Friday, October 19, 2007

Iowa Prediction

The Purdue Boilermakers will look for a little revenge and redemption this weekend as they host the 3-4 (1-3) Iowa Hawkeyes. Purdue will look to halt its two game losing streak and avoid the midseason swoon that has ended recent promising starts. Purdue will also look to avenge the 47-17 thumping they took at the hands of the Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium last year. Iowa, picked to contend for the conference title, is struggling mightily this year having already lost to lowly Indiana and Iowa State. They do however, have a little momentum on their side after knocking off the Fighting Zookers last weekend.

EAGER FOR REVENGE
As mentioned, the Boilers were humbled last season in a 47-17 beatdown that currently stands as the worst loss of the Tiller era. At the time, Iowa was coming off a tough loss to Ohio State and used the Boilers to take out their frustration. This time its the Hawkeyes who are starting a first year QB and are ripe for the picking. Word is that Coach Tiller has had this game circled on the schedule for some time. Expect the Boilers to come out fired up and ready to go. Just ask Ryan Baker how much he is looking forward to this game.

SEASON IS NOT LOST
The last two outings for Purdue have been embarrassing. They were disturbing. The good news is that the Boilers are not penalized for losing ugly. Two losses to the best 2 teams in the conference does not constitute the end of the world or a lost season. Purdue was over matched physically on the lines and lost to teams that were their superior. This team can regroup and finish the season strong. Every game remaining on the schedule is very winnable. Tom Kubat of the J&C provides some well stated perspective on this topic.

A LOOK AT THE HAWKEYES
The Hawkeyes are led at QB by former 4 star recruit and current disappointment Jake Christensen. Jake leads an absolute anemic Iowa offense that ranks #109 in the country as far as yards per game, averaging a mere 313.9 yds per. The Hawkeyes have struggled with offensive line play of late and made several changes last week at Illinois. Those making their Hawkeye debut were true freshman Bryan Bulaga and also Dan Doering, a former 5 star recruit. The Hawkeye defense has been stout ranking 14th nationally and giving up 301.9 yards per game, but haven't yet faced an offense quite like Purdue's.

PREDICTION
Playing a team without elite talent of an Ohio State or Michigan is just what the doctor ordered for this Purdue offense. Purdue should also get a much needed boost with the early return of Jaycen Taylor from a broken arm. Look for the offense to get rolling again and moving the chains like they did in the first 5 games of the season. Painter has a much better day throwing the football as he will actually have time to throw. Dorien Bryant returns from his one week vacation and has a big day.

PURDUE 28
IOWA 13

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Humbled.....Again

Purdue was blasted by the boys in maize and blue yesterday 48-21, and it was never really that close. Michigan dominated the Boilers in every phase of the game, even special teams. The final score could have been 60-7, had Lloyd Carr not called of the dogs for the entire 4th quarter. After two early losses to start the season, Michigan has righted the ship and is playing some damn good football.

TURNING POINT
After forcing Michigan to punt on their first possession, it looked like Purdue was off to a great start. That was until the ensuing punt hit gunner Terrell Vinson in the back and it was recovered by Michigan. Michigan punched it in 2 plays later on a 24 yard Henne touchdown pass to Manningham. Purdue never recovered.

AMAZING STATS
-Purdue turned the ball over four times. Michigan scored touchdowns after all of them.
-Purdue didn't get its 100th offensive yard until midway through the 3rd quarter.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
A masterful defensive play by defensive end Keyon Brown led to the only meaningful Purdue points of the day. As Henne dropped back to pass deep in his own territory, Keyon Brown came on a speed rush to the outside and stripped the ball from Henne's grasp. The fumble was recovered by Purdue and Purdue punched it in to tie the game 7-7.

QUOTE OF THE GAME
Coach Joe Tiller on staying positive in the face of consecutive embarrassing defeats, "But we have to be accountable, too," he said. "We can't just sweep things under the rug and pretend it never happened." I agree Joe. Let's start working on that gameplan for the Hawkeyes.

LOOKING AHEAD
Purdue's shot at redemption comes next week in the form of an up and down Iowa Hawkeye team. Iowa upset the #19 Fighting Zookers of Illinois this weekend 10-6, which ended their streak of 9 straight conference losses. Kirk Ferentz is sure earning that $2 million dollar paycheck these days.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Michigan Prediction

The Wolverines aren't ranked, but they are a more talented team than the Boilers. In fact, this is the first time since 1993 that neither Purdue nor Michigan are ranked going into this game. Michigan has the better QB in senior Chad Henne and the best player on the field in Mike Hart.

Michigan isn't as dominant as Ohio State, especially on defense. I look for the O-Line to give Curtis Painter more time to pass and for the offense to get rolling. Stanford Keglar and Anthony Heygood need to have great games on D taking Mike Hart down with the first hit. Michigan is 21-4 when Hart gets his 100 yards.

The only way Purdue can win this game is with a big play on special teams. Special teams has been the biggest sore spot for the Wolverines this year, so anything is possible.

THE PICK
The Boilers lose their second straight game to a national power and the losing streak in The Big House continues.

MICHIGAN 37
PURDUE 21