Week 1 is finally upon us, week 0 (terribly named by the way, we’ve gotta do better than that) is over and it’s time for the rest of the college football world to begin their season. Let’s see what the staff has to say about this week 1 game against Fresno State.
Jumbo Heroes (0-0):
If you listened to the latest Boiler Alert podcast, which you really should be doing, you heard Ryan and I give our predictions as well as a pretty interesting conversation with folks from the Fresno State podcast Beware of Bulldogs. They seemed pretty confident. They indicated that sure they lost a lot on offense but they feel they have filled those holes and reloaded at crucial positions. Sound familiar? They also indicated that they were a bit worried about their ability to stop the run. That got me perked up. With Devin Mockobee back with one more year of strength, conditioning, and acclimation to college football, I really think he could cause some damage against the Bulldogs. Couple that with what I am hoping will be a great debut from Hudson Card and the Boilermakers will beat a very solid Fresno State team but it will be close.
Fresno State 24
Well, for our podcast listeners, the cat’s already out of the bag. Here’s what we know: Purdue will play Fresno St at noon Saturday and feature a lot of new talent / coaches. I like to think that Graham Harrell will have the offense moving and balanced with Devin Mockobee. I like to think that the DB group will flourish under Ryan Walter’s guidance. Saturday will be the first opportunity for these things to happen. I think the Mock train will steam ahead and Hudson Card will be steady and dependable. The defense will slow Fresno St’s own raw but talented offense and Purdue comes out on top.
Fresno St. 24
I’m writing this on Thursday and spread on Draft Kings is at 4 right now so it’s clear that money is on Purdue. I know we lost some key pieces like AOC but we still have a solid foundation and what seems to be a new stud QB at the helm, along with Mockobee running the ball. I think it’ll be a moderately low scoring game with some new leaders on offense emerging. It’ll be close at half but Purdue will start to pull away in the third quarter as our D wears them down. My prediction:
Fresno State 13
Purdue’s size on the D-Line and pass rush bother the Fresno offense. Purdue’s offense starts slow but finishes strong. Boilermakers win, but don’t cover.
Boilermakers pull away late with Card and Mockobee taking over and the defense forcing key second half turnovers.
Fresno State 24
Well, it’s time to lace up the cleats and finally see what Ryan Walters and his staff have been working on for the past nine months. So far, they appear to be solidly making progress by acquiring more talent through the portal that many other major programs were wanting at the same time. Hudson Card, Jeffrey M’ba, Markevious Brown, Marquis Wilson, and Isaiah Nichols were guys that major programs wanted on the field this fall. Can Walters and company pull together this group in short time and improve upon some of the shortcomings that plagued the Jeff Brohm era at Purdue? A win on Saturday against an incredibly stout Fresno St program would go a long way in established confidence within and outside the program.
At the end of the day, Purdue has Hudson Card, Devon Mockobee, Nic Scourton, Isaiah Nichols, and Sanoussi Kane who are likely the five best players that will step on the field Saturday. The key will be limiting the number of penalties and mistakes that can cost teams dearly in the first week of the season (looking at you Nebraska). Mockobee goes for 115 yards and touchdown, Card throws for 250 yards and two touchdowns, while the improved defensive backfield gels in the second half to limit Fresno State.
Fresno St. 24
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.