Below are our predictions for the opener. Boiler Up!
"I think we're looking at a better start than Coach Hazell's first season.
How much better, though? I'm not very sure. How will the offense compare from last season's miserable numbers? Can Purdue get stops at the right times?
I think the Boilermakers will come out hungry and looking to make a statement. The work ethic of the players, and their attention to detail, is slowly improving.
I'll keep my prediction short and to the point so I can get out to tailgating this morning. Danny Etling throws three touchdowns to no interceptions, including two to DeAngelo Yancey.
Defensively, Ja'Whaun Bentley immediately makes his presence felt with a strong performance. Ryan Russell registers a sack.
Purdue starts off the season in convincing fashion against a Western Michigan team that is playing a lot of freshmen.
Western Michigan 10"
Game 1: Purdue vs. Western Michigan
"Although I have an idea what to expect from Purdue's offense schematically, I honestly don't know what we will see in terms of execution and overall production. Seeing as WMU had a worse run defense than Purdue last year (which is hard to fathom), I would tend to think that a healthy dose of Raheem Mostert will be seen . I will be surprised if he turns into an every down back this year, but I think he will absolutely get that shot . My guess? 25 carries for about 90 yards and a score at some point.
As for the passing game, we have heard from Coach Shoop that Danny Etling will be asked to make quick, accurate, and confident throws so hearing that tells me there will only be a few shots downfield. Given the production from Yancey last year, having a healthy group of complimentary wide receivers, and a nice tight end duo, I can see the passing game being a pleasant surprise. I'll say Etling goes 19-37 for 240 yards and 2 scores.
That brings our point total so far to 21. My score prediction in the season preview was 34-17, and that should be just about right. Throw in 2 field goals and a special teams touchdown or Akeem Hunt lightning bolt run and you're right there. 34 points for Purdue is my call.
Defensively, I think, actually I hope, that we see a more physical Purdue team and a more fundamentally sound tackeling Purdue team than last year. We will get burned more than once, but I don't think the dam will break in this first game. I'd venture to guess we will give up 3 scoring drives for 17 points.
So there you have it, Boilers win the season opener 34-17. I don't think it will be a flawless performance, but should be good enough to peak a little interest from fans and to get a comfortable W.
Boiler Up. Hammer Down. Hail Purdue"