Friday, November 12, 2010

Michigan vs Purdue Preview

Location:  Ross Aide Stadium
Time: 12:00 EST
TV: Big Ten Network
Line: Purdue + 12.5
Weather: High of 70, 40% chance of rain

Neither one of these teams are lighting up the Big Ten, both come into this match up with a 2-3 conference record.  Both teams have also had big losses at important positions:  Michigan in the defensive backfield and Purdue at the QB position.  Purdue has also had a strange string of ACL injuries that have hit other offensive positions as well, which has given the Boilermakers this new mascot (which I really like and you knew it was coming!)

Michigan is coming off a 3 game losing streak with the basketball score and triple overtime win last Saturday.   Purdue is currently on it's own 3 game losing streak but with Purdue's offense injuries it's really impressive they have won 2 Big Ten games.  They also played Wisconsin close for a half last weekend at home before the game got out of control.   Purdue is 2 wins away from a bowl game with Michigan, MSU, and IU still left on the schedule.   So do you think they want this game?

A bowl game isn't the only reason that Danny Hope and the Boilermakers are looking for a third straight win over the Wolverines.   They are still upset about 2 things the Wolverines did in the past 3 years.  #1 was the signing day change of heart from Purdue to Michigan from star WR Roy Roundtree.  #2 was that Danny Hope meet RR at mid field after their victory in the Big House last year and introduced him to the kid that Danny believed RR got suspended by the Big Ten.

So to say the least, there is zero love lost between these two schools right now.  RR says that incident last year was in the past but you know he just wants to take the Boilermakers to the woodshed.  Danny of course feels the same way.   So this should be a good hard hitting game.

Purdue on offense prefers to run the ball and ranks #39 in the nation in rushing.  They really don't prefer to throw the ball where they rank #114.   That strategy will be welcomed by the Wolverine defense that ranks 105 in points against with a lot of youth in the defensive backfield.

Michigan on the other hand has the #9 ranked rushing offense and the #28 passing offense in the country which matches well against the 79th Purdue "points against" defense.  This is where Michigan has a clear advantage and should put up a lot of points. 

Tale of the Tape:

Michigan Offense vs Purdue Defense =  Maybe 0 Punts

Purdue Offense vs Michigan Defense =  Second Team All Stars

Special Teams = Have you seen Michigan kick field goals?

Intangibles =  RR vs Hope in a steal cage match

If it wasn't for thie long line of coaches with full thick mustaches the Michigan faithful would have very little respect for Purdue.  With that said, Purdue has won 2 straight over Michigan and the last time the Wolverines were in West Lafayette a backup running back Justin Stiller played QB and ran through the Michigan defense like a rat through cheese.  Even Justin is banged up with a foot sprain, so he is questionable for the game as well. 

Purdue has a talented defensive line which will be a good match up with Michigan's talented offensive line.   Purdue is strong in their pass rush and Denard/Tate will have to get rid of the ball quickly during passing plays.  Look for more screens and slats for the Michigan offense, then deep balls.

Sing Hail to the Victors if.........
  • Michigan scores every time they touch the ball.
  • Denard stays healthy all game and goes for 200 and 300
  • Michigan gets stops on defense
  • More Mike Shaw and Stephen Hopkins
  • Roundtree has a big day catching the ball
Yell, Why do we play so bad on the Big Ten Network if..............
  • If this becomes a shoot out
  • Danny Hope has an RR magical formula
  • Michigan gets caught in mis-direction or trick plays
  • The Michigan defense continues to give up lots of points and lots of yards
  • Michigan loses the turnover margin

Purdue knows they need this win and they really dislike the Wolverines.    They will try to run the ball, control the clock, and will throw out all the trick plays to get a W.  Purdue will have to score way over 30 points to win this game.  Weather could be the difference if it rains and Michigan gets the turnover bug.

This will be an interesting challenge for the Michigan defense which hasn't played very well on the road since the ND game.  If Michigan plays smart on offense, protects the ball, and get some stops on defense this game shouldn't be close.  Though I'm still not sold on the Wolverines on the road yet.  I'm hoping for a Michigan blow out win but I think it will be closer then that.  I think RR really wants a win against Hope and will have the Wolverines ready to play.  Michigan 100 Purdue 65    Robbie Hummel goes for 25 - who blew out his ACL as well.

I will be at the game, so please think of me when you hear a hunderd train whistles, movie clips, and that guy hitting that big drum. 


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