Well, everyone on the site got it wrong last week. Were we all arrogant? Blinded by the charm and cool factor of Ryan Walters? Down on Fresno State? It’s probably a combination of all of those things. This week, the staff is back to try and get some victories of their own.
Jumbo Heroes (0-1):
Virginia Tech is not a great team. Purdue is not a great team. What’s the opposite of when an unstoppable force meets an immoveable object? That feels like that’s what might happen between these two defenses. I don’t have a ton of faith in either team stopping the other. VT is going to struggle stopping the run and Purdue likely will struggle to stop the pass. Which defense can find a way to lessen the damage?
I’ve got Purdue pulling this one out because I’m a homer, but ultimately I wouldn’t be surprised if VT found a way to win. These teams truly are evenly matched. Draft Kings has Purdue as a 2.5 point dog right now and I think Purdue covers that but just barely.
VT - 28
I like Purdue in this one, even more so if the weather is sloppy. Tech’s run game struggled against ODU and Purdue did decent job of corralling Fresno’s run attack. After last week, Purdue’s secondary could use an assist from mother nature.
Virginia Tech 27
Sadly, I’ve got Tech in this one. Their outside receivers are talented and they’ve got an excellent slot receiver coming off a 2 touchdown game. Lane Stadium is a tough place to win, and it should be close to full on Saturday. Purdue commits one too many turnovers and the Hokies squeak out a close one at home.
Virginia Tech 27
Ok, my original prediction (the one from the podcast) was 38-34 and didn’t account for the weather. With heavy rain and thunderstorms possible in Blacksburg Saturday, Purdue might have to rely on the rushing attack a bit more. I actually think this favors Purdue because Virginia Tech had a hard time stopping ODU’s rushers. Plus, if the weakness of the Purdue defense is the secondary, lots of rain could be quite helpful. I still think Purdue will have a better spread on offense this week and Hudson Card will be more inclined to scramble outside the pocket. With a VT defensive lineman out for the first half, Purdue gets the run game working and the weather helps out the defense.
Virginia Tech 20
Well, this is the second one of these I have done for this game because it now appears as though the weather isn’t going to cooperate for what Purdue would really like to do from a passing standpoint. Wet conditions typically don’t work well for passing games and Purdue has a terrible tendency in these types of situations to lay complete eggs (see Eastern Michigan for example). If you are relying on perfect weather for your offense to work, then it’s probably not ideal. That being said, I do think the Purdue offense can run the ball against Virginia Tech.
Last week against ODU, Virginia Tech gave up over 200 yards on the ground and seemed to give up a lot of open throws off the play action, which is what I believe Purdue wants to be able to do with Mockobee and Tracy in the backfield. Yes, rain makes it more difficult to throw the ball but as long as it isn’t windy it shouldn’t be as big of an impact unless it is a downpour. The key will be can Purdue get over 150 yards rushing to compliment the passing game and have the defense make big plays. I think against VT they can do that in a lower than expected scoring game because of the elements.
A lot was exposed last week with Purdues loss to Fresno state. Our defense wasn’t great and the secondary got burned a lot. The bad news is I don’t think Purdue has many options at corner to correct that within a week, the good news is Virginia Tech doesn’t have a great passing game so it shouldn’t be as big of a problem. Our defense should be able to shut their run game down and limit so many third down conversions. Purdue will be sharper and I expect (hope) that they can get Mockobee more touches. Not having his offense last week hurt us and we still almost won. He’s not a power runner up the middle though so I hope Harrell gives him some more tosses to the side and allows him to read the field. Card showed he can be good at QB and Burks got to showcase the freak athleticism we’ve been hearing about. It’ll be a battle but I think Purdue picks up a win on the road and redeems themselves from last week.
After last week, I was a bit surprised to see Purdue as just a 2.5 point underdog on the road to Virginia Tech this weekend, but I think that speaks more to the quality (or lack thereof) of Virginia Tech in recent history.
Having said that, a road dog is still a road dog. The weather calls for rain, and rain would put more of an emphasis on defense and rushing attacks. Not good news for the Boilers.
All signs here point to a Virginia Tech win, but I have to keep the faith, because if Purdue comes back to Ross-Ade to face a stout Syracuse team at 0-2, then potentially a top-25 Wisconsin team at 0-3, the embers of a once promising season could be stomped out by the end of September.
Virginia Tech 20
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.