The Predicto Has No Idea Anymore – Mizzou Edition
I mean, we got nothing at this point. The one seemingly gimme on the schedule did not go Purdue’s way last weekend, making everyone at BS 0-2 on the season (just like the team! Hey-yoooo!).
So what do we make of a seemingly daunting Missouri football program that Purdue inexplicably steamrolled last season? Glad you asked.
The bloom is off the rose. Last year's loss to Rutgers was a reminder that the better team does not always win; this year's loss to Eastern Michigan is a reminder that Purdue may not yet have a better team. The Boilers are still roughly 50% a Hazell-recruited team and no amount of coaching can change that. Unfortunately, the Eagles were one of two remaining soft spots on the schedule (let us give thanks that Lovie Smith is still employed), and a home loss to EMU suggests that perhaps the trip to Champaign will be a challenge even with Dudek out yet again for the year.
Missouri was a Tiller-like team last year - they beat a bunch of teams worse than they were and lost to a bunch of teams, including the Boilers, who were better than they were. Like last year, Missouri follows the Purdue game with an SEC game against a top-10 team, followed by two SEC road games, one of which is also against a top-10 team. After a grueling opening stretch, the Tigers topped 40 points in six straight games to finish the regular season, and even though two of those opponents were Sun Belt-level (or actual Sun Belt teams) and the others were second-tier SEC schools, there's no question that this year's Boilers are far from a first-tier Big Tenteen team, and Missouri knows this may be their best chance in the next few weeks to get another W.
The second half of the schedule looks bleak. The Good Guys missed a couple of chances to squeak out close wins; the next four games are all possible wins, but the Boilers will have to play better than we've seen so far. They can't afford to dig a hole against an offense much better than their first two opponents had ... but I'm afraid they will. Optimism returns in 2019.
Missouri 41, Purdue 27.”
“So this isn’t great. The weight of expectations fell on this Purdue team like a ton of bricks, and the Boilermakers have assumed a familiar position at the bottom of the Big 10 scrap heap. So it goes.
What do they need to do better? Let’s start with a vertical passing attack, improved pass rush, and active participation in the secondary. This team needs a way of scoring points, and they are out of time to “figure it out”. The schedule was already tough heading into the season, but with the easiest game behind them (which they took an unfortunate L on) the reasons for optimism *this season* are few and far between.
Purdue takes one on the chin, 33-19.”
“Mizzou hasn't really played anybody of note yet, and Purdue has only played one good team...but both defenses have been solid (at least for 6 quarters). But Mizzou is putting up points, not unlike they did prior to their beating by Purdue last season. Until I see otherwise, my belief in Purdue's defensive backfield, and a semblance of a consistent passing offense is far from confident. If Purdue runs the ball to open up the pass, fortunes will change...if not...
Mizzou 33 Purdue 24.”
“Comparing Mizzou's and Purdue's status, one year later, and you get similar programs on either end of a see-saw. In 2017, everyone *knew* that Mizzou's high-powered offense would burn through their soft schedule, and everyone *knew* Purdue's lack of depth (particularly on the defensive side) would result in a very lopsided result in Columbia. The result was lopsided, but not in the direction everyone was expecting: Purdue soared past expectations (particularly on the defensive side), and Mizzou looked like they didn't want to be on the field.
We all predicted a high-flying shootout before the 2018 season began, but now that game week is upon us, only one team has lived up to their end of the bargain. Barry Odom and Mizzou's fortunes turned around midway through 2017, and QB Drew Lock has carried them to a fiery 2018 start. On the flip side, Jeff Brohm's Boilermakers are the ones that looked hapless versus EMU. It looks like we're set up for disappointment...but I'm hoping that this season-defining game will spur discipline from the players and creativity from the coaching staff.
THAT'S RIGHT, I'M CALLING IT. A season-saving win, under the bright Ross Ade lights, witnessed in person by the entire BS team.
Purdue 42 Mizzou 39.”
How quickly we forget…I believe last year Missouri looked very good coming into the game against Purdue after walloping a couple of non-competitive opponents. I think Drew Lock even had something like a 7-TD game in one of them. Then Purdue and Jeff Brohm took them apart and barely broke a sweat doing it. No, I’m not foolish enough to think the first two weeks weren’t indicative of this team having some developing to do, but I do think they recognize their season is very nearly on the line Saturday night. Pride is a funny thing and I think you’re going to see a shootout.
Purdue takes it, 41-38.
Sure, we’re all completely insane. We actually read this site — on purpose!
And 92% of us liked Purdue to beat Missouri at the start of the season! Man, this poll could look weird later this year!