Dissecting the Season: B1G Football at Purdue


The fifth game of the 2014 B1G Badgers football season comes against perennially downtrodden Purdue.

The season so far: At Northwestern, against Illinois, against Maryland, at Rutgers, all before …

Week 11, November 8: At Purdue

Past Performances

I always love it when the Badgers play Purdue. Always. I don’t think this year will be any different. Last season, Purdue was at the front of our schedule, and gave us a chance to put on a royal beatdown on somebody after the last-second field goal win over ASU and overall nice sunny vacation in Tempe.  Wisconsin won 41-10 in Week 4, part of an 1-11 season for the Boilermakers. In fact, the last five games in as many years have been absolute blowouts. A 38-14 win in 2012, 62-17 in 2011, 34-13 in 2010 and 37-0 in 2009.  The last time Purdue beat Wisconsin was 26-23 in 2003, but then Kyle Orton chose to run it himself in 2004.

Offensive Matchups

Both Melvin Gordon and James White combined for 292 rushing yards last season at Camp Randall. The Badgers had 388 total yards rushing, 208 yards more than Purdue could muster using every and any offensive weapon. I’d actually like to see passing in this game. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to see a “W” more, but if there is any game late in the season where Wisconsin OC Andy Ludwig could open up the playbook more, it should be this one.

Purdue’s former corner, and current  Atlanta Falcon, Ricardo Allen was the Boilermakers’ best defensive weapon last year, but the team hasn’t found a replacement. This team has to improve. As bad as things have been down in Indiana, they’re still not a MAC team yet.

In 2013, Purdue was 71st in Defensive 3rd Down Conversion percentage, but 104th in Total Defense. Purdue’s inconsistency marred any chance of stopping a team with at least one part of its offense going full-steam ahead.

Defensive Matchups

What wizardry is this? Purdue has just ONE projected starting quarterback?

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Danny Etling came into a bad situation last year and showed some promise behind center. The 6-3 218-pound true freshman became Purdue’s QB exactly the week after the loss to Wisconsin. He performaed as well as anyone could under the circumstances: 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight games. He’s now a year older and has some tools around him, namely WR DeAngelo Yancey and TE Justin Sinz. By this stage in the season, Marcus Trotter should have the MLB position on lockdown and I like Vin Diesel Vince Biegel to improve on last year’s audition at OLB and become a force off the edge.

Freshman Impact

In anticipation of the loss of Allen, Purdue went and got itself a battery of defensive backs. Juan Cason, Timothy Jenkins II and Brandon Roberts were all brought in to increase depth at safety and corner, although the freshman most likely to make to the field will be offensive tackle David Hedelin. The Swede will sit out three games due to an amazingly silly NCAA rule, but that shouldn’t hinder him from making the front five come B1G season.

Home Field Advantage

Ross-Ade stadium will become the Jacksonville of the Midwest as it’s now home to a new full patio set! The new section comes at the expense of 6,000 seats.  But hey, they serve beer now, transitioning Ross-Ade into the nicest  Buffalo Wild Wings in West Lafayette.

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Trust me, they’re thrilled. Plus, the student section will have whatever this is to look forward to.

Join us again next time when Badger of Honor gets down to the final quarter of the season with a look at Nebraska.