Predicto machine is churning over this one..
|Better or Worse than new Pete?|
|This is their mascot right?|
Michigan comes off a bye week after receiving their first loss of the year to their Arch Rival Sparty; this scenario is similar to 2008 where UofM loses to a rival (then Notre Dame) goes into one week of hibernation and returns to the field with a vengeance (They then beat #9 Wisky 22-20). This year, the Wolverines face off against the up and coming Boilers as they defeated the formerly ranked Illini. Purdue would look to improve to 2-0 at Michigan Stadium under Danny Hope if they bring home the W - a feat that many Purdue Coaches never even half reached.
Michigan suffered some insult after losing to what proves to be a capable and impressive MSU team. This bad taste could be terrifyingly bad for our boys - had they come off another loss. The win over Illinois should remind the team that they have good pieces if they execute well together. Everyone will need to give 110% as Danny says to have a hope of pulling the second upset in as many weeks. Short had a monster game last week and will need to continue to lead the defense in the quarterback pressure - fortunately we just had a mobile quarterback for lunch, however Denard isn't exactly someone to sleep on. Remember, we beat Tate Forcier, not Shoelace.
Caleb is going to need to keep his composure in his first game playing in Ann Arbor. He watched Elliot pull the upset last year - I'll update this post if Elliot responds to my request for advice. We're not going to win without some heroics on either his or the WR corps. Fortunately, Michigan doesn't seem to be very impressive on stopping the run, but we'll need to see if the front 7 are big enough to match up to give the 8 headed run game some openings.
Just because I don't want to look like an ass again:
Purdue - 27
The Fighting Denards - 24
If Purdue can put together and entire game the way they played the first half last week then they've got a chance. However, this is another ranked opponent, on the road no less, that is coming off a loss and then had an extra week to think about it for good measure. Can the d-line bring the pressure like they did against Illinois? They'll need to in order to keep Robinson in check. I liked the way that Purdue responded to my criticism last week. I'm pretty sure I'm the reason they were fired up. So this week I'll talk about the dumb penalties. They killed the team in the 2001 Rose Bowl (not that I'm bitter about it) and they're killing the team now. [At least this team is like the Rose Bowl team in one way. --J] Michigan doesn't need any help so Purdue cannot afford to extend any of their drives with pass interference calls or air high fives with fans in the stands. Hope should enact some Major League punishment. If Willie Mays Hays jumps any more then make him do pushups right in the middle of the game. At the end of the day I think the atmosphere intimidates Purdue and Michigan is simply too much. The new and improved (as of the last 3 games) Boilermakers keep things respectable, though.
Purdue -- 21
THE University of Michigan -- 27
I've really struggled with this one and it's the first time in a while that I honestly am unsure of how I think a game will go. I do think Michigan is beatable at 6-1 just like Illinois was beatable at 6-1. I think pressure on the Denard can lead to good things for the Purdue defense. I think Purdue has improved as a team this year and that's a good thing. I think on a neutral field or at Ross-Ade, the Boilers would have an excellent chance to win. And while I don't think home field always makes a huge difference, evidence suggests otherwise in this pairing.
To ask Purdue to win is to ask them to beat their second straight ranked, 6-1 team. And to do it on the road this time. Granted, they won over a ranked Northwestern team on the road last year, so even if you devalue that because it's Northwestern, it's at least a monkey off their backs. We'd also be asking Purdue to win for the second consecutive time at the big house, which they couldn't do one time in a row for more than four decades. In addition, Purdue is 0-2 on the road this year, and while I agree they are certainly a better team than they were at Rice, the next game Caleb Terbush wins on the road will be his first.
I really like how the D is playing, I like the way they're tackling and as B-Dowd said on the podcast, I specifically like how the ends and LBs are playing. Can the semi-vaunted secondary slow down UM's big receivers? Others have tried and failed.
I'm with those who think Purdue has a legitimate shot and will for sure make this interesting (hey, something we might not have said a few weeks ago) but in the end, it's hard to imagine them winning this one on the road. If they do, however, it would rank up there with the win over OSU as perhaps Danny Hope's signature win.
Boilers -- 27
Wolverines -- 32
This late in the season, it's kinda tough to be in the top-third of the conference in a bunch of statistical categories and not be a solid team. Granted, UM hasn't gotten to the beef of their schedule yet as the Wolverines schedule is back-loaded as is Purdue's. But here are some things that are tough to ignore- they don't commit a lot of penalties and their opponents do. They run the ball well and they've been very good in the redzone on defense.
Roy Roundtree is still a toolbag.