I had a long meeting out of town and couldn't give my normal amount of attention to our weekly game prediction (yes, I actually have a job). Here are the predictions for this week's contest as the Hawkeyes travel to God's Country to play our skidding Boilers.
Reasons for concern: Iowa has played two of their four toughest opponents in games decided by 4 points or less, going 1-1 in those two games. Purdue doesn't do well in close games.
Reasons for optimism: If the Purdue offense can get on track, they can definitely put up some points on Iowa. Iowa would cannot keep up with Purdue's offense (assuming we don't get the OSU, UM offense on Saturday.) Iowa comes in with some defensive injuries, so that could help Purdue.
This game really comes down to two Jekyll and Hyde teams. Which Iowa team will show up? Which Purdue team will show up?
Needless to say, if we get the OSU version of Purdue combined with the Illinois version of Iowa, Purdue will lose.
I don't think that's likely though. I think Purdue will get into gear early, and stay there offensively for the whole game. I'm expecting at least 30 points, possibly 40. If the Purdue defense can play a solid game for all 4 quarters, I still think they'll give up in the neighborhood of 17-24 points, but it won't matter.
These aren't the type of games that Tiller-coached teams typically lose...Sub-.500 team, at home when Purdue's favored.
But, in recent seasons, my Boilers have made it a habit of losing 3-6 games in a row beginning in October. Well, the bleeding stops Saturday and some of the Purdue faithful will leave Ross-Ade smiling and satisfied (that's what she said).
I look for Painter to continue his streak versus sub-.500 teams and look impressive once again. While Iowa's defense has been impressive, it has not been great versus good offensive units. I don't know if I'd call Purdue's offense good, anymore, but against lesser competition, they usually get the job done. Boilers become bowl eligible once again.