Saturday, September 28, 2013

Football Preview: Northern Illinois vs. Purdue - September 28 - Noon - ESPN2

Purdue's brutal schedule continues on Saturday against Northern Illinois, a team that amazingly played in the Orange Bowl last year.  I'd love to look up when the last time Purdue was the underdog against a MAC team, but that seems like a lot of work for something that may have never happened.  If anyone wants to research it, leave the answer in the comments section and we'll let you write our first ever tweet.
Signs that don't use the first letter on each line are just lazy. 

Why Purdue wins
Northern Illinois may still have Jordan Lynch, but they also have one of the worst defenses in the country.  Most recently, they gave up 39 points to Eastern Illinois - an FCS school (albeit the 8th ranked FCS school).  This is just what the doctor ordered for Purdue's sluggish offense.  Along with the come from behind win over Eastern Illinois, the Huskies scored 10 points in the last 6 minutes to beat a bad Iowa team and struggled to a 45-35 victory over an Idaho team that lost 40-6 (!) to NORTH TEXAS.  If the Boilermaker defense can play like they did against Notre Dame and somehow contain Lynch, the offense should have a field day against a very beatable Northern Illinois team.

Why Northern Illinois wins 
Wait, did I mention Jordan Lynch yet?  This guy does everything.  He averages 220 yards passing and 135 rushing yards per game and it wouldn't be a stretch to think he could break 200 yards on the ground against the Boilermakers.  If the Huskies can capitalize on a couple of turnovers and the Boilers miss even HALF the tackles that they did against Wisconsin last week, the Huskies win by double digits.

Player we're most concerned about since their stock photo may break our TV
Cameron Clinton-Earl is a little-used defensive end, but that doesn't keep him from looking like a creepy version of Samuel L Jackson.  If we see this guy's mug, we're in deep trouble, because it definitely means that there are motherf#@!ing snakes on this motherf#@!ing plane.

Picks of the week
The Huskies are favored by 3.5.  I'm embarrassed for Kirk to even look at the standings right now, so I'm not going to tabulate the betting totals at the moment.  All you need to know is that he's 0-4 and I'm 3-1.  I don't think you're going to like who Kirk picked.  This week we'll bet the number of total points we're expecting the teams to score this week.

Erik's Bet - 78
I got my Indians playoff tickets in the mail today.  While the likelihood of me actually getting to use them is less than 1%, how cool is it to have a ticket in my possession that says "World Series Game 7"?  I don't think anyone receives playoff tickets without staring at that ticket for a few seconds just wondering what a game like that would be like.

Northern Illinois 41Purdue 37

Kirk's Bet - 45
I have no random stories that don't have anything to do with the game for Kirk. 

Purdue 24 – Northern Illinois 21

Three Final Things
1. Donnie Hale is transferring.  I have to admit that I'm personally kind of shocked that a kid who went to a year of prep school and then redshirted his freshman year would only end up playing one year for the school he waited to play for.  We'll see where he ends up, but with Anthony Johnson, Sandi Marcius, and Jacob Lawson also not returning, this year's basketball team is going to look quite a bit different from last year's young and relatively disappointing group.

2. While it seems ridiculous to think about, Purdue can still possibly sneak into a bowl game this year.  If they want to even consider it, though, they MUST win this weekend's game.  Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana are all very winnable games.  That leaves 1 win out of Nebraska, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State.  Hey, it could happen!

3. Boiler Up!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Football Recap: Wisconsin 41 - Purdue 10 - Surprise!

All week, I've been trying to work up the stamina to write this lousy recap.  I mean, how many times can I come up with a different way to say "they sucked"?  And why does it seem like Kirk gets to write the recaps of all the exciting games?  I mean, we basically alternate weeks - surely I must be making that up, right?

This year's game had as many Purdue fans watching at the end on tv as last year's game had in the stands (above)

Let's take a look at the last two years worth of games, split into 4 categories (the first two of which are fun/easy to write about)...

