Surging Boilers Up Next - What To Expect

Surging Boilers Up Next - What To Expect

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Surging Boilers Up Next - What To Expect

Michigan State must regroup and be prepared to take on a surging Purdue team that just overpowered Ohio State from the opening kickoff to the final gun. The 4-3, 3-1 Boilermakers are next up for the Spartans.

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This past Saturday night, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins was 49 of 73, had 470 yards and threw two touchdown passes (with an interception) against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium.

A martian (or a regular person who isn’t as ridiculously obsessed with all of this stuff as we all are) might look at what the Buckeyes’ quarterback – who has been on a lot of Heisman Trophy watch lists – was able to do and assume that Ohio State rolled in West Lafayette.

Ohio State did roll.

The Buckeyes rolled over as the Boilers pounded Ohio State all over the field in what wound up being a 49-20 dismantling of Urban Meyer’s machine.

It’s pretty much like clockwork now – the Buckeyes find a way to face plant against a team that it should defeat handily right around the time when the frost starts to cover the pumpkins all over the Midwest.

After a rough 0-3 start to a season that Purdue entered with high expectations, the excitement and expectations have re-emerged with the Boilers’ four-game winning streak, particularly after the way Jeff Brohm’s team took Ohio State out behind the locomotive and whupped up a dominating performance.

Purdue’s David Blough – the 6’1″, 201 pound veteran senior quarterback – had a terrific night finishing 25 of 43 for 378 yards with 3 touchdowns against the Buckeyes.

Blough has emerged over the last four games as a leader that’s befitting of the Boilermaker quarterback tradition.

After Brohm faced early-season challenges in landing on the right man for the quarterback role, Blough has thrown for 2073 yards and has 13 touchdowns against only two interceptions.

Michigan’s Shea Patterson was a real challenge this past Saturday for Michigan State for many reasons – he made great decisions, he was crisp all afternoon, and he was as determined as ever to make an emphatic point with his play.

Blough, meanwhile, is simply one hell of a good quarterback who is playing the best football of his career.

Stopping him might be more difficult than limiting Trace McSorley a couple of weeks ago.

It’s been a while since the folks in Northern Indiana have had reason to be fired up about Boilering Up.

Ross-Ade Stadium was a nut house on Saturday night and Purdue appears to have fully recovered from that 0-3 start.

Brohm doesn’t rely just on Blough’s ability to sling the ball all over the place, either.

On Saturday night, Purdue’s D.J. Knox carried the ball 16 times for 128 yards and had 3 touchdowns.

Knox – the senior running back who is a fireplug at 5’7″ and 210 pounds – now has 8 touchdowns on the season after carrying the ball 103 times for 668 yards.

How about the way Purdue’s Rondale Moore destroyed the Buckeyes defense all night long?

Moore is another fireplug at 5’9″ and 175 pounds with astonishing speed and power.

Moore finished the night with 12 catches for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns.

On one of his scores, he manhandled Ohio State by breaking tackles and running over the NFL-bound Buckeyes who tried to slow him.

Through seven games, Moore has 57 catches for 728 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Markus Bailey is Purdue’s junior linebacker – he’s 6’1″ and 240 pounds and he played like a man possessed against the Buckeyes.

Bailey was in on 18 tackles, had 8 solo stops, and a half of a TFL.

Bailey also managed to pick off one of Haskins’s passes and return it for a touchdown.

Kenneth Major is a 6’0″, freshman cornerback that was in on 12 tackles and also had 8 solo stops against Ohio State.

Jacob Thieneman is a 6’1″, 215 pound senior safety who contributed to 9 tackles, 7 of them solo, against the Buckeyes.

Antonio Blackmon is a 6’0″, 195 senior safety who played lights out against the Buckeyes – he had 6 solo tackles.

Purdue’s defense doesn’t necessarily have many stars – but between Bailey, Major, Thieneman, and Blackmon (and others), the defense appears to have found its rhythm and is firing on all cylinders following its domination of Ohio State.

Ohio State really wasn’t ever even in the ball game as Purdue showed up to play while the Buckeyes chose to nap for most of the evening.

For Purdue’s offense, the Boilers go as Blough goes and this offense is clicking right now – the unit is now #2 in the Big Ten.

The Boilers are averaging 337 yards through the air to go along with 176 yards on the ground while putting up 35 points a game.

Michigan State’s defense will be faced with a serious challenge at Spartan Stadium.

There is talk that Josh Butler may return on defense and that Josiah Scott will practice this week for Michigan State – the defense would certainly benefit from either or both of these Spartans being back on the field.

On defense, Purdue is allowing 296 yards passing and 136 yards on the ground.

Can the Michigan State ground game ever get anything going this season?

LJ Scott had a few moments against Michigan where it looked like he was ready to get back to being LJ Scott – those moments didn’t last, however.

Depending on whether Brian Lewerke plays – he’s continuing to nurse the shoulder he injured against Penn State – the Spartans have to find ways to generate energy and production on offense.

Whether an injured Lewerke is leading the Spartans or Rocky Lombardi gets the nod, Michigan State must come up with ways to light up an offense that hasn’t found its groove all season.

Finding the groove will be tough with Felton Davis now added to the list of playmakers the Spartans are without.

Purdue is riding high and if the Boilers manage to bring even a fraction of the magic that led to their domination of Ohio State Saturday night this week to Spartan Stadium, Michigan State will be 4-4 by the time Saturday evening rolls around.

Sill, in a season that has been a disappointment thus far, Michigan State has an opportunity to get to 5-3 with plenty to play for over the remaining weeks.

The Spartan defense played tough all game long against Michigan – despite giving up 395 total yards, 183 of those on the ground, Michigan State limited the Wolverines to 21 points and kept Michigan State a single play out of the game for most of the afternoon.

The Spartan defense stymied Penn State just a couple of weeks ago under very difficult circumstances.

The loss to Michigan was a tough one.

But Michigan State can pick itself back up and get right back to the business of plowing through the schedule and winning a home game that can – and perhaps should – be won.

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