Game Preview: Purdue v. Ball State

Well I really don’t know what to expect from the Boilers this week. Their defense seems to have some holes in it, and the offense has not really clicked just yet. Purdue should roll over a Ball State team like this one. I think the game will turn out much like last week’s. Danny Hope could have focused his players this week so that they are not embarrassed by the other team scoring first. I still don’t know how Western Illinois had the lead on the Boilers. This is the first of two straight games Purdue plays against MAC teams. When October rolls around we should have a pretty good idea of what the rest of the season will hold for the Boilers.

Last year I saw Ball State play against Central Michigan, and tailback Cory Sykes was trouble out of the wildcat formation. I think that the Boilers ability to stop the run will be the major factor in this game. They have enough size up front to run the ball themselves so they must win the battles on defense for the game to go the way that I think it will. The Purdue linebackers have to step it up this week, and keep the Cardinals in long yardage situations.

With Keith Smith out for the year the Boilers need someone to step up at receiver. Purdue has a few options, and the team will be waiting for the next star to emerge. Freshman O.J. Ross looked like he could be that guy. An extra week of practice should only help him. For the next couple of weeks the running backs will have to carry this team. Dan Dierking and Al Terek McBurse need to step it up a bit. McBurse has apparently had some confidence issues with his knee, but his big play last week should help that out.

Without knowing what Purdue team will show up this week it is hard to predict exactly what is going to happen. I was sure that after an off season of promising that Carson Wiggs will be kicking record setting field goals that Purdue punting when I thought that we could be kicking. Hopefully Wiggs will be kicking many extra points come Saturday.

Predictions: Last week I went 9-1 again. I had Minnesota’s score right in the lone game I lost, but I did not expect South Dakota to score 41 on them. That brings my overall record this season to 18-2. I should be lower, but for some reason I forgot to pick the Notre Dame game against Michigan. I would have picked the Irish though and lost so it is all for the best.

Here is how I picked last week: (The actual score is in parenthesis)

#2 Ohio State 31 (36) – #12 Miami (FL) 20 (24)

#1 Alabama – 34 (24) #18 Penn State 20 (3)

#9 Iowa 38 (35) – Iowa State 17 (7)

#11 Wisconsin 51 (36) – San Jose State 13 (24)

Michigan State 38 (30) – Florida Atlantic 17 (17)

Northwestern 31 (37) – Illinois State 9 (3)

Illinois 24 (35) – Southern Illinois 21 (3)

Minnesota 38 (38) – South Dakota 15 (41)

#8 Nebraska 42 (38) – Idaho 10 (17)

Purdue 51 (31) – Western Illinois 23 (21)

Here are this weeks games:

Michigan State 30 – Notre Dame 27

#20 Michigan 41  – UMass 17

#2 Ohio State 42 – Ohio 10

#22 Penn State 38 – Kent State 18

#11 Wisconsin 31 – Arizona State 17

#18 USC 31 – Minnesota 13

Illinois 35 – Northern Illinois 22

Indiana 51 – Western Kentucky 17

#8 Nebraska 30 – Washington 21

Purdue 34 – Ball State 20


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