This week the Boilers welcome the 3rd top 25 team they have played in the past four weeks into Ross-Aide Stadium on Saturday. The Boilermakers are coming off of a 31-10 win at Northwestern, and the Badgers are coming off of a 48-12 shellacking of Minnesota. Wisconsin’s last three games against Indiana, Northwestern, and Minnesota have all been laugher’s. They have outscored their opponents 141 – 38 in those games. Purdue on the other hand looked good last week against a terrible Northwestern team. They have lost the last ten games against ranked oponents, so they had better come ready to play early to avoid making it number 11. Wisconsin has a good quarterback in John Stocco who seems to have been there forever. Behind him is redshirt freshman running back P.J. Hill who has already passed the 1,000 yard mark this season. He is averaging almost 145 yards per game rushing. The Boiler defense had better get ready for the run this week. Cliff Avril has improved against the run since switching to end, but this week will test him. The Boilers win against Northwestern produced a lot of heroes. Curtis Painter was named Co – Offensive player of the week in the Big Ten for his game against the Wildcats. His 431 yards passing ranks 10th all time for Purdue single game passing. Anthony Spencer was named to the Lott Award watch list after another great game against Northwestern. The Lott Award is given to an individual on defense who makes the biggest impact. The Boilers face one of the biggest tests of the year so far this week. Let’s hope they come out ready to play.
The only game that I have seen in this series was back in 1999 when I was a student at Purdue. Ron Dayne was in the midst of his Heisman Trophy run, and ended up running for 222 yards against us as Wisconsin won 28 – 21. That game got him past Tony Dorsett for the second most rushing yards ever. He was only 98 back of Ricky Williams year old record which he got the next game. We had a fan in the student section wearing a Dayne jersey and cheering loudly only when he felt his team was going to win (very quiet the majority of the game). He took a mysterious fall at the end of the game and went down a couple of rows. The search continues for the gorilla that escaped from the zoo to send this young man down. The Boilers came into the game ranked #17 and the Badgers were ranked #10. Drew Brees threw for 350 yards with one touchdown, and also ran for 85 yards with two touchdowns. He threw two picks, the last one returned by Jamal Fletcher to clinch the victory for the Badgers. Dorsch missed three field goals that would have been the difference in the game. The game remembered by most Boilers is the 2004 game that saw national attention come to West Lafayette. Cold Pizza was there during the week, as well as the only appearance by College Gameday at Purdue. Purdue could have won that game, but a fumble by Kyle Orton at the end sealed the game. This is the Badgers first trip back since that game.
The prediction segment has not been going so good this year. This week I think the Boilers will lose 28 – 17. I don’t think the defense can stop the run, and they will contain us. I hope this is wrong, but I think it is right.