Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Purdue vs Marshall: Stomping the Herd

A thundering herd!

Purdue is starting to get votes in the AP poll. Yes, you may or may not have noticed Purdue at the bottom of the AP Top 25 getting a solid five votes. It was obviously spurred by the great performance against "God's Team" but regardless it's exciting. The Boilers have a chance of being ranked under Danny Hope but the Thundering Herd are going to try to nix that.

Coming off of a double overtime thriller, Marshall is going to have some momentum. In that game their high flying offense passed for 259 yards and rushed for 334. They boast the nation's best passing offense and look to dismantle the praised defensive line of the Boilermakers.

I'm concerned about this game. Their rushing attack is good and Purdue's run defense looked subpar in the game against EMU, allowing 169 rush yards. If the Boilers can put together a rush defense similar to that at Notre Dame, it should be no problem.

One has to believe that the Herd is going to key on the running game and try to exploit Purdue's weakness in the linebacker core.

It's going to be key that the Boilermakers can stop the run, which will eliminate the play action which could prove vital for the secondary.

I think it's going to be next to impossible to completely stop Marshall's offense, but containing them is something that is feasible.

Offensively this is going to be a game where the Boilermakers can flex their muscles. Marshall's defense has been lackluster this season, on average allowing 509 yards of total offense per game.

Their goal is to outscore their opponent rather than stop them defensively. If Purdue can limit turnovers, they are looking at a great day offensively. With Marshall giving up around 43 points per game this is an opportunity to showcase the firepower of the offense. Look for TerBush to have a big game this week.

Marshall has a few players to look out for come Saturday. Keep an eye on Rakeem Cato who has thrown for almost 1500 yards this season, averaging 370 per game while passing for 10 touchdowns on the year.

Another star of the Herd is Steward Butler. The freshman is a speedy back that is very comparable to Danny Anthrop. The Herd will run numerous backs in this game most of which have a big play ability. It's going to be important to contain them at the line of scrimmage. Combined, they have 10 touchdowns allowing Marshall to have a balanced attack that is fresh, causing lots of issues for opposing defenders. Their ability to substitute allows each back to compliment one another creating one of the best backfields in football.

The key to this game is going to be the defense containing the Herd offense, as well as the offense putting up some great numbers. I have trouble believing that fewer than four offensive touchdowns is going to win this game.

I look for it to be a great shoot-out but Purdue's defense is going to set them apart and give the Boilers the edge in this one.


Mommatried said...

I admit I'm donning my old gold tinted glasses at the moment...but I think our defense is maybe a little better than they are getting credit for here. I agree EMU game didn't look great...but EMU also had MSU in a contest for much of the game too...and we handled them pretty well in the end. The bottom line is, the offense can't strain the defense with turnovers and failed 3rd conversions. Maybe I am more optimistic than I should be...but if Danny Hope doesn't get in the way and the defense plays well, we should end up in position for a positive outcome. It sure would be nice to be hitting on all cylinders going into B1G play...for a change.

Brad said...

I know stats can be misleading when one plays cupcakes, so I did a bit of digging.

The bulk of the rushing yards, and more importantly, the highest yard-per-carry number we've given up, have been when we've been leading by 15+ points.

That tells me that we've been stiff when the starters were in, and when the game is well in hand, we got a bit more lax. So I'm not concerned about the 169 rush yards EMU put up on us.

What's more concerning to me is how the pass defense holds up. Against ND we sold out to shut down the run (and we were successful), but they were able to throw the ball pretty damn well. Given that Marshall can throw it around, I'm worried whether our pass D can step up to the challenge.

SDBoiler said...

Agree with Brad on his points. Despite what end game stats may hint at, against EMU our starting D didn't allow any touchdowns. The lone touchdown before we were firmly in control of the game and making substitutions was a pick 6 by TerBush. Later in the games when we are in prevent defenses to stop the opponents from throwing to get back in the game we give up some ground yardage. The weakest point on our D is obviously the LB's and that will be the Herd's focus if they want to be successful. We can't defend the middle of the field.

BoilerRick said...

I actually think this is perfect match to get our defense ready for the Big Ten.

Allen said...

"Their goal is to outscore their opponent rather than stop them defensively"

I see someone is channeling their inner Madden.