Teddy's dad suffered a health ailment this week so he's in our thoughts. As such, Teddy for now is only submitting his prediction and no analysis. Get well, Mr. Huff.
Boilers by 7.
Who knows what's going to happen this game? There are four realistic outcomes. First, Iowa 42 - Purdue 17. Second, Iowa 5 - Purdue 3. Third, Purdue 59 - Iowa 4. Fourth, Purdue 11 - Iowa 10.
Which defense will show up? Which offense will show up? How many fans will show up? Will Iowa get lost and even make it to the game? We'll just have to wait and see.
What I've taken away from the team lately is if they can start fast on both sides of the ball then they stay engaged the entire game and can win. If they start slowly on either side then it's going to be a long day. Iowa is nearly as bi-polar as Purdue. They lost to a dreadful Minnesota team but beat a pretty good Michigan team. They're good at home and winless on the road.
The Hawkeyes have some undeniable talent. Marvin McNutt is a stud and Ricardo Allen will definitely have his hands full. There's no stopping McNutt, the only way to have any measure of success against him is to jam him and limit his touches. Hopefully, their terrible play on the road continues.
Interesting factoid (courtesy of EsPN): Purdue has seen 17 different players rush with the ball this season and not a single runner has lost a fumble on 388 carries. Two of the Boilers' three lost fumbles this season have come after receptions; the other was on a punt return.
THE University of Iowa 21
I remember thinking (and saying to B-dowd on the side) that if Purdue did pull off the win over OSU that they would almost certainly lose to Iowa the following week, mainly because that's what this team seems to do, right? Purdue has yet to win two games in a row but here we are, all hoping/expecting Purdue to win back to back games against OSU and Iowa.
Of these last three games, this one is actually the one that concerns me the most because I think Iowa presents a balanced offense and Purdue struggles with balanced offenses when they can't focus on one feature of an offense. Sad to write that, but it's true.
Amazingly, Purdue has a legitimate shot at winning eight games this year if they can close things out the way we hope they will. Regardless, though, we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. We do not want Purdue going to Bloomington needing to win that game to be bowl-eligible, so this one becomes very important.
Despite some of the concerns I outlined above, I think Purdue comes out ready on senior day and plays one of their best games of the season.
The emotion of Senior Day isn't really needed as Danny Hope is pretty good at having his team emotionally charged...so I don't really think it's helpful this week. Remember last Senior Day? On his show this week, he spoke about how he did not like the pre-game Senior festivities...but the Seniors voted to keep it as is, so he kept it.
But more than what happens right before the game, I'm concerned about what's been happening in practice in the days before the game. I get the impression that Hope loved the game last week to the point that he felt like a proud papa afterward...and there's the rub. When Purdue's coaches light a fire under the players, they have looked motivated (Illinois & aOSU specifically). And when the staff is enjoying the afterglow of a victory, motivation has been lacking (Purdue hasn't won two-straight all season).
On top of that, the Purdue defense has struggled against balanced offenses...and Iowa is very balanced.
Purdue is 5-1 at home...Iowa is 0-3 on the road. Is Iowa just due to win or are they just lousy on the road? Can Purdue finish with one of the best home records in the last decade? We'll see.