Saturday, November 23, 2013

Football Preview: Purdue vs Illinois - November 23 - Noon - BTN

It's time for some ice-cold teams to take to the frosty field for some frigid football where the quality of football may be below zero.  Is that enough reference to how cold it will be on Saturday when the Boilers face the Illini?  If you're going to the game, be sure to bundle up as I hear the wind can get pretty nasty around the stadium when only 10,000 people are filling the seats.  I'll be sipping some hot cocoa from my couch with a nice roaring fire.

Um...totally not racist, bro!

Why Purdue Wins
Senior day?  The last winnable game this season [shudder]?  Play above average and don't turn the ball over?  The Illini players get frozen to the field and can't move?  The fact that the Illini haven't won a Big Ten game since 2011 (20 losses in a row!)?

Why Illinois Wins
The Fighting Native Americans Decimated by European-Introduced Disease and Whose Land Was Stolen From Them are not a very good football team, having lost six straight games (winless in conference), but they at least play their opposition closer than the Boilers (for the most part).  Nathan Scheelhaase is actually having a decent senior season, despite his team sucking.  Illinois put up 35 points on Ohio State last week, so anything remotely that good will spell doom for a Purdue team that could only muster a goose egg against those same Buckeyes two weeks prior.

Player we're most concerned about since their stock photo may break our TV
Defensive back Zane Petty had 15 tackles last week against OSU, so don't be surprised if his picture pops up.  The real question is how high can his faux hawk pop up?

Our insults are so petty

Picks of the week
Illinois is favored by seven points.  That's such a slap in the face, but a very deserved one.  We'll be betting the total number of points given up by Purdue this season (380!).

Erik's Bet
In his annual “Why hasn't this team played like this all year” game...

Purdue 38 – Illinois 17

Kirk's Bet
I'd like to pick this game to go to triple overtime at 0-0, just to illustrate how bad both teams are, but it'll more likely go to overtime at 35-35.  Never mind.  It'll more likely be a bad day for the Boilers.

Illinois 31 Purdue 21

Three Final Things

1. Senior Day SadnessIt's the last home game for some really special Boilermakers.  Team MVP Cody Webster will hopefully boom some tremendous punts (well, hopefully the good guys are never forced to punt, but we know that ain't happening).  Can Ricardo Allen wow the crowd with yet another pick six?  Will we see a Will Lucas-forced fumble, Bruce Gaston sack, or Rob Henry interception (I meant catching one at safety, God-forbid throwing one on some trick play)?  A courtesy hand-off to fullback Kurt Freytag?  After seeing no real action all season, he did get one nice carry in the fourth quarter and two kickoff returns against Penn State last week.  Have we seen the last of tight end Gabe Holmes, out for the season with a wrist injury, or will the NCAA grant him an extra year (or will he even ask for one)?  Will fellow tight end Sterling Carter pull the old switcheroo and swap places with his basketball namesake?

2.  Senior Day Awkward Goodbyes - I'm not trying to be overly harsh on any of these guys who've given their blood, sweat, and tears for the Purdue football team, but there will certainly be some strange farewells on Saturday.  The senior-laden "offensive" line has been such a letdown this season, and five guys will graduate (Kevin Pamphile, Devin Smith, Cody Davis, Justin Kitchens, Trevor Foy).  These guys probably worked hard, but just weren't very good.  But then we have the opposite as we say "We hardly knew ye" to Gary Bush.  So much potential, but quite the enigma with only four catches in the last nine games.  And who can forget every Purdue fan's favorite inter-school-transfer athlete, Patrick Bade.  Awkward for sure.

3. Boiler Up!

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