2016 Season Preview: November 26th Purdue Boilermakers

Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

Week Thirteen: Purdue Boilermakers
Date and Time: Saturday, November 26th TBA
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN (Capacity 52,929) 

Boilermakers at a Glace

Head Coach: Darrell Haze
-    4th year as a head coach
-    Overall Record (22-40)
-    At Purdue (6-30)
-    Last Year: 2-10 (1-7)

Boilermaker Returning Leaders

Passing: David Blough (57.7 Comp pct. 1,574 Yards, 10 TDs, 8 Int)
Rushing: Markell Jones (168 Att. 875 Yards, 10 TD, 5.2 YPC)
Receiving: DeAngelo Yancey (48 Rec. 700 Yards, 5 TDs)
Defender: Leroy Clark (SS 88 Tackles, 1 TFL, 2 Int, 9 PBUs)

Preseason Predictions

Athlon: 7th in the Big Ten West
Lindy’s: 7th in the Big Ten West
Phil Steele: 7th in the Big Ten West
Sporting News: 7th in the Big Ten West

Why the Boilermakers Will Win

Purdue will not have an easy time coming into Bloomington for the third time in four years to try and reclaim the Old Oaken Bucket for the first time since 2012, but the Boilers are usually good for one surprise win a year (maybe). All jokes aside, Purdue does have some dangerous players on both sides of the ball and will have a team that could be desperate to send their seniors and Hazell (all signs point to this being his final game barring a miraculous turnaround) out with a win over the Hoosiers. Desperate teams are extremely dangerous and we saw what IU did to Purdue in Bill Lynch’s final game in 2010 by knocking off Purdue at Ross-Ade 34-31 in overtime, so don’t be surprised to see Purdue pull out all the stops to end the three game Hoosier win streak.

As far as the game on the field, Purdue has three players who can be game breakers in Markell Jones and DeAngelo Yancey. Jones is an outstanding running back who will be bigger and stronger in 2016 and looks to improve on his 875-yard campaign last season. The weakness of the IU defense could be in stopping the run, as they don’t have much depth along the defensive line. Yancey is a big play receiver, who is looking to put together another solid year in his final go-around in West Lafayette.

On the defensive side of the ball Purdue does return six of their top seven tacklers including tackle Jake Replogle, linebackers Ja’Whan Bentley, and Danny Ezechukwu. The Boilers also return top-tackler Leroy Clark in the secondary. So, the cupboard is not empty and you better believe that these guys want to put a ‘P’ back on that chain.

Why the Hoosiers Will Win

The Hoosiers should come into this game needing a win to secure a bowl berth or to move up in the bowl pecking order, add in the fact that it’s their biggest rival and seeking to tie the longest win streak in the series, motivation should not be an issue. Also, Purdue will most likely be at the end of another lackluster season, probably facing a coaching change and a program overhaul. Indiana should have a wounded animal on their hands and they will need to put it out of its misery, 

On paper, Indiana just has more talent than Purdue and has become the better program since Kevin Wilson took over in 2011. By this time the Hoosiers should have all the kinks worked out and give the Purdue defense fits. Indiana’s offense just has too much firepower with a running back group that goes five or six deep and a receiving corps that is even deeper. While Purdue has some nice players on defense, they just don’t have the depth to stay with Indiana.

On defense the Hoosiers will have 11 games under their belt in Tom Allen’s scheme. They will be who they are by this time. Purdue’s offense took a big hit when D.J. Knox was lost for the year after suffering a knee injury in the spring. Knox took some of the pressure off of Jones carrying the ball 108 times for 428 yards last season. With Jones as the only other back with significant carries on the roster, it may be hard for Purdue to keep him fresh and healthy.

As far as the quarterbacks are concerned, David Blough is not guaranteed to be starting this one. Purdue has flip-flopped starting QBs mid-season the last few years and they do have a highly regarded one in Elijah Sindelar, a 6’4” redshirt freshman. So, this offense could look very different in Week 13 from Week One. 

Final Analysis

Indiana is the better team, playing at home, for the Bucket, and postseason placement. Barring something extremely drastic happening, I do not envision the Hoosier winning streak ending in this series in 2016. However, rivalry games can be tricky so the Hoosiers do have to come out ready and give the Boilermakers their best shot, because if Purdue gets some momentum going, it could be hard to stop.

Hoosiers Win Probability: 85%