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Tomorrow is Sept 1 and with it comes a full day of football, beginning with ND and Navy across the pond and steaming all through the day and into the night with Michigan clashing with Alabama. In between, there's lots of delicious goodness, including a Purdue game that isn't at noon. Your Boilers will kick off at 3:30 PM, leaving lots of time for tailgating, breeze-shooting and listening to at least a portion of the BS crew visit the set of the Purdue Football Tailgate Show, somewhere in the 2:30 neighborhood (though you should tune in for the whole show, starting at 1:30).
Until then, click the link and enjoy a hearty helping of BS prediction mania. It's college football time, everyone.
Am I the only one who seems some similarities between Danny Hope and the EKU mascot? Perhaps he was fashioned after their former coach?
When you see such homages, you begin to better understand what a big jump it was for Coach Hope to leave the Colonels to come to West Lafayette.
In these early-season, non-con prediction segments, I often find that there really isn't -- or shouldn't be -- much to say. Purdue needs to win, plain and simple. You've heard us enumerate the challenges around these games before:
-Purdue needs to beat the teams they're "supposed" to beat
-Purdue needs to stay focused on these and not look ahead to games like Notre Dame
-Purdue needs to crush lesser opponents if they are for real
-Non-conference cupcakes are critical even more so when you begin the conf with UM, UW, @OSU
But what else? Well, we know Caleb Terbush will start. I hope there's some semblance of reasoning behind if and when he is taken out and Marve is put in and I hope these guys are aware of the reasoning/plan before kickoff. I have no confidence that they will be, though. I'll be curious to see how comfortable Caleb looks and I think it's possible that he'll surprise a lot of us. As much as we all talk about his limitations, this is a guy who wasn't going to see much playing time at all until August of last year when Rob Henry got hurt -- and then he started 13 games. So yes, I'll be curious to see how he has developed.
Naturally, if Sir Marve gets some time in the saddle, I'll be excited to see what he can do, too, and I'm hopeful (but not confident) that Nord will do more than just force Robert to hand off all the time.
I know we talked on the Handsome Hour about this EKU team being a pretty good one, but as I've said, these are the games you need to lay the hammer down. I don't think Purdue will roll them the way we'd like them to, but they'll win, and it won't take a final drive like last year's opener.
What's a ranking in the teens of the Championship Subdivision equate in the Bowl Subdivision? I don't think anyone can tell...but here are some things that you should know about EKU:
Purdue's loss of Beckford hurts the Boilers, but EKU's loss might be more costly. Their starting center, a Senior and an all-conference selection has been ruled academically-ineligible. They'll have a JuCo transfer starting in his stead. A second-string receiver has also been named ineligible due to academics. One of their starting tackles, Patrick Ford (#63) is 6'6" 305 pounds and is considered a legitimate NFL prospect. Like the suspended center, he started every game last season and most the season before. Their starting Senior QB, TJ Pryor, is within striking distance of becoming their all-time leading QB in almost every category. I believe there's a chance that he won't play v. Purdue...but last season, EKU's defense and ball control nearly did enough to beat Kansas State. And speaking of ball control, their starting RB had over 100 yards in each of his last 8 starts and had over 1,500 yards last season. Much of the reason he was able to run so effectively was because of the aforementioned Oline and overall balance in play calling.
Purdue's vaunted front four will get an early test v. these Kentucky Colonels.
Like J though, I believe you have no excuse but to win versus a lower-division opponent. Sure, it happens every season...but when it does, it's news...because it's rare. If Purdue were to lose, they'd deserve to become another sports clip dog at the end of the college football season. And while some say all exposure and press is a positive thing, negative media coverage is something Purdue doesn't need. Just win and none of this talk matters.
I look for Edison, Holmes and Shavers to play large as Purdue's diversity in play calling will keep them off-balance. Back on offense, EKU's leading receiver is 6'4" and had 3 or 4 games last year with over 100 yards...but while he's similar height to McNutt and Floyd, who both shredded Allen, he's not as physically-dominant as these two...or as strong as Western Michigan's White, who also put up huge numbers v. Johnson and Allen. If Allen, Johnson and Purdue's safeties have a good day, it'll start with Short, Gaston, Maci and Russell's ability to get into EKU's backfield...and Purdue's offense's ability to put points on the board and force EKU to pass in the rain.
In spite of reports of Bolden taking his first contact of the summer just recently, I hope he doesn't get a sniff of the field just yet. I think Mostert and Edison will both have a big play out of the backfield as they pick up the slack.
Dump passes, slippery conditions and battles in the trenches will define who wins as Isaac's remnants pull Indiana out of the summer's drought.
Lots of talk from Hope and the players that this team will be better, more disciplined and more dominant than any in Hope's previous three seasons. No more talk; time to play.
Danny Hope University 13
To Your Call Once More We Rally;
Alma Mater Hear Our Praise;
Where The Wabash Spreads Its Valley;
Filled With Joy Our Voices Raise.
Form The Skies In Swelling Echoes
Come The Cheers That Tell The Tale
Of Your Vict'ries And Your Heroes,
Hail Purdue! We Sing All Hail!
Hail, Hail To Old Purdue!
All Hail To Our Old Gold And Black!
Hail, Hail To Old Purdue!
Our Friendship May She Never Lack.
Ever Grateful, Ever True,
Thus We Raise Our Song Anew
Of The Days We've Spent With You,
All Hail Our Own Purdue!