Wednesday, October 11, 2017

UW vs. Purdue

Moved to 3-1 after last weeks 2-0 performance against Nebraska. UW is a 17 point favorite against Purdue and the over/under is 51.

Much of the talk leading up to this game seems to be about how improved Purdue has been under first year coach Brohm, especially on the defensive side of the ball. No one is predicting Purdue to win a B1G championship, or even this game, but there is a lot of praise for Brohm. Purdue has been so bad since Joe Tiller retired that pretty much anything looks good at this point. Purdue has 3 wins already, but much of the improvement talk is based on the 2 losses against ranked MI and Louisville. Purdue held a halftime lead against MI, and a 4th quarter lead before losing to Louisville. Competitive games vs. ranked opponents have been a rarity for Purdue fans lately. After UW, Purdue's schedule is easy, so it is possible they get to 6 wins and a bowl game which would be a remarkable turnaround. Also possible they don't win another game this year, and look like the Purdue of recent years.

Purdue's defense is not the atrocious unit it has been recently, but it is still not good. Against Jackson's one man show at Louisville they gave up 35 points. Jackson is such a unique player I find it hard to judge them much on that game. MI is equally vexing, as Speights got hurt early in that game leading to what looks to be the O'Korn show for the rest of the year. MI was held to 28, but MI's offense hardly seems imposing this year, especially after last weeks disastrous game with the O'Korn lead offense. Minnesota rushed for 227 yards, but scored only 17 points as they don't know how to throw the ball. I'm not saying Purdue's defensive improvement is not for real, I'm just not convinced yet. My guess is that Purdue stacks the line of scrimmage early and has some success stopping the run, but UW will not stop coming at them. UW also probably hits some big plays over the top that their offense has been missing so far this year, and then runs over Purdue in the 2nd half just like they did against Nebraska.

Purdue's offense on the other hand looks more familiar. Little to no running game. Lots of short passes to the boundary and very few over the top throws. With no deep threat Purdue should get eaten up by UW's defense. The only comparable defensive unit they have faced was MI, and MI held them to 10 points, 189 total yards and 0-12 on 3rd downs. This leads to a lot of time on the field for the defense, which will wear down just as it did against MI.

So 17 points is a lot in a conference game, but UW is at home, and Purdue's only true road game was against a reeling Missouri program. I expect Purdue to crumble under the Camp Randall crowd, whether it comes early or late. I'm taking Bucky and giving the points, but I'm taking the under this week, as what could be a sloppy weather day could keep this game from getting too crazy.

Bucky 31
Purdue 6

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