September 15, 2007
Purdue sits at 2-0, after a 52-24 blowout over Toledo, and a 52-6 blowout over FCS-division Eastern Illinois. While they’ve looked good in both of those games, it’s clear that they haven’t yet been tested. Today may, or may not, be that test.
Central Michigan started their season at Kansas, and got absolutely destroyed 52-7, following that up with a trip to Toledo, where they beat the Rockets by a score of 52-31.
So if one thing is clear today, it’s that one of these teams is scoring 52 points.
Central Michigan is a talented team, led by a very capable quarterback, and can both run and throw the ball quite well. That QB, Dan LeFevour, wanted to come to Purdue, but didn’t get a scholarship offer, so he has a bit to prove. This is quite clearly the best offense that Purdue has faced all year long. They laid an offensive egg against Kansas, but it’s possible that Kansas is a pretty good defense, based on their second game of the season.
Thankfully, though, I think it’s quite possible that this is the worst defense that Purdue has faced all season. They’re currently giving up over 500 yards per game, and gave up more passing yards to Toledo than Purdue gave up total yards. Purdue’s offense will shred CMU’s secondary, and should have a choice to beat them on the ground or in the air.
This game can go two ways. If Purdue jumps out to an early lead like they did against EIU, this game will be very ugly. CMU has a pretty solid offense, but if we can force them due to game situations to become a one-dimensional passing team, I think we can shut them down. On the flip side, though, if Purdue makes a few mistakes early, or CMU keeps it close, CMU’s balanced offense can keep them in the game all the way down to the wire.
There is one intangible here as well. CMU’s poor showing was AT Kansas, and their win against Toledo was at HOME. They come to Ross-Ade stadium in West Lafayette today, so it’s possible they may be out of their element.
Purdue will dominate this game, it’s just a matter of how early they put the Chippewas out of commission. Barring turnovers, I think it’s decided early. If Curtis Painter has his first interception or two of the season, or Purdue puts the ball on the ground, I think it might remain in contention early into the second half. I’ll call this one in the middle, and it gets decided early in the second quarter. I’m thinking 21-10 at the half, and then Purdue runs away with it.
Central Michigan 20, Purdue 48
Hopefully we see more downfield blocking like this:
Atlas Blogged linked with Facetime with some Bloggers...
September 11, 2007
Ahh, it feels good to know that we’ve got 25 gallons fermenting right now… I’ve been pretty much out of homebrew (with the exception of a little less than a case of barleywine that has questionable carbonation and won’t be drinkable for a few more months anyway)… I had limited supply before moving back to CA, and then I’ve already cleared out my Raspberry Wheat and Agave Wheat. I hate it when I have no beer AND the pipeline is empty.
But no longer. Here’s what we’ve got going right now:
Belgian Lighthouse Ale (10 gallons): This has been fermenting for about 4 weeks now, which is probably more than long enough for a beer of this type, but I noticed that the yeast and coagulated proteins weren’t dropping out of suspension quite that well, so I decided to transfer to the secondary fermenter for 2-3 weeks. However, we tasted in during the transfer, and it’s already pretty nice
Tripel Threat (10 gallons): Named because there are three of us who brew together, and I couldn’t think of anything snappier… Should be a good recipe, with 20 lbs pilsner, 8 lbs Vienna, 1 lb Aromatic and 1 lb Caravienne, 2 lbs brown sugar, and light bitterness but spicy aroma hops. Will probably come in around 9%. I haven’t been successful with any of my high-gravity beers to date, but given the balance of the recipe I’m using, rather than just trying for “more”, should hopefully improve this considerably. Give it 2 months or so in the fermenter, another 2 months in bottles, and this should make a very nice winter warmer.
Belgian Wit (5 gallons): No snappy name whatsoever for this one. My brother-in-law is a huge witbier fan, so we decided to give this one a try. It’s definitely the first time I’ve used coriander and orange peel in a brew. He asked me during the brew process whether I thought this recipe would be more like Hoegaarden or Blue Moon, and since I rarely drink either, I have no clue. But hopefully it’s tasty!
