For the first time in its 94 seasons, the Ross-Ade Stadium will host a Friday night game as the home team Purdue Boilermakers take on the visiting Ohio Bobcats. Game time in West Lafayette, Indiana, is at 8 P.M. ET on Friday, September 8th.
The visiting Ohio Bobcats come into this game 1-0 after destroying Hampton 59-0. It was total team victory where they outplayed their opponent in every phase of the game. However, Purdue is a big step up in talent, which may pose a problem for the Bobcats.
For Purdue (0-1), they played a neutral site game against the #16 ranked Louisville Cardinals and came out on the losing end after a hard fought battle (35-28). They had chances to win the game late and showed a great effort on both sides of the ball.
The spread opened with Purdue favored by 3.5 points. It has since gone up to 4.5 points. The Over/Under has remained unchanged at 57 total points.
The Ohio Bobcats looked impressive in their beat down of Hampton. The MAC Conference favorite did what they were expected to do in their glorified scrimmage. But, now the real test begins. Although Purdue might still be a ways off from contending in the Big 10, they’re talented enough to give Ohio a lot of problems.
Ohio put up nearly 250 yards on the ground against Hampton and look to continue their effective rushing attack against Purdue who gave up 146 yards on the ground to Louisville last week. If the Bobcats can control the line of scrimmage and the game clock with their rushing attack, they could pull off the upset this week. But, if Purdue can stack the box and force Ohio to throw the ball, it might be the difference in a victory or an upset defeat.
For the Boilermakers to succeed this week, and win the game, they need a solid outing from their quarterback David Blough. This starts with limiting his high number of interceptions. Last year, he threw 21 picks. And this year, he has already thrown two. That’s in addition to only throwing for 175 yards. However, he did manage to toss two touchdown passes.
Now, Ohio isn’t Louisville, but they aren’t a pushover on defense either. In fact, they had the #6 ranked rush defense in the country last year and Purdue’s run game didn’t look good last week as they only mustered a pedestrian 51 yards on the ground. Don’t expect the Boilermakers to dramatically improve on that number this week, but they should get closer to the century mark.
On paper, Ohio has the talent to hang with Purdue and possibly pull off the upset. But, after their showing against Louisville, it’s hard to see Purdue taking a step backward in Week 2. In fact, I expect them to build off their loss last week by carrying that momentum into this Friday night matchup and earning their first victory of the season in front of a fired up student body.
Purdue is 7-0 all-time against Ohio, but they haven’t played since 1988. All of the numbers point to Ohio covering the spread here, but I’m going with a gut feeling and taking Purdue at -4.5 points. With an unimpressive passing game and a retooled front 7, Ohio has to prove that they are still as good as they were last year. For this week, I don’t think they will be.