Maize n' Brew mercilessly drifts through another preview. This week is going to be a bit preview heavy as we lead into the season. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Purdue Boilermakers.
Previously: Illinois, Northwestern, Penn State, Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana
Explanation and indemnifications found: here
Apologies for this preview being a bit on the perfunctory side. It's not great. With the Rodriguez kerfluffle and the fact that I still need to do OSU and Michigan, well, Purdue took a back seat. Apologies.
Last season didn't go so well for the Boilermakers as they compiled a 4-8 record - just one win better than the Wolverines. That win could have very well come from the Wolverines who lost against a Purdue team featuring a converted ball-boy at starting quarterback. Ok fine, not a ball boy. Still though, not a quarterback. Justin Siller killed us last year by basically being the exact type of quarterback we all thought we would be; running. This was, as you'll recall, also the game during which it became increasingly apparent that the Scott Shafer at Defensive Coordinator era was over.
This season doesn't look much better for the Boilermakers as they return only 3 offensive starters from an offense that was only the 68th best scoring offense in the country. The defense, meanwhile, returns 7 from a serviceable if not "good" unit. Also worth mentioning, Joe DIABEETUS Tiller has moved on to where the Lloyds go when they retire, and Danny Hope makes his debut at the helm. This season is going to be rough; there is very little doubt about it. Let's Hope (get it?) the new coach gets more time to prove himself.
More Previewin' after the jump
|9/12||@ No. 16 Oregon||10:15 PM|
|9/19||Northern Illinois||12:00 PM|
|9/26||No. 23 Notre Dame||8:00 PM|
|10/10||@ Minnesota||12:00 PM|
|10/17||No. 6 Ohio State||TBA|
All I can say is watch out for Toledo.
One thing the media will harp on that is off base:
Yeah, we all know that the offense is replacing a ton of starters. Witness this returning leader list:
- Rushing: Frank Halliburton, RB, 37 yards
- Passing: Joey Elliott, QB, 81 yards
- Receiving: Keith Smith, WR, 486 yards
Yikes. So that's going to be the main focus of any hand-wringing. But that offense last year; the one that's being replaced? Yeah, not so good. I mean, it can't get much worse (says Michigan fan coming off a 3-9 season wherein the offense was record-shatteringly bad). I'm not so sure that the offense can't be at least competent, which brings us to our next point...
One thing the media will completely ignore that is integral to this team's success:
What I would be concerned with would be a defense that gave up an average of 174 yards rushing per game last year, dead last in the conference. When you're allowing opposing teams to run over you like that, you're not going to win many ball games. If the defense shores up and stops the run, they could win some football games. But probably not many.
Most important contributors on each side of the ball:
Offensively it's going to be the fact that they at least return the majority of their offensive line.
Defensively it's defensive end Ryan Kerrigan who had 7 sacks and 12 TFL's last season.
Area that scares you as Michigan Wolverines:
Much like Indiana, there isn't a whole lot on this Purdue team that scares me. I suppose we could get into another match like last season where both teams just said "f-this" to defense and we got into a shooting match. Beyond that, the defense looks pretty porous for the rushing attack.
Area that makes you salivate as the Michigan Wolverines:
It's in Ann Arbor, where Purdue has a record of -23 and a billion.
Final Big Ten Standing