Big/Exciting Wins
Eastern Kentucky (Kirk)
Eastern Michigan (Kirk)
Indiana (Kirk)
Iowa (Kirk)
Marshall (Kirk)

Exciting Losses
Notre Dame 2012 (Erik)
Notre Dame 2013 (Kirk)
Ohio State (Erik)

Ugly/Crappy Wins
Indiana St (Erik)
Illinois (Erik)

Ugly/Crappy Losses
Cincinnati (Kirk)
Michigan (Erik)
Minnesota (Kirk)
Oklahoma St.  (Kirk)
Penn St. (Erik)
Wisconsin 2012 (Kirk)
Wisconsin 2013 (Erik)

Here's what we learned from the above analysis that I'm sure nobody cares about:
  1. Kirk has had 4 bad recaps to write.  This is my 5th.  At least that's fair.
  2. However, Kirk has gotten to write EVERY SINGLE big or exciting win recap in the last two years.  There haven't been many, but can someone throw me a bone here?
  3. I will go to great lengths to try and prove that I'm being screwed.
So, what to say about this one?  For fun, let's try and fill in the template I created last year in my really lazy Penn State recap and see if it still works.  I'm going to actually start in the second quarter, with Purdue down 14-0.

Purdue came out strong and scored a    touchdown (followed by a field goal)   on their first drive.  The Boilermaker defense then did their best impression of a sieve and gave up     27      points in a row.  Meanwhile, the starting quarterback, Rob Henry acted like he only practiced the first drive all week and was should have been replaced in the third quarter.  The Boilers then couldn't even scored against the 4th string defense to make the score a little less lopsided.  Coach Darrell Hazell (underlined for potential future games) acted like he's never won a Big Ten game (which is actually true) and Offensive Coordinator John Shoop remained defiant in his superiority cluelessness over all offensive minds in college football.  Somehow, these guys have been so bad that Defensive Coordinator Greg Hudson and his can't even force a 2nd-down CFL defense goes yet another week without getting the majority of the blame.  Purdue has now lost    2    straight games.

Wow, that worked pretty well!  Unfortunately, this is not a good sign that progress is being made.

Here's what annoyed me on Saturday:
  1. Watching this one knowing I had to write a freaking blog post about it.
  2. Kirk warned us about Beau Allen.  His ugly mug showed up numerous times on my tv and his hair was mesmerizing.  
  3. Anyone watching ABC-HD on AT&T U-Verse in the Cleveland area (me) could not legitimately watch the game in HD.  Maybe more people had a problem than just this small (but very important) segment of the population, but the sound was synced up a little over 1 second earlier than the video.  While this doesn't seem like a huge problem to someone who didn't experience it, there is nothing more annoying than hearing a whistle blow as the running back gets handed the ball.  So, I had to watch in standard definition.  Luckily it was so blurry that I was able to pretend I was watching a game from the Colletto years.
  4. This was the third straight year the Boilers gave up more than 350 yards rushing to the Badgers.
  5. Purdue hasn't lost by less than 21 to Wisconsin since 2005.  Wisconsin comes to visit West Lafayette in 2014.  Will any Purdue fan be duped into buying a single-game ticket for this one?  I know I'd avoid that game like the plague...who wants to see the Boilers get blown out again?  
  6. I knew Purdue wouldn't cover the spread, but I was too lazy to look up the actual spread before sending Kirk my pick.  So now my perfect record is ruined.  Kirk, on the other hand, is now a miserable 0-4 against the spread. 

Things that made me happy on Saturday:
  1. This was the first time I ever saw the Pennzoil commercial that calls a car a "babymaker".  It's such a standard car commercial that it made both my wife and I do a double take..."did they really just say babymaker?"  Thank goodness for DVR...they definitely said "babymaker".  This totally cracked me any commercial that makes you look up from what you're doing to pay attention to it is clearly doing something right.
  2. Those few minutes after Ricardo Allen's interception where it looked like Purdue might tie it up after playing a horrible first quarter - that's what keeps me watching.
That's it.  Not a lot to be happy about.  The good news is that Kirk's doing this week's recap, which means at least there's a chance of a big or exciting win!

