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Saturday Roundtable - 2023 Purdue Football Bold Predictions

What does the staff have to say about 2023 football?

Big Ten Football Media Days Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Welcome to the Saturday roundtable, where I send the staff a question and share their answers with you. Today it’s all about the 2023 football season.

Give me two things this week.

1. Give me a bold prediction for the 2023 season.

2. Give me your realistic expectations for 2023.

Jumbo Heroes:

I’ll go bold first because it’s more fun. I think Devin Mockobee gets named an All-American. Go bold or go home on these right? I think that Mockobee showed such skill last year nearly rushing for 1,000 yards despite being down deep on the depth chart at the start of the year. I know, real deep analysis right? But, I think given another year in the program, and with a coaching staff who seem much more dynamic (and less likely to completely forget about the run) I think Mockobee not only gets over 1,000 yards, I think he gets named to at least one All-American team.

For my realistic expectations I am sticking with what I’ve said in the group chat and going with 6-6. The Purdue schedule is just brutal. There’s no getting around how tough it is. Purdue could very well be looking at starting the year 4-6 and having to pull out two wins against Northwestern and then IU in order to reach .500 and bowl eligibility. There are a lot of question marks and unknowns on this roster. I’d love to be more optimistic and call for a back to back Big Ten West title but I just don’t think that’s in the...Card(s).

Jed:

Bold prediction:Purdue will have a 1,000 yard rusher, 3,000+ yard passer, and three 500 yard receivers this season.

Realistic Expectations:So, there is a chance Purdue can start 3-0 and if they do, they could sneakily get to 8 wins. I think the realistic expectation for this season though is probably 5-7. This schedule is just insanely tough playing the top tier B1G from the get go until finishing with Northwestern and IU the last two weeks. Purdue very well could need to go 2-0 those last two games to get to bowl eligibility.

Ryan:

Bold predictions can be difficult because how bold is too bold? You want to predict something slightly past the limit of reasonable expectations, but not so much so that you just sound like a Texas fan. I think I have found a happy medium. My bold prediction is this: TJ Sheffield will have 1,000 receiving yards this season. This would mean that TJ is healthy throughout the season and that Hudson Card is doing pretty well in Graham Harrell’s air raid offense.

As for realistic expectations, I think this season hinges on two things: how well the secondary takes to Ryan Walters’ defensive scheme and how well Hudson Card takes to his new environment in West Lafayette. Seeing what the secondary did under Walters at Illinois, the bar is pretty high and there are a lot of guys looking to elevate their games at Purdue. As for Card, he can be a top 2 quarterback in the Big Ten if all goes well. Obviously, for Card to do well, he’s got to have a pretty good group to throw to but a great QB can elevate those around him and I hope Hudson does that this season. All said, I think a realistic outlook on the season is between 5-7 wins due to the gruelling schedule this year. I like to lean on the upper end of that range because the upside of Card, Mockobee, and the secondary are very high. If all goes well, Purdue gets to a bowl game in year 1 under Ryan Walters just as it did under Jeff Brohm. That would be a realistic and ideal scenario.

Gabi:

1. My bold prediction is Mockobee gets 1000 yards rushing this season… the first time a Purdue running back has done that since 2008. He came close last year and was playing behind King Doerue to start the season. It would be a remarkable feat for a guy who came on as a walk-on last year.

2. My realistic expectations for 2023 is Purdue wins 6 games and sits around 7-8 in the Big Ten. I think they have a lot of good pieces but lost a lot of their offensive line and wide receivers.