We’re starting to move out of the hot season, so our upcoming brews might leave Belgium and return back to some more common styles. We’ll definitely want to re-brew an amber ale that we did earlier this year and all loved, as well as a nice IPA similar to the one I did for the Sam Adams competition. Potentially I may add a 5-gallon experimental Smoked IPA to the group, and whatever else hits our fancy. The goal will be to get a brew session in right at the end of this month, and at least one in October, so we can make sure the pipeline is completely full from this point on.
And last, I think the wife might have come up with the name for the brewery tonight… “South Swell Brewing Company”… I like it
September 8, 2007
Normally, I’d say that since EIU is an FCS (formerly I-AA) team, this isn’t worth previewing… After all, a I-AA team can’t hope to compete with a team like Purdue, right? Well, after last Saturday, that’s no longer the case…
But, EIU isn’t App State. They shouldn’t keep this game close, except for two factors:
Distractions: On Thursday night, charges were filed against 3 Purdue players for an incident that occurred back in March. This includes one of our starting receivers and one of the team captains on defense. At the moment, the stories are full of holes, and coach Joe Tiller has decided to wait until the legal system passes judgement before he disciplines the players. I don’t think I agree with his decision, but right now I’m most concerned with what it might mean to the team. Purdue’s got the talent to blow EIU off the field, but as we saw with Michigan, if your team doesn’t have their head or heart in the game, anything can happen.
EIU’s Passing Game: The last two years have been ugly for Purdue’s defense, particularly their ability to defend the pass. EIU has a very talented, accurate QB, and one very talented receiver. Which sounds similar to what App State brought to the game last Saturday.
However, Purdue has a few major advantages. First, they saw the App State / UM score last Saturday, and they know that they can’t take EIU lightly. Second, EIU is starting 4 completely fresh players in their defensive backfield this year, and Purdue’s deep and talented WR corps should be able to get open at will. Third, Purdue should be able to line up and run the ball straight at EIU without EIU stopping them. And last, EIU’s rushing attack is not anywhere near the threat of their passing game, so Purdue should be able to force them into being one-dimensional.
If Purdue is ready to play today, this game will be ugly. If not, this game should still be a win, but the first half might be rather close, but Purdue has too many weapons on the field to let the game finish close.
Eastern Illinois 13, Purdue 51
And if all goes well, we’ll see Dustin Keller throwing out more stiff-arms like this… This is the kid whose own mother [lovingly] refers to him as a “freak of nature”…
September 3, 2007
This is history, folks… Enough said.
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September 1, 2007
Well, I’m still planning to do a Big Ten preview, but considering how Wyatt has affected my “plans”, we’ll see how well that works out. Either way, he’s sleeping and there’s still 4 1/2 hours to kickoff, so let’s break down Purdue @ Toledo.
First, one has to give Toledo their respect. They’re 38-4 at home since 1999, and have a history of knocking off Big Ten teams opening their season in the Glass Bowl (3 in the last decade, including Purdue in 1997). They had a rough season last year, but they’ve got a strong defense, an excellent running back, and the attitude of a players in the MAC, that they should be playing in the Big Ten.
That’s coupled with a Purdue team that’s coming off a tough (but winning) year, with a porous defense and an inconsistent offense. Against a tough team in a road opener, this game smells of a trap.