Boiler Up (and Go Tribe)!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Football Preview: Purdue at Wisconsin - September 21 - 3:30 - ABC/ESPN2 (depending on where you live)

After the Boilermakers continued their recent futility against Notre Dame last week, the schedule takes the team to Madison where there has been an even worse trend.  Purdue hasn't beaten the Badgers since 2003, or better put, Wisconsin has owned Purdue since The Fumble. I link to the painful video, because as you read in my last post, we Purdue fans have to accept our misery.

Saturday's game, with ABC (or regional ESPN2) coverage, could be the lopsided loss most fans were expecting last week.

Sad scenes from the last two years

Why Purdue wins
The Boilers played a fantastic first half against the Irish last week.  If they can string two halves like that together, they could have a shot against the Badgers.  Purdue won't have the home crowd energy, but now that the coaching staff seems to be embracing the current roster and calling smarter plays, maybe the growth will continue.  Of course, that growth could simply be Purdue losing by 14 instead of 28.  Maybe the Big Ten officials can blow the game as badly as the Pac-12 refs did last week, resulting in a narrow Purdue victory (OK, seriously, no one wants that garbage. The Pac-12 should be ashamed and fire all those guys immediately instead of a "reprimand").

Why Wisconsin wins 
With yet another monster offensive line, the Badgers will likely run on the Boilers all day and put up some monster numbers.  There were some good stops on the ground against the Irish last week, but as we saw the Purdue defense wear out a bit in the second half, it's going to be even worse on Saturday.  The constant focus on the run will also give Wisconsin lots of opportunities to rattle of unexpected passing plays that have killed Purdue in the past.  They can catch you sleeping and even if the passing game falters, the ground battle should be enough for the Badgers to tally more points than the questionable (but improving, right?!) Purdue offense.

Player we're most concerned about since their stock photo may break our TV
First, we have a player who clearly got his "hair did" for picture day.

Senior noseguard Beau Allen has prettier hair than most women I know.  Don't you just want to run your hands through it?

And a special shout out to freshman receiver Jazz Peavy (no relation to Jake).  Jazz seems like a fun guy, and his picture really fits his name.  I wonder if Jazz brings his buddy with him to games.

Picks of the week

The Badgers are favored by 24.  Since Erik liked to rub salt in my Cubs wound with last week's bet, this week we’re going to bet the number of seasons since our beloved baseball teams won a championship.  Yes, it hurts, but this way I can also regain some ground on Erik if I pick correctly.

Erik's Bet

You don't need to know his rhyme or reason.  All you need to know is never bet against Erik, and you could be rich.  Erik also knows we always flounder at Wisconsin but he's surprisingly picking us against the spread.

The Cleveland Indians last won the World Series in 1948, 65 years ago.

Wisconsin 38 - Purdue 21

Kirk's Bet

I've learned my lesson and following Erik's lead against the spread, even though I think the result is going to be a bit more pitiful.

The Chicago Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, 105 years ago.

Wisconsin 31 – Purdue 10

Three Final Things

1. Tight End Gabe Holmes is officially done for the year, but his replacement, junior Justin Sinz, had a nice game against Notre Dame bringing in six catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.  Hailing from Wisconsin, maybe he'll have a big showing in his home state.

2. This will be the first match-up between Hazell and new Badger coach Gary Andersen.  I hope it's just the start of a long bitter rivalry, and I'm happy I don't have to look at this creep anymore.

3. Boiler Up!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Football Recap: Notre Dame 31 - Purdue 24 - Purdued Once Again

It's Thursday night and I'm finally writing the recap for Saturday's heart-wrenching loss.  Why, you ask?  A number or reasons, I suppose, but mainly because I just finally watched the full game on my DVR.  It's been a busy week.

A primetime Saturday night game against our most hated (football) opponent, and I didn't watch it live?  That's what happens when one of your good friends decides to get married on a game day.  And they're both Purdue alums, the nerve. (full disclosure, the groom gave us ample warning and more than made up for it because he's a class act)

I wish the wedding had been held here!
I was forced to follow the game on my phone from the dance floor.  It was exhilarating giving the DJ score updates so he could announce them to the crowd of revelers. There were lots of Purdue fans in attendance, but as it was a Catholic wedding in Indiana, there were plenty of ND fans, too.  Seeing their surprise made it even better.

