Last week was a pretty tough loss, as a Purdue fan...and I'm pretty sure the Boiler players feel the same way. MSU is also coming off of a loss in which they could all but taste the victory to in-state rival UM, but couldn't match the Henne-Manningham connection down the stretch. The question for both teams is does a tough loss motivate a team to get the taste out of their mouths OR does it break their spirit.
I think the loss for the Spartans all but ended their season. Hoeppner-esque tactics like a countdown clock leading to the UM game tend to make the sting of a loss linger that much longer...problem is, unlike IU v. Purdue, the UM game is not their last contest of the regular season. Mark Dantonio took this one hard too. He was still talking about it as recently as Tuesday remembering some of the UM players antics...problem is, he has another game to prepare for...these 19 & 20 year olds need to move on and may not have been able to as their coach continued to languish over the loss last Saturday. One one hand, I really appreciate his passion for that game and their rivalry with UM, on the other, his team would probably benefit from him letting it rest after Sunday following that contest.
Point of Interest: Jaycen Taylor has been bumped off of the two-deep and replaced by Dan Dierking for this week's game...looks like Joe Tiller agrees with J about Taylor's fumbles. I would look for Taylor to have a pretty good game as a result of this move.
Purdue is favored in a home game, under Joe Tiller...what's that mean? (You probably already know) Here's what we think it means:
I have a lot of concerns about this weekends game, but it's not about which Purdue team we'll see for a change. It's about which Michigan State team we'll see. It seems that Michigan State plays up to it's opponents (ex. Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin), but that's actually a good thing for Purdue, as MSU will most likely not get up for Purdue (ex. Iowa, Pitt). I expect Purdue to play a rather bland game, but because they are expected to win, they will. They won't have any fire in their bellies, and the coaches certainly won't do them any favors, but they'll still win.
I'm depressed in one way -- Purdue went 0 for 3 in their major tests. However, I'm somewhat optimistic in another way -- the Boilers haven't had their traditional stinker loss to an opponent they shouldn't lose to. In previous years, there was always an unexpected loss to Northwestern or a blowout by a not-thsat-good Iowa. Things like that. This season, however, the Boilermakers have truly played to the form we've all come to expect. Showing up and playing solid against the teams they can beat and, well, you know the rest. It's a familiar tune we play here at Boiled Sports.
It's Senior Day for our Boilers and this season, a ton of guys will be introduced as they play their last game at Ross Ade in the black and gold. Offensively, Grimes, Powell, Hood, Keller, Bryant and Standeford will all take a bow...and defensively, Avril, Bright, Bick, Ferguson, Keglar and Vinson will all say their goodbyes. You can see, many of the leaders in both statistics and intangibles are in those two groups. For this reason, I think Purdue will come out and play tough from the get-go. That said, I think MSU's punishing running game will keep it close all afternoon. This Spartan team runs the ball as well as Ohio State...but they don't pass as well (thankfully). Plus, their two backs allow them to run inside or outside extremely effectively.
I look for Purdue's offense to score enough that MSU's running game can't complete a late comeback...I think Bryant and Keller will both have huge days and I believe Sheets & Taylor will both run the ball effectively to the tune of 5-6 yds/carry. The key to the game is Painter and his confidence...he needs it and his team needs to see him as a leader.
- To Your Call Once More We Rally;
Alma Mater Hear Our Praise.
Where The Wabash Spreads Its Valley;
Filled With Joy Our Voices Raise.
From The Skies In Swelling Echoes
Come The Cheers That Tell The Tale
Of Your Vict'ries And Your Heros,
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!