Know Your Foe, Week 11: Purdue Boilermakers

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

You think Penn State has issues?

This Season: 1-8 (0-5)

No wins against FBS opponents. 31 points scored in five B1G games (6.2 points per game). Their only bright spot, if you can call it that, was a seven point home loss to then-21st-ranked Notre Dame. It's been a season to forget in West Lafayette.

Offense

Three quarterbacks have seen time under center for the Boilermakers, but freshman and Christian Hackenberg's Elite XI camp-mate Danny Etling has been getting the starts as of late. He's completing less than 50% of his passes and has thrown five picks, though his worst performances have come against two of the B1G's best defenses in Michigan State and Ohio State. Senior Rob Henry was the starter for the first five games of the year before moving to safety.

The passing game has been pretty awful, but, hoo boy, this run game. Akeem Hunt is the leading ballcarrier and averages 3.5 yards per rush, but that's an impressive figure compared to the team's average of 2.4 ypc. If there is a danger man on this anemic offense, it's probably freshman receiver DeAngelo Yancey. He was responsible for Purdue's lone score against Nebraska, a 55-yard TD grab, and has recorded 100 yards on two separate occasions. Big plays will have to be there for Purdue to have a shot in Beaver Stadium - they're converting just 65% of their scarce red zone visits (17) into scores.

Defense

Rather surprisingly, Purdue's pass defense is pretty decent. Darrell Hazell's secondary only gives up 215 yards a game. Senior corner Ricardo Allen has three picks on the year and will likely shadow a not-100% healthy Allen Robinson all day. The Boiler's success against the pass is more of an effect of the team's dire rushing defense. Opponents are running wild against this front seven, averaging 223 yards a game (111th nationally). Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak, bon appetit.

Special Teams

Hunt has a kick return touchdown this season. Kicker Paul Griggs is 50% on the season but has only made two field goals since September 21st. Poor Cody Webster's leg is gonna fall off any day now - the Harrisburg native and Central Dauphin East alum has punted 55 times this season, an average of 6.8/game.

Last Game (38-14 L vs. Iowa)

Hey, they got on the board twice! Good for them. And they ran the ball for positive yardage, so they have that over Michigan.

Gambling Advice From a Degenerate

As usual, Kunk7 on the mic:

Welp, the beleaguered Nittany Lions are 5-4 and currently looking somewhat lost on both sides of the ball. But, hey, good news! They're favored by 3 touchdowns this week! Wait, what? THAT'S RIGHT EVERYBODY, IT'S "THANK GOD IT'S PURDUE" WEEK. I can't remember a time when the hierarchy was this stretched out in the B1G (note #1: I have done no research to confirm this, it is possible things were this bad as recently as last year). Let's just take a look at this week's spreads for the far and away best two teams in the conference.

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Illinois at home, catching almost 5 touchdowns. Just the 5 touchdowns. AND THEY'RE NOT EVEN THE WORST TEAM IN THE B1G (again, thank god it's Purdue week). Also, be prepared for PSU to be 3 TD+ underdogs to Wisconsin a couple of days after Thanksgiving. That's gonna be fun to not watch while instead gorging on leftover turkey and stuffing and beer. Man, when does BO'B get to have more scholarships? Can it be before next Saturday? C'mon Mark. Help us out.

As for this week, let's just all take PSU at whatever number you can find and relish in the 6th win no matter what the final score is (note #2: if PSU loses to Purdue, God is dead).

Fun Fact

Purdue alum Gus Grissom is the first astronaut to star as himself in popular CBS drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

Blog You Should Also Be Reading This Week

Hammer and Rails. Bless their hearts.

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