Can the Purdue Boilermakers snap an 8-game losing streak against Big Ten opponents?


It’s been seven years since the Purdue Boilermakers last had a winning record in conference play and they now sport an 8-game losing streak to Big Ten opponents thanks to their dismal 2013 campaign. But the team has had a full season, and offseason, to learn head coach Darrell Hazell‘s offense and defense, have already doubled their win total from last season and look poised to finish with a mediocre conference record. The Iowa Hawkeyes come to town this week and the big question surrounding Hazell and his team: Can the Boilermakers snap their 8-game conference losing streak?

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There is always a lot of pressure on players and coaches to hit certain milestones throughout not only the season, but their careers. The new regime got their first career victory in Week 2 of last season, but they’ve not raised the victory flag in West Lafayette after a Big Ten matchup yet. Purdue may not be leaps and bounds better than they were last season, however, they are playing with a ton of momentum, especially after getting a much needed victory last week.

The Iowa Hawkeyes won’t be an easy matchup for the Boilers. A 38-14 drubbing is all that players, coaches and fans remember from the game these two teams played last year. Oh, and the 300-plus rushing yards the Hawkeyes had.

Running is still the Hawkeyes bread and butter, but the Boilermakers rushing defense has stepped up their game since giving up 213 rushing yards in Week 1. They have allowed less and less yards over the last three weeks, holding Central Michigan to 161 yards, Notre Dame to 139 yards and Southern Illinois to 82 yards.

Iowa is averaging 131.5 rushing yards per game and Purdue is giving up 148.8 per game. Luckily the Hawkeyes offense isn’t anything to write home about, so if the Boilermakers can figure out a way to limit the running game and make Iowa beat them through the air, then they will have a real opportunity at breaking their losing streak.

Sep 6, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Danny Etling (5) tosses a pass against Central Michigan at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

On offense, quarterback Danny Etling will need to play great once again as the Hawkyes have one of the better defenses in the country, but they can be exposed through the air. Purdue’s running game is nothing to get excited about, unless Keyante Green or Raheem Mostert go off again, but Etling has seemed to have finally settled into the starting quarterback role and has had two straight solid performances.

Iowa’s rushing defense is ranked 17th in the nation, so you can assume Purdue will have a tough time running, but their passing defense is ranked 84th, meaning Etling should have plenty of chances to connect with his favorite receivers, DeAngelo Yancey and Danny Anthrop. The Boilermakers offense is below-average, ranking 96th in passing (204.3 yards per game) and 89th in rushing (146.8 yards per game), so they will need to step it up big time if they want to raise the win flag high above Ross-Ade Stadium.

This game could easily turn into a shootout, with both teams putting up 30-plus points. have the Boilermakers as a 9-point underdog, and feel opposite of me by having the over/under total score set at 46.5 points. Iowa’s larget victory this season was eight points in Week 1 over Northern Iowa, so don’t expect them to walk all over the Boilermakers.

Prediction: Because we are bias, we are going with a Purdue victory, 34-30.