Week 14 - Purdue at Indiana

Posted Nov 28, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Purdue at Indiana

Purdue (1-10) at Indiana (4-7) Nov. 30 3:30, BTN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: The battle for the Old Oaken Bucket doesn't exactly hold much meaning this year outside of closing out with a little bit of in-state rivalry pride for the winner, but it could end up defining the offseason for the loser.

Indiana was rolling along with a 3-2 record and looking like a team that could sneak out three more wins on the way to a bowl game, but the miserable defense kept getting worse and the offense was figured out by the better teams, and boom – five losses in six games on the way to a losing record. 5-7 is hardly the finish the coaching staff and team were shooting for, but it's Indiana. A five-win season would be just the second since 2007, and things really do appear to be getting better.

On the flip side, Purdue is a mess. The Boilermakers came up with a battle in the loss to Illinois last week, but it's been an ugly year with no offense and an inconsistent defense. Winning rivalry games always matters, but in this case, beating Indiana would be the only win over an FBS team making it the signature win of the season.

Why Purdue Might Win: Where's Billy Dicken when you need him? If Purdue's passing offense was ever going to get rolling, this would be the game against a soft Indiana secondary that has gotten a break over the last two weeks against Wisconsin and Ohio State, but only because those two were too busy running at will. Purdue's passing game was able to get moving a bit against Iowa and Penn State, and it had a few decent moments this season, so it's possible it can keep up the pace if this gets into any sort of a shootout. It's a dink and dunk attack, but in this game, that might not be a bad thing to keep the chains moving. However …

Why Indiana Might Win: As bad as the Indiana defense has been in all phases, it shouldn't take too much from the offense to make life impossible for a Purdue offense that has no explosion whatsoever. Yes, the passing yards have come at times, but there's no downfield passing game to open things up for a rushing attack that's last in the Big Ten averaging just 70 yards per game. The Boilermakers have yet to score more than 24 points in any game, and while they should be able to bust through that against the IU D, it's going to have to do something out of the norm to keep up the pace.

Who To Watch Out For: Great statistics don't necessarily mean much for a team that's having as many problems as Indiana is on defense, but safety Greg Heban is putting up a whale of a season numbers-wise. There are too many deep plays allowed, and there are too many tackles made down the field, but he has had to be the last line of defense way too often with a team-leading 78 tackles. Meanwhile, Tim Bennett has won his share of battles with a nation-leading 20 defended passes, breaking up 19 and with one pick.

What Will Happen: Purdue's offense will get to have some fun, but not enough. The Indiana offense will find its groove again, and the Boilermakers won't be able to keep up the pace.

Prediction: Indiana 55 … Purdue 27
Line: Indiana -20.5 o/u: 66.5
Must See Rating: (5 American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 2
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