It’s Saturday, which means it must be the roundtable. The post where I come up with a question and ask the staff for their thoughts and share them with you fine folks. Today, football!
Okay, it feels safe to finally talk about football season. The big basketball moves are out of the way, Ross-Ade construction is coming along nicely, and the transfer portal action has mostly calmed down. Purdue’s first game of the year is against Fresno State. Previous Purdue coaches of recent memory have a mixed history in game one. Brohm lost to Louisville, Hazell got disamantled by Cincinnati, Hope beat Toledo, Tiller lost to Toledo strangely enough.
So, what’s it gonna be? Will the Ryan Walters era start with a bang or a whimper? I want your game one predictions! (You reserve the right to change your mind as the season gets closer.)
I just think Purdue will win this one but that it will be close. There are so many unknowns about this Purdue squad. We’ve got an entirely new coaching staff, we’ve got a new QB1, we’ve got a mostly new defensive backfield. Will all these new pieces mesh well right away? That’s honestly my biggest worry. When you change so much up in one year it can take time for a team to find itself.
For those not aware, Purdue faces a Fresno State team that finished the year ranked 24th and went 10-4 overall and 7-1 in the Mountain West. They beat Boise State in the Mountain West title game. They then played Washington State in the LA Bowl and won easily 29-6. As we Boilermaker fans know though, bowl results don’t always show the true measure of the team. So, Fresno State is a good team, there’s no debate there, but my gut just tells me Purdue will have a great crowd on their side and Ryan Walters and the new coaching staff will have this team prepared. But as we’ve seen in recent memory, game 1 isn’t a harbinger of how a coach’s tenure will go.
With expectations higher than any time in recent years, Purdue will open as a heavy favorite to win in week one. Fresno State may have won the Mountain West Championship last year and found a cheeky spot in the final AP poll of the year, but they’ve had considerable turnover and will be starting a young, untested QB when they meet the Boilermakers. It’s a should-win game on the outside, but from the inside, it’s a must-win. It’s one of those that, if the new coach can’t find a way to win — and win comfortably — that he may lay awake at night thinking, “If I couldn’t win this, how in the heck am I going to win in the Big Ten?”
Fresno State could put up a fight, but in the end, it’s incredibly important that Purdue uses them as a steppingstone and builds confidence by blowing them out. And I’m fairly confident they will do exactly that.
I feel like I’m always the one that’s bias by their fandom that I can’t pick against the Boilers but I’m feeling really optimistic about this coaching change. I know there will be a lot of kinks to work out and I’m not saying there won’t be some losses but I’m really excited about Coach Walters. I don’t know if it’s the energy he’s putting out or what but I’m sooooo ready for this football season. In a newly renovated buzzing Ross-Ade I’m predicting a W in our home opener. 27-20– Good guys
*I reserve the right to change my prediction after the game.
I think with the new Ross Ade Renovations and a new head coach, the fans will be able to push Purdue through to a victory against Fresno State. Fresno State was a very good team last season but this could arguably be Purdue’s easiest game on the schedule against the only non power conference program. In the first game of the season, it largely comes down to execution of basic principles and having dudes and I think Purdue will just do those things better.
Purdue 34 Fresno State 20
I’m calling it now, the offense is going to strike quick and often while the defense is going to look electric. I cannot wait to be back inside Ross Ade for the start of the Ryan Walters era.
Purdue 38 - Fresno State 24