|Delicious Side Caesar|
It's been a while folks, but we've got one more predicto in the chamber for a Tuesday night game that isn't basketball. The Good Guys take on Western Michigan at 4:30PM EST Tuesday, 12/27 in the Little Caesar's bowl. For one final time this season, we break it down for you all - predicto starts now.
|Oh, and he broke some silly record.|
|Perhaps the most-important matchup of the game for the Boilers|
Well, here we are. A mediocre season has come down to a mediocre bowl. And why not? This is what Purdue has earned this year. A game against a quality opponent that everyone will assume Purdue SHOULD beat simply by being from the power conference.
The Boilers turned inconsistency into an art form this year. Losing inexcusable games, winning surprising games and laying eggs at peculiar times.
We've said all year that this is a hard squad to predict because you never know how they're going to start games, if the play calling will make sense or who will get more snaps at QB.
Now they've had a month off to prep for this one and thus we have no idea what to expect. Could they have studied Western Michigan and devised a game plan specific to this opponent? They could have, but I have little confidence that that's what they did.
In the end, I can't help but say that I expect Purdue's maddening inconsistency to continue. They SHOULD be able to out-talent WMU but I don't know if they will. These guys SHOULD be thrilled to be playing in a bowl game, but we already know they were pissed off that Detroit was their reward. And Robert Marve SHOULD be starting this game and playing all of it but we all know that won't happen, either.
Danny Hope celebrates his new contact extension with his third straight losing season.
Western Michigan 31
Back in Detroit, but we're looking incredibly different. After watching the boys battle in Bloomington, I know how bad they want to win one more time and I am confident they will, but it won't be easy.
Marve and TerBush will share the field for what I feel is the last time. Marve won't be handing the ball off as much due to Danny's 'Players first mindset'; he'll be given opportunities to be a hero. This is both awesome and alarming for many Boiler fans, or at least for me. His situational awareness is better than TerBush, but his confidence can cause as many problems as Caleb's newness.
Mostert will have no problem stepping up with the loss of Waynelle. This, along with the senior heavy special team - I'm looking at you Mr. Ballinger - will have a final game to remember. We're in a dome - could the 'Record' be set here? Would it have an asterisk next to it?
Defense loses a strong, passionate player in Dwayne Beckford, but this program cannot tolerate his behavior and has made an unquestionable right call. He leads the team in tackles and was the Defensive MVP. Unlike some individuals, namely Donald Wood, I don't feel like this will cause a loss. We have players that can step up and cover some slack, they just need to this day. Ricardo Allen will need to be a monster to guarantee a win and once again make me eat my words about Nike giving him the fan jersey of the year over Wiggs.
Purdue Wins in nail biting fashion. Field Goal for the win.
Western Michigan - 28
Purdue - 31
When this Purdue team was motivated, it played good football...when they weren't, they played flat-out lousy football. After the announcement came out that our Boilers would be going to Detroit, I read very few celebratory tweets from players, but a lot of belly-aching and bitching came from the players' accounts.
Many of these Purdue players believe they're as good as Coach Hope says they are to the media. There's the rub. This Purdue team beat no one with more than six wins...and lost some horrible games; but still has an ego problem. As they prepared for the game, they couldn't stay out of trouble and a few were lost due to poor academics. So now, a team that has had problems with discipline and consistency all season is down four starters...three of them (Gravesande, Bolden and Beckford) were pillars of consistency.
None of this is good news.
I think the game will be close as a few thousand enjoy this one on TV...but Western's offense has shown it can score with more regularity than Purdue's and Purdue's defense struggled all season versus good receivers.
If this happens, season ticket sales will be brisk in the fall!!
(Hope I'm very wrong.)
Western Michigan - 35
Purdue - 30