Week 11 – Purdue at Iowa

Posted Nov 9, 2012

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Purdue at Iowa


Purdue (3-6) at Iowa (4-5) Nov. 10, 12:00, BTN

Here's The Deal: Pull up. PULL UP! You're too low, Stryker! You're too low!

This was the year the Leaders division was supposedly there for the taking by a veteran Purdue team ready to take a big step forward. An 0-5 Big Ten start later, now Danny Hope might be coaching his last games in West Lafayette unless his team can roll through the final three games to get to a bowl. Outside of the overtime collapse against Ohio State, the Boilermakers have been blown out in Big Ten play losing four of the five games by double digits.

By comparison, the Iowa losing streak isn't nearly as bad as Purdue's, but it's every bit as ugly with a loss to Indiana and bad performances against Northwestern and Penn State along the way. The Hawkeyes don't have to win out to go bowling, but they need to win two of their last three with Michigan and Nebraska up next – uh oh.

The Hawkeye offense went from bad to worse, with the least-efficient passing game in the Big Ten, while the defense continues to have the weakest pass rush in the conference. As crazy as it might appear at this point, the Legends title isn't gone, needing to win out and hoping for a ton of help. For now, though, just getting a win would be nice to keep the season alive.

Purdue is having a nightmare of a time stopping anyone, and now the offense has gone good-bye after loading up on big stats and points over the first month. The talent and athleticism are there to turn things around as the season winds down, but it's going to take a massive change after a disastrous Big Ten run.

Why Purdue Might Win: Finally, the beleaguered defense could get a break. The Boilermakers haven't been stopping anyone lately, getting ripped apart on the ground by Michigan and Wisconsin, and getting picked clean through the air by Minnesota and Penn State. Does Iowa have any semblance of an offense that's working now? The passing game is woefully inefficient and ineffective down the field – it hasn't worked all year – and the running game that showed so much promise with the rise of Mark Weisman fell flat after he suffered an ankle injury. Even when the passing game puts up yards, like it did over the last two weeks against Northwestern and Indiana, it didn't matter.

Why Iowa Might Win: The Hawkeye offense might be lousy, but it's not screwing up. The two turnovers against Indiana last week were particularly galling, making all the difference in the loss. The O has given it away just seven other times this year with three giveaways coming against Penn State. Purdue's defense was great at taking the ball away for a while, but the big plays have stopped with no takeaways against Minnesota and Penn State. The four takeaways kept the Boilermakers alive in the close call against Ohio State, but 12 of the 18 on the season came in the first four weeks. Turning yards into points have been a big problem for the Purdue offense lately, and while the Iowa defense hasn't been a rock, it hasn't been getting destroyed.

What To Watch Out For: Purdue still can't figure out its quarterback situation. The offense was trying to come up with something, anything that worked against Penn State. Robert Marve threw it 39 times and only pushed it for 138 yards, while Caleb TerBush couldn't do much of anything completing 10-of-20 passes for 155 yards and a score. Along with Marve and TerBush, Rob Henry got a chance to take his cuts against Minnesota completing 5-of-6 passes for 52 yards and a score. While quarterback hasn't necessarily been the team's biggest issue, the revolving door hasn't helped the overall inconsistency.

What Will Happen: The slide will continue for … Purdue. The game won't exactly be a thrill ride, but it should be close throughout with mistakes making all the difference. Iowa will win the turnover battle.

CFN Prediction: Iowa 24 … Purdue 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Iowa -4.5 O/U: 51
Must Watch Rating (5 – Skyfall, 1 – Wreck It Ralph): 2.5