Friday, October 28, 2011

The Predicto - Big Blue

Purdue returns to Ann Arbor with the wind at their back and dreams of making 100k+ fans want to vomit just 2 years ago.

Predicto machine is churning over this one..

Better or Worse than new Pete?


This is their mascot right?
Michigan comes off a bye week after receiving their first loss of the year to their Arch Rival Sparty; this scenario is similar to 2008 where UofM loses to a rival (then Notre Dame) goes into one week of hibernation and returns to the field with a vengeance (They then beat #9 Wisky 22-20). This year, the Wolverines face off against the up and coming Boilers as they defeated the formerly ranked Illini. Purdue would look to improve to 2-0 at Michigan Stadium under Danny Hope if they bring home the W - a feat that many Purdue Coaches never even half reached.

Michigan suffered some insult after losing to what proves to be a capable and impressive MSU team. This bad taste could be terrifyingly bad for our boys - had they come off another loss. The win over Illinois should remind the team that they have good pieces if they execute well together. Everyone will need to give 110% as Danny says to have a hope of pulling the second upset in as many weeks. Short had a monster game last week and will need to continue to lead the defense in the quarterback pressure - fortunately we just had a mobile quarterback for lunch, however Denard isn't exactly someone to sleep on. Remember, we beat Tate Forcier, not Shoelace.

Caleb is going to need to keep his composure in his first game playing in Ann Arbor. He watched Elliot pull the upset last year - I'll update this post if Elliot responds to my request for advice. We're not going to win without some heroics on either his or the WR corps. Fortunately, Michigan doesn't seem to be very impressive on stopping the run, but we'll need to see if the front 7 are big enough to match up to give the 8 headed run game some openings.

Just because I don't want to look like an ass again:

Purdue - 27
The Fighting Denards - 24


If Purdue can put together and entire game the way they played the first half last week then they've got a chance. However, this is another ranked opponent, on the road no less, that is coming off a loss and then had an extra week to think about it for good measure. Can the d-line bring the pressure like they did against Illinois? They'll need to in order to keep Robinson in check. I liked the way that Purdue responded to my criticism last week. I'm pretty sure I'm the reason they were fired up. So this week I'll talk about the dumb penalties. They killed the team in the 2001 Rose Bowl (not that I'm bitter about it) and they're killing the team now. [At least this team is like the Rose Bowl team in one way. --J] Michigan doesn't need any help so Purdue cannot afford to extend any of their drives with pass interference calls or air high fives with fans in the stands. Hope should enact some Major League punishment. If Willie Mays Hays jumps any more then make him do pushups right in the middle of the game. At the end of the day I think the atmosphere intimidates Purdue and Michigan is simply too much. The new and improved (as of the last 3 games) Boilermakers keep things respectable, though.

Purdue -- 21
THE University of Michigan -- 27


I've really struggled with this one and it's the first time in a while that I honestly am unsure of how I think a game will go. I do think Michigan is beatable at 6-1 just like Illinois was beatable at 6-1. I think pressure on the Denard can lead to good things for the Purdue defense. I think Purdue has improved as a team this year and that's a good thing. I think on a neutral field or at Ross-Ade, the Boilers would have an excellent chance to win. And while I don't think home field always makes a huge difference, evidence suggests otherwise in this pairing.

To ask Purdue to win is to ask them to beat their second straight ranked, 6-1 team. And to do it on the road this time. Granted, they won over a ranked Northwestern team on the road last year, so even if you devalue that because it's Northwestern, it's at least a monkey off their backs. We'd also be asking Purdue to win for the second consecutive time at the big house, which they couldn't do one time in a row for more than four decades. In addition, Purdue is 0-2 on the road this year, and while I agree they are certainly a better team than they were at Rice, the next game Caleb Terbush wins on the road will be his first.

I really like how the D is playing, I like the way they're tackling and as B-Dowd said on the podcast, I specifically like how the ends and LBs are playing. Can the semi-vaunted secondary slow down UM's big receivers? Others have tried and failed.

