Jump for Joy: Football is Back, So is the Predicto
We know your favorite Friday ritual during football season is to swing by here and see what the BS guys have to say about the on-field shenanigans taking place the following day. Well, we aim to please and so the Predicto returns and unlike last year, it’s just chock full o’ optimism! J sez:
This game needs to be a win. And if we want to feel good about Purdue’s chances of being competitive this season, it kind of needs to be a blowout, or at least a no-doubter. I don’t want to see a 10-7 game at the half. I want this to basically be over by the half.
Best case, Etling shows the command of the offense we saw glimpses of against IU at the end of last season and the Boilers are up big enough to rest him late and get Applby some in-game reps. Worst case is losing in any manner to a truly awful Western Michigan team at home. If that happens, Ross-Ade may actually be emptier sooner than last season.
Expect Purdue’s athleticism to overwhelm the Broncos and for the good guys to roll… for the first time in over 600 days.
Purdue 35 WMU 14
Not only is WMU young, they're not very talented. Many MAC schools are developmental programs, but their development has been stunted by a coaching change and subsequent shuffling of the line-up. I actually think the Broncos will be pretty good in a year or two. Recruiting is turning around for them after years of 2 & 1-star athletes filling the roster and their coach believes he can change the culture of a broken program; it'll take a believer to make that change.
But that's for later. Now, even an undermanned Boiler squad is too much to handle...and as their Freshman and Sophomores face Purdue's Freshman and Sophomores, talent, size and speed will win out. Purdue is a long way from being a good B1G team...WMU isn't on the radar for that type of competition.
Etling, Mostert and Hunt draw oooohs and ahhhs from the 35,000 fans in a blazing hot Ross-Ade and Bentley shows a bit of the future at LB...But week two will show that the shiny metallic beige isn't even 10k, but pyrite.
The train rolls in a glorified scrimmage.
Purdue 37 WMU 13
I'll wager I'm the only one of us to have traveled to another state to watch a Western Michigan football game. (It was the game against Illinois in Ford Field; at the time, those were the best teams you could see there.) I know people who've gone there, so I've tailgated at Broncos games here and there, although not in Kalamazoo. The friends that I did this with didn't mind hanging out in the lot the entire game, because most of the time, Western wasn't worth watching.
This year might be a little different, if only because in Purdue, the Broncos have an opponent that is similarly building for the future and not ready for the present. We've been down this road before: the season opener against a MAC team that turns out to be better than expected, and a Boiler squad that was looking to start 1-0 suddenly finds itself on the other side of the hyphen (or the en dash, if you're doing it properly).
Purdue and Western Michigan have only met three times, just twice in regular-season play. The first time was the 1993 home opener, Jim Colletto's third year at the helm. After falling 20-7 to North Carolina State, the Boilers came back and knocked off the Broncos, 28-13. It would be their only win of the season. (This was the middle of a 12-year run without a winning record (except for 1994, when MSU had to forfeit a win back when it was forfeiting rather than vacating) that started in my freshman year. Woo football!)
Circumstances may not be that different this year. Expect Purdue to win and look reasonably good, but only because of the level of competition.
Repeat of 9/11/1993: Purdue 28 Western Michigan 13
Aneesh the Swamy sez:
Welcome to the Harry’s Chocolate Shop “Oh God Does This Still Qualify As Football” Bowl!
When two 1-11 teams square off against one another, the excuses rain from the sky like singles when Dowd rocks his thong on stage. Purdue leaned on the trusty “new regime” defense, the “tough schedule” defense, and the “we have no talent” defense, lobbing a barrage of insults at Danny Hope’s cupboard of spare parts.
Western Michigan, living in the land of MACtion, put forward…well…the “new regime” defense, the “tough schedule” defense, and the “no talent” defense. Really, go read some of the blogs. Their coach was fired at the end of the 2012 season, their quarterback broke his hand, they hired an inexperienced coach that most of the fanbase seems cold on, and had no roster experience whatsoever.
With the exception of Purdue’s faith in coach Hazell, Western Michigan was a MAC-version of Purdue. I don’t know whether to feel ultra-depressed or super-depressed that this is the Boilers’ opening matchup, but it poses a legit shot for Purdue to get their first FBS win since 2012.
Raheem Mostert runs everywhere, special teams generates most of Purdue’s yardage, Hazell gets creative offensively, Etling doesn’t do anything bad, and the defense doesn’t completely collapse into rubble.
GOTTA BUILD THAT MOMENTUM FROM SOMEWHERE. UNDEFEATED SINCE AUGUST 30, 2014.
Purdue 32 WMU 17
TheRailRoadTie (rrt1) sez:
First game of the season! GET HYPED. I'm excited, but then again, the start of the season is always exciting. Truth be told, I have a sneaking suspicion that this team will struggle this season. The fact is most of the talent on this squad is located in the sophomore and freshman classes, and we exited training camp with the same questions as when it started. How has Etling progressed? Is the O-Line good enough? Have our linebackers improved? I'm pretty sure we'll see a lot of new faces playing big roles for Purdue this season, and young players - no matter how talented - tend to make mistakes. Expect some growing pains. I'll be happy if Purdue gets four wins this season.
But one of those wins should come Saturday. Western Michigan has a lot of the same questions Purdue has, but Purdue's talent level is unquestionably higher. This is a much kinder way to start the season than last year, and this team will need all the confidence builders it can get. I will be most interested in seeing what the play-calling balance looks like on offense. Purdue's coaches have talked about keeping the system simple to eliminate mental errors, but so long as "simple" doesn't morph into "predictable" that should be a decent strategy. Will Purdue's coaches trust Etling enough to let him air it out a little? Will the O-Line give him enough time to set those plays up? And if both of those events do occur, are Purdue's WRs good enough to capitalize on their opportunities? This might not turn into a Tiller-era barn-burner, but I expect Purdue to walk away with the win.
Purdue 27 WMU 17