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 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.
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.
Roy Roundtree is still a toolbag.