I'm with those who think Purdue has a legitimate shot and will for sure make this interesting (hey, something we might not have said a few weeks ago) but in the end, it's hard to imagine them winning this one on the road. If they do, however, it would rank up there with the win over OSU as perhaps Danny Hope's signature win.

Boilers -- 27
Wolverines -- 32


This late in the season, it's kinda tough to be in the top-third of the conference in a bunch of statistical categories and not be a solid team. Granted, UM hasn't gotten to the beef of their schedule yet as the Wolverines schedule is back-loaded as is Purdue's. But here are some things that are tough to ignore- they don't commit a lot of penalties and their opponents do. They run the ball well and they've been very good in the redzone on defense.

Now, while Purdue has played a more solid brand of football the past few week, costly penalties are still a regular occurrence...and my thoughts are that UM's discipline and Purdue's lack there of will be what keeps Purdue from winning.

One thing that UM is not great on is punt and kick coverage. I look for Hunt or Mostert to have a big return on the day and keep the good guys in this one. If Holland and company are schemed to contain Robinson and don't allow him to get outside, it'll be a tough day for UM as Robinson is still not a great passer. Look for Purdue's big DEs to not to rush upfield and help to just create pocket. If this happens and Short makes noise up the middle, it could be very good for Purdue.

Since Robinson is very healthy coming off of a bye week, Purdue will need to get a few clean shots in on him to try to slow him down...hopefully that happens early.

Roy Roundtree is still a toolbag.

UM 33
Purdue 23


Plang said...

I'm pretty sure that if there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that Roy Roundtree is a d-bag.

Michigan wins it by 2 points in the final 20 seconds of the game, but Purdue gives many thousands of UM fans ulcers in the process.

zlionsfan said...

Both teams have a unit that was just awful last year and has improved this season: Michigan's defense improved to pretty good so far, Purdue's offense has improved to "not horrible".

The change in scheme has been difficult for both Al Borges and Denard; early-season attempts to wedge Robinson into a more conventional under-center, two-back offense were dismal failures, and his accuracy has dropped off, rather than improved, from 2010. Still, the offense is keyed around Denard, even with Devin Gardner in the game. Gardner will likely be a good QB in the future, but doesn't yet have the experience to be more than a novelty.

However, Robinson still has the skills to make all but the best defenses look foolish if they do not respect their assignments. He has trouble identifying and throwing into coverage, but he can still hit a wide-open receiver like just about any other QB can. Safeties and linebackers must maintain their responsibilities: if they contain Robinson and make him a pocket passer, they can shut down Michigan's offense. If they miss tackles or look in the backfield or make other fundamental mistakes, it could be a long day.

zlionsfan said...

There is a lot of inexperience on Michigan's defense, particularly in the secondary, which has been upgraded from "paper-thin" to "adequate" this year. The corners are not particularly fast and may find themselves playing the ball more often than Greg Mattison would like; Jordan Kovacs is developing into a solid safety, but he's still undersized and occasionally runs himself out of plays. The linebackers don't tend to read plays quickly and frequently find themselves engaged by blockers before they can shut down a run; the defensive line, aside from Mike Martin, does not always generate pressure. Mattison does not yet have NFL-style blitzes in place, but will do some different things in coverage, so TerBush will have to be aware of that.

Special teams are still a weakness: the coverage teams don't always do well, and while they do have someone who can make field goals, he hasn't yet hit anything from a reasonable distance. (This does, however, lead to some aggressive decisions by Hoke and Borges; Purdue's defense will have to keep in mind that Michigan may look at inside Purdue's 40 as four-down territory.)

If Hoke's staff had another year of experience, this would be an easy win for Michigan. They have the edge in talent and play in a stadium that does not easily give away wins. However, it's still a time of change, and Michigan hasn't shown dominance against Big Ten teams not named Minnesota. (Is Minnesota actually a Big Ten team? I think they'd struggle in the MAC this season.) The Purdue team that played in the first half against Illinois could win this game; the Purdue team in the second half would get blown out.

