is Minnesota likely looks at this game as their last chance to get to bowl eligibility with their final two games coming against Ohio State and Wisconsin, likely the two teams that will be playing in Indy come December. The last several weeks for Purdue’s offense also doesn’t provide any sort of confidence at all to win any of the remaining games.
The only bright side in this game is that Minnesota’s offense is actually rated lower than Purdue’s in most regards. The Golden Gophers are 115th in overall yards per game, 51st in rushing yards per game, 125th in passing yards per game, and have allowed almost 3 sacks per game over their last 3 games. The issue is that Purdue likely to not see much improvement against a Minnesota defense that is pretty solid overall. This will inevitably come down to two bad offenses against two good defenses and which one of those offenses can scratch together offense to not look pathetic.
I’m not confident in Purdue’s ability to do much of anything on offense at this point in time with Purdue’s offensive scheme and play calling looking as vanilla as anyone in the country, Iowa included.
With bowl hopes out of reach, Purdue at this point is just trying to salvage any part of the season they have left and work towards next year. I know we got trounced by Michigan last week but I’ve actually been impressed with some of the defensive strides this team has made as of late. The problem now lies in our offense and just not having “a dude” to go to. Card has struggled, Mockobee has struggled and our offensive line doesn’t do us any favors. It’s hard to see how that changes this week but maybe they finally string some plays together. Minnesota is coming off a loss to Illinois who Purdue beat a few weeks ago. They’re also one game away from bowl eligibility and Purdue is playing for pride at this point. Regardless, I’m sipping the kool-aid and predicting the Boilers break their losing streak and take this one at home. I mean, somethings got to give at some point, right? Right???
Somehow Purdue is favored in this game. Maybe because Minnesota has just been “meh” all season. But they have wins over both Iowa and Nebraska this year and I do not have much confidence in any Purdue position group outside of the D-line.
For me, this game is going to come down to the fact that Purdue seems to have found some semblance of defensive fortitude and trust over the season while Minny’s offense still can’t get going. There are only thirteen teams ranked lower than Minnesota in total offense. Two of the teams they’ve beaten have the literal two worst offenses in FBS and one of the teams they’ve lost to is ranked below them in total offense. Purdue should be able to contain them in a close one even if this game is filled with field goals.
Minnesota wants to run the ball. Purdue wants to stop the run. Purdue wants to run the ball. Minnesota wants to stop the run. This is an interesting matchup and I think it comes down to Hudson Card vs Athan Kaliakmanis. I’m giving the slight nod to Card because I think Purdue’s defense pressure Kalikmanis into some mistakes. Purdue wins the turnover battle 3-2 and wins the game.
As a one point hone underdog, I have trouble backing Purdue. They say the line is adjusted by three points to account for home field advantage, but on a chilly November afternoon at 2-7, I’m guessing the crowd won’t be all that into it, and Purdue’s home field advantage will be basically nonexistent. Not to mention, the lads themselves are probably going to have a hard time getting up for this with virtually nothing to play for.
I think this one goes down as the proverbial mail in the coffin of a lost season for Purdue.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.