Purdue @ Iowa – Pregame Thoughts

Let It Snow.

Look, I get that we’re still over a month away from Christmas, but today just puts me in the holiday mood. The game this weekend can’t keep my attention, so I have nothing else to think of but the weather. It’s going to be cold. The Accuweather forecast for Saturday puts the high at Kinnick to be 27! As i’m sure most true Hawkeye fans would agree, I still wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Iowa didn’t move at all in the rankings, but at this point, the teams in the top 5 would have to lose to move down. Iowa won’t move into the top 4 unless they beat Ohio State. If they pull that off, they will be in the top 4 for the only week it counts: the last one. Don’t expect Iowa to move until then, and don’t be worried about it.

In this weeks game to clinch a share of the Big Ten West title and go undefeated in Kinnick for the first time ever, Iowa plays marquee opponent… Purdue. Now if there is one Big Ten football opponent that shouldn’t excite you, its Purdue. This is the Purdue team that has only won 2 conference games in the last 3 years under new head coach Darrell Hazell. I’m sorry, Purdue, but you’re not good at football. That’s not to say that Purdue hasn’t done great things. They beat the struggling Nebraska team earlier in the year for their first home conference win in that same three year span.

Purdue sure loves tradition, and if that tradition is poor football, then they are really honoring the teams of the past with how they play this year. Purdue has the worst run defense in the Big Ten, and we’ve seen what Iowa’s four deadly horsemen have been able to do against bad run defenses. No Iowa running backs are injured as of now, so they should all get a chance to ground and pound against their miserable defense.

Purdue has some offensive firepower, but not really. Purdue’s offensive success is only relative to their defensive struggles. Freshman running back Markell Jones has been doing pretty well in his position for his age, and in a few years, he might actually be pretty good. Iowa needs to contain the running backs like they have been doing for the last couple of weeks if they want to succeed and win this ball game.

Predictions:

1. Sluggish offenses. It’s going to be cold, and when that happens, it will take longer for the teams offenses to heat up. Literally. Both teams will probably have uneventful first drives, and it will take time for them to get into a rhythm.

2. Iowa doesn’t back down. It’s the last game for the 2015 seniors in Kinnick Stadium. The teammates and coaches want to send them out with a bang, and what would be better than a perfect record at home? These are the players that committed after the great 2009 season, and its amazing for them to have their career at Iowa end with a season thats even better.

I think Iowa will destroy Purdue in a 35-7 blowout. Its not going to be fun for Purdue, and that’s just how the Hawks want it to be. While we can’t discount these small games, It’s time to go to Lincoln, show the nation that Iowa means business, win the outright division title, and finish a perfect regular season.

 

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