As I listened to the radio broadcast on the way home, the game was still tight and ND was driving but the Boilers still had a 17-10 lead.  After unloading my sleeping kids (no easy feat), I turned on the game to see a  31-17 score.  What the heck?  I only missed about four minutes of regulation, and the last time I saw scoring that quickly, I was in a very different mood. ND finished their drive with a TD (no surprise), then after a lackluster Purdue possession, all it took was one pass for the Irish to take the lead.  A few plays later, a Rob Henry pick six put the nail in the coffin.

Like others, I felt as if my heart was ripped out during that fourth quarter.  I watched Purdue wilt, and even when the Boilers cut the deficit back to seven points, it still felt like the game was over.  But just seconds after scoring that touchdown on a beautiful, quick drive, Irish running back Amir Carlisle coughed up the ball and Purdue suddenly had a chance again.

And that's when I let myself get Purdued again.  Someone needs to add the word to Urban Dictionary.

To be Purdued - to enter a situation with realistic expectations, but to then be given a glimmer of hope which grows into confidence, only for it all to come crashing down in a wave of immense disappointment and failure
see also "Cubbed" or "Bartmaned" (at least I'm not as ill-fated in all my fandoms as Erik, poor guy)

After the fumble, I expected to see Purdue play with the same heart and energy that I enjoyed watching so much in the first half (OK, at the time, I was assuming that's what happened, since I hadn't watched it yet).  Instead we got to enjoy
  1. a high snap that caused a broken play and loss of yardage
  2. a ball thrown away because no receivers got open
  3. an incomplete pass into double coverage on a play where the Irish only rushed three guys and still made Henry run around for his life
  4. an uncharacteristically mediocre punt by our MVP
Did the Boilers play better than I ever expected?  Sure.  Did they simply run out of steam?  Probably.  Did they play that fourth quarter like a dog with his tail tucked between his legs.  Definitely.  That's what made it so hard to watch.

Even with a loss, there were lots of positives from this game - lots of things that could lead to growth and increased confidence for this team:
  • The offensive line was better with the freshmen getting playing time
  • Hunt had some really explosive plays in the first half
  • Henry looked a lot more confident (although he's never going to be a good passer)
  • The defense was stout in the first half, stopping ND on a fourth down opportunity, and the cornerback play that half was excellent
  • Griggs redeemed himself after a horrible missed field goal
  • The team and coaching staff worked hard, and it showed
  • There was some legitimately satisfying play calling
But the attitude and composure in the fourth quarter showed that we're still at least a year away from a team with the same heart and drive we expected Coach Hazell to instill.  Prove me wrong at Wiscy boys.

Even though this is a recap and not a game preview I still have...

Three Final Things
  1. Watching the post-game interview with Tommy Rees was sickening, just like last year.  Let's remember what a class act this guy is.
  2. Don't get drunk and hit a cop, kids!
  3. My betting futility continues, but seriously readers, take Erik's picks to the bank.  Who else was predicting such an accurate narrow Purdue loss?  He's got the margin exactly right two weeks in a row, and he's perfect against the spread.
  4. Congratulations Andrew and Melanie!  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Football Preview: Purdue vs. Notre Dame - September 14 - 8:00 - ABC

The bright (temporary) lights will be shining on Ross-Ade Saturday where a national audience is going to see first hand what Purdue is all about.  It's tough to imagine the players could get anymore pumped than this game...a night game at home versus your biggest rival on national tv.  The crowd should be rocking at gametime, but the biggest question is...will they still be there in the third quarter?
Yes,  Notre Dame sucks, but please be creative and don't make any embarrassing signs like this one
Why Purdue wins
We here at hate Notre Dame.  Kirk gave us an excellent rant in last year's preview, so if you're looking for somewhere to remember all the reasons you hate Notre Dame too, feel free to head to that link.  In the meantime, this Purdue team has to be a completely different squad from the first two games to even compete with the Irish.  In order to win, here's what has to happen:
  1. Score the first two touchdowns and force Notre Dame into a passing game.
  2. Get major pressure on Tommy Rees, allowing the cornerbacks to cheat and potentially force turnovers.
  3. Hope that the lights short out at halftime resulting in a 14-13 "complete game" win.
Hey, it could happen!

