Purdue (3-2 Overall, 1-0 Big Ten, 0-0 Pig Division) at Penn State (5-1 Overall, 2-0 Big Ten, 1-0 Pig Division)
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
The Line: Purdue +12, Over/Under 41.5 (VegasInsider.com)
TV: BTN. Tom Hart (play-by-play), Derek Rackley (analyst), Lisa Byington (sideline).
Weather: More like October. Sunny, 54 degrees, steady 20 mph winds from the west with higher gusts.
Oh, Hey, It's Homecoming. This means baton twirling master John Mitchell will be standing on the 20 yard line, throw his baton off the 10 yard line, and it'll bounce right back to him. Dude has that thing on a leash. This will end BSD's annual tribute to baton twirling.
Autolock Disabled. The automatic first read for the Penn State quarterbacks, Derek Moye, is out of commission for at least the next two weeks after breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot. The official PSU press release says Moye tripped on steps in his apartment after dinner, and the injury won't require surgery. The press release also contains this bit of wishful thinking: "he could return for the Oct. 29 home game with unbeaten Illinois." We'll see about that. These types of injuries don't heal quickly due to the lack of blood flow in that part of the body.
This leaves the Penn State QB's a most difficult task on a windy day: go through their reads like normal quarterbacks instead of blindly heaving the ball toward Derek Moye in hopes that he'll fight off two or three defenders for the reception. One would have to assume that Purdue will load up against Penn State's running game, given the conditions, Moye's absence, and PSU's performance against Iowa last week. Can Penn State make Purdue pay for this strategy through the air?
The Cavalry. Moye may be out, but three imortant contributors have been deemed "possible" by the Penn State SID: D'Anton Lynn (neck), Brandon Beachum (ankle), and Stephon Morris (ankle).
And Who The Hell Are These Guys? Oh, Purdue. Former butt of every oatmeal and diabeetus joke under the sun when Joe Tiller was coaching, but now led by the much more conservative and stoic 'stache of Hopeful Danny.
They Any Good? Not especially. They lost to Rice, if that answers your question. They also were blown out by Notre Dame (see handy chart courtesy of Boiled Sports). Their three victories were over the tomato cans of college football: Middle Tennessee State (1-4, 146th Sagarin ranked), Minnesota (1-5, 134th Sagarin), and something called Southeast Missouri State (1-4, 217th Sagarin).
Analog? Obviously, the closest comparison to Penn State on Purdue's previous schedule is Notre Dame, which came dangerously close to having a 200-yard rusher (Cierre Wood, 191 yds) and a 100-yard rusher (Jonas Gray, 94 yds) against the Boilers. Also, Tommy Rees threw for 250+ yards and three touchdowns, while Purdue racked up way over 100 yards of penalties. They're the most penalized team in the conference, by a rather wide margin. DIRTY PURDUE.
BSD Across America. Did you know that our guy Ben Jones was a guest on Boiled Sports' podcast? EITHER DID I, UNTIL I FOUND IT FOR MYSELF, BEN. Listen to it here, it's rather entertaining.
Quarterback Controversy! Caleb TerBush (seriously, I want an explanation of that name) or Robert Marve? TerBush started last week, played four series, and exited with a 24-0 lead. Marve got one second quarter series, then went missing until mop-up time. As for Penn State, I will absolutely not be shocked if Rob Bolden starts again. If so, we've gone from "give Bolden every chance to win the job" to "let Bolden decisively destroy himself in front of 95,000 people". Either way, there appears to be no real incentive or inclination to change the system. Things may become interesting again if Bolden gets hot. If he continues to play H.O.R.S.E. with his passes, however, get your moxie jokes ready.
Plan Of Attack? Handoffs, short passes, handoffs, short passes. With Moye out of the lineup, Purdue may decide to put star cornerback Ricardo Allen on Justin Brown all day (well, if they deem Brown important enough to shut down). That would mean a number of other receivers will have to show up in big ways. Between Moye's injury and the weather conditions, expect a low-scoring, relatively docile game.
Waves Of Random Guys. Purdue has three receivers (Justin Siller, Antavian Edison, and O.J. Ross) and two running backs (Ralph Bolden and Akeem Shavers) who essentially have the same stats. Siller has been Purdue's Michael Robinson in a sense, a guy who has changed offensive positions as Purdue's dire needs have required.
Oh, And Cheaters Never Win. Just noticed that Penn State (823) passed Ohio State (822) on the all-time wins list. Hey, how 'bout that.
Prediction in GIF form?
Cute win against Minnesota last week, Boilermakers. Her comes the miniature John Deere of DOOM.
Penn State 20, Purdue 9.