Week 10 – Penn State at Purdue

Posted Nov 2, 2012

Week 10 Fearless Predictions - Penn State at Purdue


Penn State (5-3) at Purdue (3-5) Nov. 3, 3:30, ESPNU

Here's The Deal: It's do or die time for the Purdue team that came out of September with such high hopes. Everything was set up to try making a push for a four-team Leaders race, but three blowout losses and a gut-wrenching overtime loss to Ohio State meant an 0-4 Big Ten start and making it a must to win three of the final four games to go bowling. The defense has turned into a disaster and the offense can't seem to move the ball, but there's still time to turn the ship around. Can the team find the fire all of a sudden? The motivation is still there to win, but the same can't be said for Penn State.

It has been yet another embarrassing week for Penn State University, with the Jerry Sandusky nightmare back in the spotlight. The football team lost to Ohio State to end a fun five-game winning run, but there's a chance to get to six wins and on the cusp of a winning season by putting away the struggling Boilermakers. The defense has been great, the team has been sharp, and the offense has been fine, but the team has to get its fire back after the blowout loss to the Buckeyes.

Why Penn State Might Win: Minnesota looked razor-sharp against Purdue - Minnesota. Wisconsin isn't running well on anyone, but it was able to blast away for 467 yards and four scores in the blowout win over the Boilermakers. The defensive front isn't generating any sort of a pass rush with just two sacks in four conference games – with both coming against Ohio State – and this isn't going to be the week when there's a push into the backfield. The Purdue running game isn't producing with just two scoring runs – both against Wisconsin – over the last four games.

Why Purdue Might Win: The Penn State special teams started out the year lousy and have stayed there. The punting game is a disaster, there's no production from the kickoff returners, and the punt return game is mostly non-existent. Sam Ficken has mostly been known for his issues in the loss to an awful Virginia team, but he hasn't exactly improved hitting 5-of-12 shots on the season. Purdue's special teams haven't been as good as hoped for, but the kickoff return game has been fine and the kicking game is decent enough to be a positive.

What To Watch Out For: The last thing Purdue needs is to lose key players on defense. Star tackle Kawann Short is an NFL talent who's doing everything he can do help out the beleaguered Boilermaker defense, but he's trying to fight through an ankle injury suffered in the loss against Minnesota. He leads the team in sacks and tackles for loss, but he's not getting a whole bunch of help lately from a line that's been fine overall, but nothing special against the run. He can't just be playing; he has to be great.

What Will Happen: Purdue will rise up and come up with another Ohio State-like performance. The short-to-midrange passing game will be enough to dink and dunk on the Penn State defensive front, while the defense will hold up well against the mediocre Nittany Lion running game. It'll come down to a late Penn State field goal, and …

CFN Prediction: Purdue 27 … Penn State 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Penn State -3.5 O/U: 51.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Man With The Iron Fists, 1 – Election coverage until Tuesday morning): 3