Why Notre Dame wins 
Expect Amir Carlisle to run all over the Boilermakers.  Carlisle hasn’t had a ton of yards in Notre Dame’s first two games, yet he’s been efficient, averaging over 5 yards a carry. Purdue looked decent against Indiana State’s second string back last week, but gave up over 200 yards in their prior loss to Cincinnati.  The Boilers can’t expect to load the box either, as Tommy Rees has turned into a very efficient quarterback and should be able to pick apart Purdue’s secondary.  Even a good Purdue team would have a tough time with the Irish.  So far, that’s the first time “good” and “Purdue” have been mentioned in the same sentence all season.   
Player we're most concerned about since their stock photo may break our TV
Saturday may not be pretty on the field, but that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the play.  As always, Notre Dame has its share of hideous players, so let me introduce you to defensive lineman Tony Springmann. 

Tony Springmann

This guy (#69 of course) has it all and appears to be trying for every possible look you can have that’s related to Notre Dame.  Jesus-hair? Check. Irish-red hair? Check. Leprechaun-esque beard? Check.  If he shows up on my tv and it doesn’t break on its own, I may have to physically tear it off the wall.

Picks of the week
Notre Dame is favored by 21.  This week, we’re going to bet the number of wins that our favorite baseball team currently has.

Kirk's Bet
Kirk is already down by a ton as he has been going against his mantra of “never pick the Boilers” at the end of last year and bet the first two games of the year for Purdue.  He’s decided to turn the tables and bet against Purdue which is the best news yet for the Boilermaker faithful.  Kirk is notoriously awful at picking games, so hey, there’s a chance!

Kirk’s favorite baseball team is the Cubs, who suck nearly as bad as Kirk’s picks.  Expect him to lose 61, their current number of wins.

Notre Dame 28 – Purdue 3

Erik's Bet
I know this preview didn’t give us a lot of hope, but I trust Coach Hazell.  Coach seems like a motivator and these guys will be fired up.  I still think it won’t be enough, but I’m going against all signs and think Purdue will hang around enough to give the Irish a scare. 

My favorite baseball team is the Indians, who currently have 77 wins and are right in the middle of the wild card chase.  I just bought my playoff tickets today, which means they’re pretty much destined to lose out.

Notre Dame 27 - Purdue 20

Three Final Things

1. Unbelievably, Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit are announcing this one.  Girls, if it’s a blowout like many people think, keep an eye out for the camera.  Brent is known for his infatuation with girls that are fans of Notre Dame’s opponents when he has nothing else to talk about and you might just get on tv!

2. Gabe Holmes is injured.  Yes, the only non-running back with more than 2 catches against Indiana State is out against a team who made it to the national championship game last year.  Uh-oh.  

3. Boiler Up!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Football Recap: Purdue 20 - Indiana State 14

I purposely waited to write this recap since I'm pretty sure not a single soul actively searched for a recap of this game.  So for those of you coming here hoping that we'd get an early preview of the Notre Dame game, GOT YA!  Now you're forced to relive the most disappointing win in recent Purdue memory...

Purdue football game at Cincinnati
Not sure which game this is from, but I'm pretty sure it could have come from either one.

Heading into the game, many Boilermaker fans had put the prior week's shellacking behind them and I had even come up with a way to sugarcoat the loss to local Cleveland coworkers who were upset that Ohio State had only won by 20 points and asked how I could live with a blowout loss in the first week...
  • "It really wasn't a blowout...the Bearcats scored their last two touchdowns after failed 4th downs deep in our end!"
  • "Cincinnati is expected to be good this year.  They might even go undefeated!"
  • "It was their first game under the new system and they had some kinks to work out.  This week's our cupcake game to try some things and really get the machine oiled for Notre Dame."
Sure enough, the opening kick was returned for a touchdown and things were looking excellent in Boilertown.  A dominant defense (albeit against an offense missing their best player) and an offense that moved the ball a bit and this had the makings of a classic FCS blowout.  While the Boilers couldn’t punch it in from the 1-yardline and settled for a field goal (and missed another), there was no inkling that Purdue would slow down or that Indiana State could manufacture more than 2 first downs on a given drive.  

