Alright, it's game time. Purdue and Painter, more specifically, have feasted on tasty treats of light and airy, sugary-sweet opponents, none of whom have winning records. Saturday night at 8:12 pm, Our Boilers will host the #4-rated Ohio State Buckeyes.
I've heard many people tell me that Ohio State is simply the better team...But why would we believe that? Is it because they're battle-tested because of their rigorous schedule? Well, no, much like Purdue, the Buckeyes have not yet beaten an opponent with a winning record. Is it because their team is Senior-Laden? No, that one doesn't work either. Ohio State lost a whole lot at the end of last season. But, as always, Ohio State is more talented as they've got more blue chips than a Las Vegas Casino. The coaching match-up also favors Ohio State as Tressel has a tremendous record and a National Title, while Tiller's teams are a steady middle-Big Ten team and Tiller once told people like me to "Manage our expectations."
All that said, Purdue doesn't have the brain malfunction v. OSU as they do versus UM (especially at home). Even great Ohio State teams have struggled to beat Purdue in Ross-Ade (2002)...So, how does the Boiled Sports Staff think this contest will go? Well, we're split for the first time this season...read down for more:
"I'll be ecstatic if Purdue wins...believe me. I just don't think they will.
It's the second half terrible defense that I'm worried about. I think Purdue can stun Ohio State early on, maybe get up 14-0, but then the defense will develop Narcolepsy again. When they stun an opponent they need to pummel them into the ground instead of retreating to their corner and allowing the opponent to get settled down.
There's a huge discrepancy on the defensive side and not a huge on on the offensive side. Why is OSU better? Because their defense is MUCH better."
#4 Ohio State 31
#23 Purdue 17
"I was one of the ones thinking we could be OSU this year, especially given that had the shot at being 5-0 with this game really mattering and, of course, having them at our place is much better than going to Columbus. I still do think we can win but not if the team plays like they're played for large portions of the past few games. A poor quarter puts us down three touchdowns to this team. They need to be completely focused at all times. I don't need to see perfect football. I just want to see consistent effort and no losing focus. Not asking a lot, I don't think. I worry about Tiller since his postgame comments after Notre Dame, when asked about OSU, included "I don't know, I'm just glad we have 'em here." I sure hope he is banking on more than that because for as much as I'd love to believe we have a raucous home-field advantage, it isn't going to bother the Buckeyes one bit.
I sincerely hope boilerdowd is right, as he said to me that he thinks Tiller may have quite a few specialties in the play bag that he's been saving for OSU. It's true that Purdue doesn't appear to have run the offense at full power much at all this year and there's been a lot of vanilla, safe, "sweep-left" kinds of playcalling. Maybe they'll open it up and Painter will have a career day. I kind of, unfortunately, think that might be what it takes. I worry about Sheets fumbling, I worry about Bryant not holding on to the ball... and I worry about Bad Curtis showing up at QB. I'm a worrier, what can I say?
All that said, I'm sticking to my guns. I think we CAN beat this team and if we're going to have a special season, we have to win this kind of game at home. OSU is a solid club but they haven't played anyone tougher than the Boilers have. The OSU defense is no doubt stingier, but I genuinely do think the Purdue offense is better than the OSU offense. How that translates is anybody's guess.
#23 Purdue 31
#4 Ohio State 27
It's a great opportunity on many fronts for my Boilermakers. First, Joe Tiller could show the nation that he can beat ranked opponents in prime time without quarterbacks named "Drew" at the helm. Second, it could dispel the notion that Purdue is a good team that simply can't get over the hump versus great teams and programs. Lastly, more immediately, it would show that the 2007 Purdue team is a contender for a January 1 bowl game, if not the Rose Bowl. Will it happen?
The symmetry is tremendous, to me...Back in 2004, Joe Tiller's program was arguably at its pinnacle. Ranked #5, 5-0 playing another top-10 opponent who was also 5-0 in a Prime Time slot on ABC. That game ended with Kyle Orton's "Game-Changing" (season-changing) fumble and began an 0-4 slide that took Purdue out of all major-bowl contention. Many argue that the program hasn't ever recovered from that evening. Well, Purdue can go a long way in putting that memory to bed on Saturday with a win. This time our Boilers aren't favored and are the lower-rated team.
I think Purdue's offense and defense both have a wrinkle or two that they haven't shown...Hopefully, they have nothing to do with half-back passes or trickeration, but instead are just looks and plays that they haven't yet shown. I think Painter will recover nicely this week and pass much more effectively and efficiently and I am ready to see our Boilers play a complete game.
#23 Purdue 27
#4 Ohio State 24
- 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!