With the game just under 24 hours away, it's time to put our predictions down in writing. While I seem to have the most apprehension about this year's game versus Notre Dame, we all are in agreement about the outcome...Here goes:
"In typical fashion for me, I'm worried about this game. I think Purdue SHOULD destroy the Cryrish, but there's a nagging fear in the back of my head. For now, I will ignore that fear and predict a true ass whooping...
"I predict that Mike Alstott will have 357 yards rushing, Taylor Stubblefield will have 233 yards receiving, Vinny Sutherland with have not one, not two, but three kick \ punt returns for touchdowns. John Reeves will throw for 200 yards in the first quarter, but will go down with turf toe. Billy Dicken will come in and continue the onslaught.
"That is all. I have spoken."
So, while I'm not sure what Tim was drinking while making this prediction, here's his final score:
I see the Boilers coming out of the gate extremely focused because I do also believe that Tiller takes ND seriously. Sure, this team has major focus problems and always has under Joe, but one game they almost always seem awake for is the matchup with the Irish. And in recent years, it's finally become a good series. After many, many years of bad losses and worse losses, the Boilers began to fight back about ten years ago. In Tiller's tenure, the Boilers are 4-6 against the Irish and were 4-4 at one point. In 2004, they won for the first time AT South Bend in thirty years. However, the past two years, Purdue has been solidly outplayed by Charlie's crew. The frustrating thing is that I don't think Notre Dame was as better as the score indicated in those games -- I think it was a combo of them being good and well-prepared and the Boilers simply not playing well. Not an excuse, but I just think those games should have been closer. This year, there's no doubt we should win. None at all. I can't imagine Purdue's been a 22-point favorite over the Domers in a very, very long time. I would suspect we're talking nearly 40 years. So with that comes the very unusual expectation of this being a walkover. 22 points? Winning by more than three touchdowns? While it makes sense when you look at it objectively on paper, most Purdue loyalists like us just cannot imagine seeing that happen (despite the ass-whipping we put on them in 2004). But regardless, let me get to the point: As I said, I think Purdue will come out very focused and take a lead in the first quarter. I think the game will play out a lot like the game ND just played against MSU -- that is, the Irish will get back into it in the second quarter and make it a game. However, I have to have faith in our team because regardless of what anyone says, we DO have more talent and a team that's scoring at will these days. Not many games mean as much to us to win as the annual Notre Dame game. 22 points? Okay, I'll take it."
It's a good thing I don't play for Purdue, for multiple reasons actually. First, where do you put a 5'4" 175 lb. player that runs an 8.0 second 40? Second, just thinking about the game gives me butterflies. I'm past my 32nd birthday, but this game makes me feel like I'm 10 years old as it conjures up memories of Purdue v. UND at the Hoosier Dome back in 1984 or Billy Dicken & Co. surprising everybody in 1997...Of course, Taylor Stubblefield giving the "choo choo" motion as he zips 90 plus yards down the sideline in South Bend. All that said, I also remember being railroaded by Lou's boys in cold rain, and having urine splattered on my elbow while sitting in the student's section at UND...Like J said, this one's as important to me, as a fan, as any other game on the schedule. I've been cautious all week, but here's my final prediction: 22 points are too many, I don't think I'd bet on my Boilers to cover (I don't bet on my alma mater, mind you)...that said, I think they'll win in a bit of a nail-biter:
- 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!