Towards the end of the first half, Purdue blocked a punt deep in Indiana State territory which looked to be the dagger as the Boilers once again marched down to the 1-yardline.  However, things went sour quick as the coaching staff made the biggest blunder of the year (hopefully) by calling 3 straight runs with no timeouts.  Stuffed all 3 times, the field goal team couldn’t get out on the field before time expired.  People may not agree with me, but one thing Danny Hope was quite good at (other than getting blown out at home to any team not named Ohio State) was clock management…ESPECIALLY compared to the Joe Tiller.  Let’s hope, for my currently hole-less wall’s sake, that we don’t have to live through another coaching regime with Tiller-esque game management.   

Still, Purdue had dominated the first half, and we had found another name besides Jeremiah Alphabet to laugh at in starting running back George Cheeseburgerorough.  Sure, play was sloppy at times, but I of course came up with the obligatory glass half full excuses:
  • The defense gave up only 4 first downs in the first half to a team that scored 35 on Indiana the prior week!
  • We should have scored several more times…the score really doesn’t show how awesome we were!
  • Heck, no Purdue wide receiver has more than 1 catch…once we get them involved, I see a 38-0 blowout on the horizon!
Damn my optimism.  Purdue would score again to make things 17-0, but that was the end of any good feelings.  The defense went into some sort of prevent mode, giving up 2 touchdowns sandwiched by a Purdue field goal.  The offense couldn’t get anything going (and even when they weren’t getting anything going, they were still snapping the ball with 12 seconds left on the play clock!) and the defense couldn’t get a stop.  Luckily, the Sycamores shot themselves in the foot. 

Indiana State drove the ball from their own 10 to Purdue’s 37-yardline and looked ready to strike again.  A false start and a holding penalty forced a 2nd and 25 which was even enough for Purdue’s awful second half defense to stop.  Indiana State would get the ball back one more time, but Ricardo Allen came up with a huge interception (not sure if you can call anything over an FCS school huge, but I just did) to seal the game.

So what did we learn?
  1. I’m done making excuses for this team.  In its current state, this is a team with poor coaching and poor execution.  Are there reasons behind it?  Sure.  Can they turn my opinion around with a couple well-managed games?  Absolutely.  But until then, I am not impressed by the disciplined approach we expected to see from Coach Hazell and his team.
  2. Purdue will almost assuredly be the underdog in every game, meaning that a 1-11 record is definitely possible.  If they play like they did in the first two games, it’s almost a certainty.
  3. The Boilers had no wide receiver catch more than 2 passes.  Is this a function of bad quarterbacking or bad route running?  Probably both.
  4. Cincinnati isn't good.  They got killed by Illinois.  There goes that excuse.
  5. Coach Hazell is bound and determined to prove to people that he’s going to do things “his way” by wearing that ugly, impractical, awful vest ensemble for every game.   Is anybody else completely embarrassed by this?  It’s the middle of summer!  Wear some short sleeves at least!

I mean, if he wanted to look like a stormtrooper, he might as well just add on the helmet to make it complete…

Wait, he did this at Kent State too?  How did we not know about this before we decided to hire the guy?

Coach, I’m pleading with you.  I know you read our blog because we are the second-most important independent Purdue blog that we know of. You have the chance to be (and more importantly) look like a cool and awesome coach on the sidelines.  The vest has got to go.

It could be a long year, but it looks like it’ll be an even longer year for Kirk.  I’ve already built up a $59 lead in our annual fake betting pool and he now has to run around his house naked 5 times since I guessed the margin of victory right with my 27-21 prediction (I’m not proud of it, but I could sort of sense it).   You don’t want to know what happens if you guess the exact score correctly.

I know this was sort of a depressing post, but keep your chin up Boiler Nation.  Worse Purdue teams have shocked us before, and I suspect they’re already heading into this week’s bout against Notre Dame with a “nothing to lose” attitude.  We’ll post our preview of that one later in the week.

