Saturday the Toledo Rockets come to Ross-Ade Stadium to take on the Purdue Boilermakers. This is the second straight week that the Boilers will face an opponent from the MAC. After Saturday they get a week off so I have to find somewhere else to watch a game to start October. It is the first time in years that the Boilers have had a bye week during the season. It would be great to enter that bye week 3-1 before the start of Big Ten play. That would leave them just three wins shy of a bowl berth. I love going to warm places in the winter so hopefully the Boilers can get somewhere warm around the holidays. They fell one game short last season of a bowl, and two non-conference losses would have helped out big time. The Boilers must take care of business Saturday to keep their vacation plans on track.
Last season when these two teams met up they scored 83 points between them. A link to my blog on that game can be found here. I really don’t think that we will see that kind of offensive explosion from both sides on Saturday. Toledo is at the bottom of Division I schools in offense. They just don’t have a lot going for them right now. Of course the Boilers seem to have a way of bringing out the best in the opposing teams offense. This young group of Purdue defenders seems to be getting better each week. I think that Purdue wins this matchup of their defense versus the Toledo offense.
The Rockets have allowed the fourth fewest yards rushing in the country so far, but I think that is more because of the fact that they are near the bottom in passing yards allowed. The Boilers will probably still be running the running back by committee as they did last week so I think Robert Marve is the key here. How he bounces back from his knee injury last week will do a lot towards how much the Boilers can score. If Marve can stay in the game and play to his ability the Boilers can put up some points this weekend. Purdue wins this matchup as well.
The Rockets are porous when the ball is put in the air, but they are in the top ten in takeaways. Purdue so far this season has not lost a fumble. Last season the turnover battle was the difference in Purdue making a bowl, and sitting at home for the holidays. Ball security has been emphasized during the off season, and now during the season. It seems to have paid off to this point.
All of that being said I still really don’t have a clue as to how this game is going to pan out. Purdue has the ability to put the points on the board, but will they finally come out and do it? Will this be the week that the offensive line gels, and can hold their blocks? Will Robert Marve get into a groove against a lesser opponent? Will the Boilers continue to hang onto the ball? I don’t think that Purdue will lose this game, but the answers to these questions will determine how much they score. If they can get it together I think that they can approach fifty points like last season.
Predictions: Last week I went 10-0 to raise my overall record to 28-2 three weeks in. I actually had some scores close yet again. My guess are much more accurate when I don’t watch any college football shows during the week I guess. Here is how I did last week:
Michigan State 30 (34) – Notre Dame 27 (31)
#20 Michigan 41 (42) – UMass 17 (37)
#2 Ohio State 42 (43) – Ohio 10 (7)
#22 Penn State 38 (24) – Kent State 18 (0)
#11 Wisconsin 31 (20) – Arizona State 17 (19)
#18 USC 31 (32) – Minnesota 13 (21)
Illinois 35 (28) – Northern Illinois 22 (22)
Indiana 51 (38) – Western Kentucky 17 (21)
#8 Nebraska 30 (56) – Washington 21 (21)
Purdue 34 (24) – Ball State 20 (13)
This week I think is an easy one to pick. I only really see a couple games here that could go either way. Here are my week four picks:
#16 Stanford 35 – Notre Dame 27
#2 Ohio State 52 – Eastern Michigan 10
#6 Nebraska 56 – South Dakota St. 0
#23 Penn State 35 – Temple 10
#21 Michigan 41 – Bowling Green 24
#18 Iowa 41 – Ball State 7
#11 Wisconsin 51 – Austin Peay 0
#25 Michigan State 45 – Northern Colorado 3
Northwestern 27 – Central Michigan 24
Game of the Week: Purdue 48 – Toledo 17