Purdue Preview and Prediction

Purdue is the Wake Forest of the Big Ten. It’s true. They went 1-11 in 2013 and 3-9 in 2014. So why should we be worried? Because they need this win really badly. Darrell Hazell is trying to save his job and you know he’s going to pull out all stops to get a big win at home over a name team in Virginia Tech.

Why Purdue will win…

  1. A good running game against inconsistent linebacker play by the Hokies. Specifically, a running QB which seems to always give VT fits.
  2. Strong secondary play with two senior cornerbacks against Brenden Motley who will be making his first career road start.
  3. VT collectively not taking this game seriously and not being ready to play.

Why VT will win…

  1. Bud Foster can always scheme around a young, inexperienced MLB.
  2. Austin Appleby is the type of interception-prone QB that Bud Foster’s defenses feast on.
  3. VT will establish the outside run and will make life easy on Brenden Motley.

This is a really tough game to pick. I think you’ll see some jitters from the Hokies in their first road game of the season. We honestly don’t know who the real Hokies are after a really tough game against the unanimous #1 team in the country and an easy win over an FCS cupcake. I think Saturday is the Hokies first true test. We’ll learn a lot about this team this week. I’m going to go with the Hokies by a narrow margin. If the Hokies come ready to play, they can win by double digits but ultimately I think they make enough mistakes to keep this game close.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 24, Purdue 17


Purdue Q&A with BoiledSports.com

You can follow @BoiledSports on Twitter and read their blog at BoiledSports.com.

What are your thoughts on your team so far?

Well, so far this season or so far in our lives? Let’s hit the wayback machine for a minute. Joe Tiller took Purdue out of the cellar and made them perennial Big Ten contenders. The glory days for us were Drew Brees and Kyle Orton, with the Boilermakers getting as high as #5 in the nation in 2004. However, it’s been a steady and nauseating decline since then, with Purdue football firmly back in the basement.

Coach Darrell Hazell came in for the 2013 season and while we really like him as a man, he just hasn’t done much on the field yet, with a record of 5-21 – and three of those five victories have been against FCS foes. Purdue is very slowly improving under Hazell, though, so we’re trying to remain optimistic.

Blowing their first game at Marshall has made it tough to envision more than a couple of wins in 2015, though.

What are your expectations going into the VT game?

I’ll be honest… we’ve been worried about this game for a while. Not because Virginia Tech is the powerhouse they once were, but because we know even in “down” years, they’re no pushover. I specifically remember watching their rivalry game with UVA last November and despite being the worse record, Tech took it to the Hoos. They always come hard with a ferocious D and that alone wins you games against programs that are struggling.

How do Purdue fans view VT’s program?

I remember talking to my co-editor after last season and looking ahead to this game and his exact words were, “You don’t want any part of Beamer.” Now, I don’t know if that’s how most Purdue fans view VT, but I think that’s how fans who know CFB do. He may not be the Frank Beamer of old, but he’s still a wily veteran and he’s been in every kind of game you can imagine. There is nothing about this Saturday that will concern or intimidate him or, in turn, his team. That’s how we view it and it makes us edgy.

What is your prediction for the game?

Purdue fans know this game is quite important for our program. A win or, at the least, a good showing gives everyone some hope that things are indeed heading in the right direction. There are still some fans out there with pipe dreams of making a bowl game this year – if it has any chance of happening, this one really feels like it needs to be a win. As for us at Boiled Sports, our official “Predicto” comes out on Friday mornings, but my gut feeling is that this one is a loss for Purdue. I don’t think Purdue’s QB, Austin Appleby, will be able to deal with the defensive pressure VT will bring and the Hokies may score a defensive touchdown or two.

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