Photo Credit: Purdue Sports
Since a Notre Dame and Indiana game-by-game prediction was posted, I feel obligated as a Purdue fan to give mine. Purdue plays a schedule that is ranked as one of the toughest in the country, which when you look at it feels weird. Purdue plays almost no elite teams, but also will play very few truly bad teams. The entire Big Ten West could be between 5-8 wins, add in TCU and Vandy and this schedule could get interesting. Rondale Moore has a chance to be special for Purdue and should give them an edge in most games. Moore has a real shot at going to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony in December.
Aug. 30th @Nevada: Win, 28-17
Nevada could give Purdue an issue early in the game. They went 8-5 last year, and this is a cross country game for Purdue on a late Friday Night. Purdue should not get caught off guard to start the season, but if the team even comes out a little slow against what should be the worst Non-Con team they play, this game could get worrisome quickly.
Sept. 7th vs Vandy: Win, 31-28
Vandy is coming off a bowl season and a revival of the program. They start the year with #3 UGA before coming to Purdue and then travel to play #6 LSU. Vandy will be desperate for a win to avoid an 0-3 start. This will be a tough battle, but I give the edge to Purdue with home field and Rondale Moore being one of the best players in the country.
Sept. 14th vs TCU: Loss, 42-35
Another of the many 50/50 games on Purdue’s schedule. While I’d like to just keep giving them wins due to home-field and Rondale Moore, eventually, the team will slip up. TCU will be coming off a bye week and was a bowl team last year. They return many starters, and this will be a thriller. A night game at Ross-Ade will be a tough place to win for TCU, but I think they get it done.
Sept. 28th vs Minnesota: Win, 24-14
Minnesota is one of the most underrated teams in the Big Ten. This could be the battle of sleeper teams that could win the West. Purdue coming off a bye week will help a lot. Unlike Minnesota, they will have faced some tough teams early and should be well prepared for this game. Rondale really gets going in this game and Purdue closes out this 3-game home stretch 2-1.
Oct. 5th @#15 Penn State: Loss 27-13
Eventually, Purdue’s offense will slow down as teams start to really collapse on Rondale Moore, the team has more weapons around him than some realize including Brycen Hopkins. The team is young at receiver though, and a road trip to Penn State could be a wake-up call.
Oct. 12th vs Maryland: Win 41-21
Purdue’s offense will bounce back strong against the first opponent they play that did not attend a bowl game last year. Maryland is starting to build a strong program and finished 5-7 last year, but coming off a rough loss back at home Purdue and Jeff Brohm should make a statement before traveling to Iowa.
Oct. 19th @#20 Iowa: Loss 17-14
Iowa is always a tough place to play, and this will get interesting. The key for Purdue might be Iowa will be coming off two tough games against Michigan and Penn State, and could overlook the Boilers coming to town. Iowa is coming off a 9-4 season and should beat Purdue at home, but don’t count out a Purdue upset.
Oct 26th vs Illinois: Win 38-7
Maybe the only cupcake Purdue plays all year, this will be a much-needed win before entering the final stretch of the year. Rondale Moore will pad some Heisman stats and the young defense will continue to get better with back to back solid games.
Nov. 2 vs #24 Nebraska: Win 35-20
This is one of the toughest games for me to predict. Nebraska was very underwhelming last year, but Scott Frost seemed like the coach to turn them around. This will be a matchup between 2 of the best up and coming coaches in the country. Jeff Brohm has the edge in coaching, and Purdue should have the edge on the field. Nebraska could turn it around quickly this year and if that happens, this could end up being a big game in the conference race.
Nov. 9th @Northwestern: Win 28-17
After coming off an extremely impressive 9-5 season, the Wildcats face a very tough schedule. They could easily be entering this game at 2-6 after facing 6 ranked teams. I think the Wildcats are good (they are ranked in coaches’ poll), but it will be tough to keep the team engaged if they are 2-6 or 3-5, meanwhile Purdue will be looking for revenge after choking away the opener last year against Northwestern and keep building on their winning streak.
Nov. 23 @#19 Wisconsin: Win 38-35
Last year this game was a classic, this year I expect the same. In a matchup that could feature the only non-QB Heisman candidates (Rondale Moore and Johnathan Taylor), this game could get high scoring quickly. Purdue gets a bye week entering this game. This game could easily be for the West title, Wisconsin has a tough schedule facing both UM and OSU from the East, but both these teams will be battling this out. I believe the bye week will be crucial and help the Boilers be ready for this late-season matchup. Purdue prevails and takes the lead in the Big Ten West race.
Nov. 30th vs Indiana: Win 41-24
Closing the year at home in a big rivalry game does not get any better. Indiana will likely need the win to play a bowl game, and Purdue will go to the Big Ten Championship with a win. Purdue has more talent, home-field and a much better coach that leads them to victory in what should be the 3rd easiest game they play this season.
Season Record: 9-3 (7-2)
Purdue has a solid group returning and should be able to surprise a lot of teams in the Big Ten. They play a lot of good teams but no great teams and have a real chance to shock everyone. With this schedule, they could go anywhere from 5-7 to 10-2 as you noticed, many of the games I said were toss-ups. 8 of Purdue’s 12 opponents are between 15-40 in the AP Poll, considering they have Purdue below that, my 9-3 might be a stretch. I believe Purdue is a fringe top 25 talent (#22-#25) and will be able to take advantage of home-field in a lot of big games. Jeff Brohm is one of the best coaches and watching Rondale Moore will be very fun.