Hope does have a win in Ann Arbor, but that was against a coach who thought defense grew on trees. This one does not. Purdue hasn't won in consecutive trips to Ann Arbor since I was born - they won four straight years, from 1963 through 1966, and then weren't invited back until 1969, Bo's first year at Michigan. That began the regular scheduling that we know today, with alternating home and away games; before that, Purdue played Michigan in West Lafayette 6 times in 75 years. (They only made 13 visits to Ann Arbor, but still, it wasn't one-for-one. The conference was very much Big Two and Little Seven-or-Eight back then.)

I see a game like the Illinois game: Purdue will come out in the first half and maintain discipline, force Robinson to throw into coverage, and look like they'll collect their second win over a ranked team in one season for the first time since 2003 (and first time in consecutive weeks since 2000, when it was Michigan and Northwestern). Alas, in the second half we'll see defensive mistakes that lead to easy touchdowns; Michigan's offense is built to score points quickly, but Purdue's is not, and the Wolverines will build an insurmountable lead.

Purdue 22
Michigan 35

Scruffy_P said...

I just have a feeling that if Hope is going to pull us out of the nosedive and prove that his record is only an indication of injuries and late Tiller recruiting then it might as well be now (or probably will be never).

Purdue - 24
Michigan - 21

My prediction might just hinge also on Wiggs turning things around and nailing in a 53 yarder to win it.

I must be in a good mood or something...

Mommatried said...

I lost my boiled virginity to a Michigan game several years back. Then I went on a homophobic rant about Missagain and their blowhard homer fans. That post got "moderated" (rightfully so) and I have been back to BS ever since. Unfortunately, I am still waiting for our football team to show up (or for Morgan Burke to retire)...I've been waiting awhile for either. I am hoping for a Cardinals WS clinch tonight and Boiler victory tomorrow. Here's to getting what you hope for.

Anonymous said...

If we win i promise to not complain about Hope for the rest of the season.

But I think we'd need a full game of solid play to beat UM, and I haven't seen that yet, so I'm going to go UM 31, Purdue 17

CaryNW87 said...

I'm not afraid to backpedal. I have a well-worn seat on the "No Hope" bandwagon, but the last two weeks are making me wonder.

Last season, someone here wisely went and actually talked to Eastern Kentucky fans about their opinion of Hope. They said "be patient" and that he doesn't put a lot of stock in the early nonconference games. They also said that Hope DOES have a plan, and once it's in place it's rock-n-roll.

So, this week I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. This team IS talented and maybe, just maybe they have been coached up enough to make it happen in Ann Arbor. Maybe.

Purdue 23
bitchagain 20

zlionsfan said...

Well, he's probably going to have to change his point of view. Unless he establishes a program that can win the conference, those non-conference games are going to make the difference between bowl games and no bowl games (or between a decent bowl game and a crappy one). 5-2 would have meant that beating IU would mean a bowl game and any additional wins would be a bonus.

There's a reason why most coaches at AQ schools schedule no more than one real non-conference opponent. (Well, two reasons, but the second only matters if your attendance is good: you probably make more money scheduling MAC teams at home than playing a home-and-home with someone else, and you probably aren't going to find quality teams who will play you other than home-and-home.)

CalTravelGuy said...

Purdue 73, Michigan 34

Oh, wait... that was the score of the Rice/Houston game last night. You remember Rice, the team that beat Purdue? They gave up 73 last night.

I love your spirit guys, but seriously... what are you thinking.

Michigan 42, Purdue 20

For what it's worth, I'm "feeling" two more wins and a Bowl game. It won't feel like that tomorrow though. Sorry.

jay.westfall said...

Purdue wins, but I can't venture a score. Why? You ask. Because the dude in maize at WalMart totally ignored me twice in my old gold Boiler Up t-shirt.

Ignore us at your peril, Boiler Up!!!!