Boiler Up!

P.S. Betsy, I just paid some punk $3,241 (in Rubles) to secure our preferred twitter handle…apparently he knew how big was going to get.  Once we get it up and running, we’ll let you and all of our tweeters know.  Thanks for the suggestion!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Football Preview: Purdue vs Indiana State - September 7 - Noon - BTN

When things look bleak, it's always a good idea to play a bad DI-AA, I mean FCS, opponent, right?  Maybe, but we all know how much success the FCS had against FBS foes last week.  Will Purdue fall into that same trap against Indiana State?

Fear the tree?
Why Purdue wins
A loss tomorrow means that the program has taken a gigantic step back under Hazell.  I'm talking a step backwards into the Grand freakin' Canyon.  IU put up 73 points on the Sycamores last weekend, and even with an offense that doesn't play to the quarterback's strengths, the Boilers should at least be able to muster enough points for an easy victory.  Add on that Indiana State is missing star running back Shakir Bell who hurt his shoulder last weekend, and the Purdue defense should be able to get the job done.

Why Indiana State wins 
FCS teams have to be feeling good after last week's upsets, and you know the Sycamores are going to be playing angry after letting IU score a near-record number of points.  Actually, maybe that's more reason why Purdue will win, not ISU, because they need to punish those fools for letting IU look that good.  But back to why the boys from Terre Haute may win: the Boilers are sloppy and don't seem to be playing with much heart right now.  If ISU can catch some early breaks from turnovers or lackadaisical Boiler effort, maybe they can derail this already struggling train.  And then maybe I'll smash my head through a wall.

Player we're most concerned about since their stock photo may break our TV

As much as I want to pick on a guy named Jeremiah Alphabet, this contest wasn't even close.  Say hello to a lineman who is literally offensive, Paul Patrick.

Now we know what happened to the Cowardly Lion after he got out of Oz

Picks of the week
Purdue is favored by 17.  To keep the trend going of betting things related to our recent reunion at the U.S. Open in NYC, we're betting what we ate for lunch that day.  Exciting, I know.  Maybe next week we'll bet how much we spent on beer, but then again, that could help Erik build an insurmountable lead.

Kirk's Bet
Still feeling burned after last week's disaster, it's hard to bet on the Boilers with such a large spread.  But then you realize how bad Indiana State really is at the moment, and if we can't win by 20, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.  I was less focused on lunch and more focused on watching tennis (I get to eat in NYC way more often than Erik, although the food selection at the Open isn't too bad), so I grabbed a giant hot dog (insert joke here) and a beer (in a commemorative cup, it's apparently now a tradition for me) while I was waiting in the line to get back into the stadium to get a front row seat and my life threatened by John Isner's rocket serves.  A punch to the gut (and that ain't just the hot dog talking), that ran me $16.

Purdue 38 - Indiana State 17

Erik's Bet

Part of me is really disappointed with Erik's prediction, and part of me is simply scared the game might actually be this close.  Erik will be betting his $15 brisket sandwich from Hill Country BBQ (they do some good stuff!).  He also had some short of chocolate peanut butter pie (I know, what a fatty) and a Heineken, so let's say $27 total.

Purdue 27 - Indiana State 21

Three Final Things
1. I'm excited to be going to the game on Saturday.  With two small children, it's not too often I can make the trip, but tomorrow will be a special daddy-daughter date as I take my 4-year old.  We went to a game, just the two of us, last year, and when I told her what our plans were this year, the first thing she said was, "Will the cheerleaders be there?"  It might be a long day, but hopefully the Boilers will do enough offensively to keep her attention.  If not, she'll probably wander out of the stadium to find the bounce house set up for the fan fest.  I wouldn't be able to blame her.

2. I know it's football season, but the thing I'm most excited for about Purdue athletics right now is the return of Kenny Lowe!  I loved watching the guy as an undergrad, and now that his pro playing days are over, it's not just good to have him back with the program, but his basketball IQ, defensive expertise, and teaching ability will be huge with current and future Boilermakers.

3. Boiler Up!