Purdue vs Northwestern: It’s a One-Sided Matchup


Week 11 sees the Purdue Boilermakers travel to Ryan Field to take on No. 18 Northwestern Wildcats in what will likely be a one-sided matchup.

You would think it can’t get any worse for the Purdue Boilermakers (2-7, 1-4 Big Ten) right now, but last week’s game against Illinois was only a tune up for the potential butt-kicking the Northwestern Wildcats (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) have planned for them.

Somehow the Fighting Illini racked up 382 rushing yards against a Boilermaker defense that had went back-to-back weeks – against Wisconsin and Nebraska – without giving up 100 total rushing yards. They just had no answer for Illinois’ rushing attack; the same rushing game that ran for 37 yards the previous week, but was missing starting running back Josh Ferguson. Now the Boilers take on a team who thrive on the running game.

Behind sophomore Justin Jackson, the Wildcats have rushed for a total of 1,716 yards – 41st best in the nation – and Jackson accounts for 917 of those. That’s not good for Purdue as they give up, on average, 206 rushing yards per game.

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Northwestern hasn’t looked sharp lately, though, at least compared to how they began the season. After starting 5-0 – including a 16-6 victory over then No. 16 Stanford in Week 1 – the Wildcats fell to Michigan and Iowa in back-to-back weeks. To make matters worse they were shut out by Michigan and scored 10 points against Iowa. They’ve won two straight, but both games have been won by two points.

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

Sure, there is always a chance this Purdue team surprises us and holds their own. If you follow the pattern they’ve created this season, this game should actually be a win or a least a close loss. And the Boilers have been better on the road than they have at home.

Since head coach Darrell Hazell and offensive coordinator John Shoop seem to have no desire to use running back Markell Jones as the primary offense, despite being their most consistent offensive player, it will be up to quarterback David Blough once again. Except, Blough has been Mr. Inconsistent since taking over the starting quarterback role in Week 4. After having his best game of the season against Nebraska two weeks ago – 274 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions – he laid an egg against Illinois last week. Every two games, Blough throws for over 200 yards, and he only put up 174 against Illinois, so we can expect him to have a decent game this week.

Even though Northwestern hasn’t looked as menacing over the last four weeks, the Boilermakers haven’t looked menacing in over the last four years. It would be great to see Purdue pull out their first win over a Top 25 opponent since 2011.

Prediction: Purdue 14 – Northwestern 31

Next: Butler Takes on The Citadel in Home Opener

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