Game Preview: Purdue Boilermakers v. Michigan State Spartans

We have finally come to the last home game of the season. It really does not seem like that long ago that I was getting pumped up for the Toledo game. Now we are getting ready to say goodbye to the seniors, and hopefully set up a huge game against the Hoosiers next week. For now though we have the pesky Spartans from Michigan State. This is a Michigan State team that has played every team close this season. They have a very good run defense. Unless we come up with something special for them this week I think that the game will rest on Joey Elliot’s shoulders. The same could be said for Michigan State. They looked good running the ball last week, but they are down to the bottom of the barrel as far as running backs are concerned. Both teams fates will be determined by how well the pass/stop the pass. If Purdue wants to get to a bowl game this year we must put the clamps on Michigan State’s passing game. With the guys up front that we have we must get to the quarterback. I am very pleased with the guys that we have going for us so I think that we will win this match up. Kirk Cousins needs to have a dirty jersey early in this game. Joey as I said before will have to step up his game as well. He could throw every pass right on the money though, and it could still be a bad day. We need guys like Valentin, Smith, and the rest of the receiving corps to step it up. Keith Smith is still near the top of most of the Big Ten receiving categories, and now is his time to shine. Michigan State has one of the nation’s best tacklers in Linebacker Greg Jones. Will Ralph be able to stay out of his sights? We will see on Saturday. Hopefully to a packed house. This is a huge game for both teams. Michigan State goes to Happy Valley to close out their season. This is the game that they need to go bowling. Purdue as we all know needs to win out to go bowling. I think that we have already had the ‘special’ season that Coach Hope talks about. We have taken down both Ohio State and Michigan, and made some history in the process. Winning out and going to a bowl would make it ‘extra special’ So let’s get out there and cheer for a Boilermaker ‘extra special’ season.
Two years ago the Boilers were already bowl eligible when the Spartans came to town. Michigan State on the other hand needed a win to become bowl eligible much like they will need Saturday. If we could have won that game, and the next at Indiana we would have been 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the conference. We had representatives from various bowls in attendance, and we could have had a good shot at going somewhere nice. What we got though was a 48-31 beatdown from the Spartans that carried over to the next week when we lost at Indiana. We were on the brink of not going to a bowl at all, but the Motor City Bowl in Detroit took us. Chris Summers had one of his Purdue highlights in that game to give Joe Tiller his last bowl win. It all started in West Lafayette against the Spartans. Curtis Painter threw for 344 yards and a touchdown. He even ran for one in the game. The one thing that he had trouble with though was throwing to SirDean Adams. He threw to picks to Adams that led to 10 Spartan points. When I walked out of the stadium I remember feeling crushed. The team was much worse than either side of the score seemed to dictate. Hopefully we can leave this weekend with a much better feeling than we did that day.
Predictions: Last week I had perhaps my worst week ever. I went 2-6 to bring my overall record on the season to 28-16. I was shocked at the scores of the Iowa, Notre Dame, and Michigan State games. I also thought that Penn State would roll Ohio State, and of course it was the other way around. So this week I will start fresh and see what I can do. The first game that I will pick is the Monon Bell game. This is a great series between these two schools that stands tied right now (53-53-9). Who will win this year’s game? I have also been able to see the Bearcats play a little lately so I will hop on the bandwagon for their big game. The rest of the list is the usual Big Ten Slate. Of course the game of the week in my mind is in West Lafayette. If I was not biased though it would be in Columbus where the Big Ten will be decided.
Week 11 Predictions
Wabash 35 – DePauw 34
#5 Cincinnati 38 – #25 West Virginia 21
#12 Pittsburgh 38- Notre Dame 21
#11 Ohio State 31 – #10 Iowa 13
#18 Penn State 42 – Indiana 23
Minnesota 35 – South Dakota St. 24
#20 Wisconsin 35 – Michigan 21
Purdue 31 – Michigan State 27

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