Purdue Offense vs. Toledo Defense:
As mentioned, Toledo’s got a pretty stout defense for a MAC team. Purdue, though, returns an offense that finished in the top ten in yardage last year, and looks to be even stronger this year. Senior receiver Dorien Bryant used to be the only game-breaker Purdue had, but now with Dustin Keller at tight end, and bookend 6′4″ 200+ lb burners Greg Orton and Selwyn Lymon on the outside, Purdue can stretch the field against anyone. Last year, there were consistency issues regarding receivers running incorrect routes, but another year of experience should halt that, and Curtis Painter has another year of work with these guys, so the only thing that can stop Purdue’s passing game is Purdue. On the ground, Purdue has two very capable backs in Kory Sheets and Jaycen Taylor, and 2nd year OC Bill Legg is implementing something Purdue hasn’t seen in many years: a fullback. I was a big fan of the spread option, but it really hasn’t panned out. The addition of a true power running game may bring the Boilers the ground threat and unpredictability of offense that they’ve been lacking.
All that said, Purdue definitely has the edge here. They have more talent and more experience all over their offense, and should be able to control the game. Purdue can only be beaten by their own mistakes.
Purdue Defense vs. Toledo Offense:
The Purdue defense is widely considered weak, if you pay attention to the pundits. I don’t agree, but we’ll get to that in a later post. The real question is whether Toledo has the horsepower to exploit them. Toledo is starting an untested QB against a veteran Purdue secondary, so I doubt they’ll be putting up a lot of yards in the air. Trying to force a ball into coverage is a mistake with cornerbacks like Terrell Vinson, who has an excellent nose for the football and will be quick to get a pick. Where Toledo may have an edge is in the running game. Purdue last year fielded a few defensive tackles who were simply not physically ready for the game. The word is that they’ve bulked up and gotten there physically, but it’s impossible to know. With the loss of 1st-round pick Anthony Spencer at defensive end, the line may suffer. The linebackers are another question mark, due mostly to the fact that nobody knows whether they’ll be any good as a unit. There’s talent there, but both 1st and 2nd string MLB’s have had injury issues, and the only proven player is Stanford Keglar (who is a strong run-stopper, but not great in pass coverage). Toledo will need to establish a ground game against the Boilers, and their starting RB is capable enough to do it.
Defensively, if Purdue can handle Toledo on the ground, this will be ugly for the Rockets. The secondary should be able to contain them in the air, so if the defensive tackles can stuff the middle, and the linebackers plug the holes, Toledo will be in trouble. To do that, Purdue’s tackles and linebackers needs to be mean, nasty, and swarm the ballcarrier. Again, the word from practice is that these guys are playing with an enormous chip on their shoulder after the last two years, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
When it comes to kickoff coverage, Purdue is solid. The same goes for punt coverage. Purdue’s returners (Bryant for kickoffs and punts, and Sheets for kickoffs) have the ability to break a long return at any time. However, Toledo also look solid on their coverage teams. I’ll give Purdue a slight edge there.
Where Purdue has an enormous question mark is their field goal kicker. Chris Summers, as a freshman last year, went 8 for 20, and that’s simply unacceptable. Purdue was forced into going for it on 4th and long in opponents’ territory, because we couldn’t trust the kicker to make anything. Summers was always great in practice and choked in games, so I’m not believing anything I’ve heard about his abilities in practice over the off-season. Toledo, to my knowledge, has no FG woes, so I’ve got to give Toledo a big edge in that department.
Purdue 31, Toledo 13
I think Purdue’s offense SHOULD put up more than 40 points, but I really think they might get off to a slow start, and have at least one drive end in no points due to a missed FG. But I’m going to go out on a limb and believe the press clippings about Purdue’s defense. I expect to see them come out with an attitude. I expect to see swarms of Boilers making tackles, and a blitzing-attacking style of defense that we’ve lacked the last two years (as our LB’s had to play pass coverage to make up for injuries to the DB’s).
I’m guessing Purdue will lead 10-3 at the half, with 1 missed field goal and a defense that bottles up Toledo. In the second half, Purdue scores a few offensive TD’s, and the defense contributes either it’s own score, or gets a big turnover in good field position to give the offense an easy score. As the game progresses, Toledo puts up a fight, but can’t hang with the Boilers for 60 minutes.