With the long awaited (see what I did there?) first victory in the Ryan Walters’ era recorded last week against Virginia Tech it’s now all about putting some wins together. The Syracuse Orange are headed to town and some of their fans are feeling pretty confident. What does the staff think?
Jumbo Heroes (1-1):
Maybe it’s because I was at Purdue as a freshman in 2004 when Purdue beat down Syracuse 51-0, or maybe it’s because I actually have seen some good things out of this Purdue squad this year (I’ve seen some bad things too). But whatever the reason, I feel confident heading into this game. This is a return matchup from last year of course, and it was a game that Purdue should have easily won last year were it not for boneheaded penalties.
If this game were played at Syracuse maybe I’d feel differently about my pick here, but as it is Purdue is currently a home dog and that just baffles me. I mean, as of this writing Syracuse is a 2.5 point favorite on Draft Kings and Purdue is +110 on the Moneyline. I just don’t understand it. Maybe my old gold and black glasses are clouding my judgment here but I’m picking Purdue in this one. Keep in mind, Syracuse has a shaky offensive line, has had trouble holding onto the football, and is committing a lot of penalties so far this year. All of those things bode well for our Boilermakers.
Well, this is where the season really gets started. I think we still have a lot to learn about Purdue even after a trip to Virginia Tech because of the unique circumstances surrounding that game. Purdue really appeared to be getting ready to put the hammer down on the Hokies before the rain cut through and although they did jump out to a 17-0 lead that they ended up giving up, grabbing momentum back in an away environment shouldn’t be overlooked. Syracuse though, is likely the best of the non-conference the Boilers will see this season.
The Boilers will likely get Gus Hartwig back in some capacity and Garrett Miller’s return, even in a limited capacity, raises the ceiling of the offense. Getting the offensive line healthy showed last week as Mockobee and Tracy were able to find more success inside the tackles while Hudson Card had more time to find receivers. The defense needs to continue to improve and hopefully they have figured out how to help Cam Allen in coverage situations as the Orange are likely to isolate him against some of their bigger receivers.
Overall, I think the Boilers will be able to pull out a victory although it likely means winning the turnover battle and making the Orange on dimensional like the Boilers were able to do to the Hokies. Nic Scourton continues his ability to control games from his new position while Thieneman grabs his third interception in three games.
No crazy weather this week so it should be a good ole slugfest in West Lafayette. I’m still hopeful that Gus Hartwig and Garrett Miller can come back healthy in this one and bring the Purdue offense up a notch. I think the ground game can get going again this week as Syracuse’s weakness appears to be against the rush. On the other side of the ball, the secondary is going to face a solid QB in Garrett Schrader but will his offensive line be able to stop Nic Scourton and Kydran Jenkins from reeking havoc. I think it’s another close game but Purdue does enough to get above .500 on the season and get Ryan Walters his first home victory.
Ahhhhh revenge game. One that ended up haunting us last season with that “should have won feeling.” It seems the money is favoring Syracuse now but I don’t trust that with who they’ve played so far. Purdue is more battle tested and I think comes out more strong and confident after a road win. Syracuse doesn’t have a great offensive line or good pass rush and I think the Boilers benefit from that. Purdue capitalizes being +2 on turnovers with a 3rd quarter pick 6 and nails a field goal late in the 4th to win the game. Revenge is dish best served cold.
This one comes down to a missed kick. Syracuse and Purdue battle into the 4th quarter, but Purdue’s defense comes up big in the end and Syracuse misses a last second tying field goal.
Another pick em game for the Boilermakers. Syracuse is going to score some points and I’m probably going to throw the remote at least once while screaming “wrap up, what are you doing!” but Purdue finds a groove on offense and pull out a hard fought victory in the 4th quarter behind Hudson Card’s first elite game as Purdue’s quarterback.
Chase (1-0, no pick for Fresno State):
I’m not entirely convinced that the circumstances surrounding last week’s game didn’t benefit Purdue in a big way, and we still only won by a score against a bad Virginia Tech team. As a 2.5-point dog, I gave Purdue the benefit of the doubt last week, but I’m not sure I can do the same this week against a Syracuse team with what could be a potent passing attack.
So I’ll play devil’s advocate this week. And look, I’ll be glad to be wrong, but this one doesn’t give me the warm-and-fuzzies.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.