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Behold the majesty that is

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is this art
Purdue Athletics

Opponent: Purdue Boilermakers (2-8, 1-5 B1G West, unranked)

Saturday, November 21, 11 a.m., Kinnick Stadium

Television: ESPN2

Kickoff weather: Upper 20s and cloudy, with heavy snow overnight.

Actual Excerpt From Purdue's Official Curtis Painter Heisman Website:

Curtis Painter Header


Which David Blough will Iowa face on Saturday? Is it the Blough who incinerated Nebraska's pass defense en route to four touchdowns and no picks in a 55-45 victory and dropped 340 yards in just 39 passes on Bowling Green, or is it the Blough who has four touchdowns, seven interceptions and an efficiency rating of 93.01 in his other Big Ten starts?

The answer is a likely unsatisfying "somewhere inbetween," but it still figures to bode well for the Hawkeyes. While Iowa's pass defense has been dicey lately, it's because opposing coaches have thrown complex looks and inventive gameplans at the Hawkeye back seven. Bill Cubit, Kevin Wilson and Tracy Claeys know how to move the ball, even against talented defenses. Darrell Hazell, with offensive coordinator John Shoop (yes him), is, uh... not quite the innovator.

Purdue can try to run the ball, and freshman Markell Jones has been a difference-(Boiler)maker when he can spring a big run or two. He's pretty much all Purdue has, though, and that team is currently dead-last in the Big Ten in both rushing yards per game and yards per rush. It's one thing when Blough gets to throw the ball 40-something times every week, obviously the team's not going to rush for infinity yards. But when the Boilermakers then turn around and can't pick up four yards per rush when the opposing defense is looking for the pass, that's a serious indictment of the offensive line.

So Iowa's gameplan should be relatively simple, because Purdue's offense is relatively simple: commit as many defenders to the line as necessary to keep the Boiler ground game in check, and let the rest of the defense sit back and wait for miscues. It's a Norm Parker special, and Norm Parker slathered guys like John Shoop in frosting and barbecue sauce and ate them for snacks.

Actual Excerpt From Purdue's Official Curtis Painter Heisman Website:

Nov. 20 - Trying to win last one for coach Tiller, seniors

Nov. 12, 2008 - Shoulder injury brings frustration

Oct. 29, 2008 - Still looking for that complete game


Oct. 9, 2008 - There's no use sitting and hanging your head

Good point, but what else is there to do for a Heisman candidate QB?

Sept. 24, 2008 - Routine includes buffets, movies

Sept. 19, 2008 - Missed Opportunities

Sept. 11, 2008 - Bruno's dough balls are Thursday staple

Sept. 4, 2008 - First-week bye means channel surfing

This campaign is going great!


Remember how Purdue couldn't really run the ball, even when there's no real reason for the team to see more than seven defenders in the box except in obvious running situations? Well, it turns out Purdue also can't stop the run, even in obvious running situations. Purdue is once again dead last in the Big Ten in both rushing yards allowed (209) and yards allowed per rush (5.12), and nobody in the conference is even close on either front. For a team that spends most of its defensive snaps playing from behind, the inability to allow fewer than five yards a pop is disconcerting.

Between Iowa's plethora of effective tailbacks, the suddenly arctic conditions, Beathard's new hip pointer and Purdue's porous defense, if Iowa rushes the ball fewer than 50 times we'll be flabbergasted. LeShun Daniels Jr will probably be the first rusher to top 100 yards, but don't be surprised if it's Jordan Canzeri. And really, don't be surprised if it's both.

That's not to say Iowa will just run dives, chalk up five yards and meet in the end zone 15 players later on every drive, though. Purdue's defensive front can make big plays on run blitzes, with 42 tackles for loss on rushing plays; Iowa, by comparison, has 26. DT Jake Replogle leads that charge with 8.5 TFLs, and the DE duo of Evan Panfil and Antoine Miles has contributed 12.5 tackles for loss (including eight sacks).

But when Purdue lets a ballcarrier into the second level, it's usually disaster, and wouldn't you know it: Iowa has excelled this season at exactly that. Daniels, Canzeri and Akrum Wadley have each rushed for 195 yards or better in a single game this year, and those performances were all aided by several big plays, as the Brian Ferentz-engineered blocking scheme is designed to get players into the open field and all three are gifted enough to exploit those opportunities. We can't promise anybody will get Duong'ed this year, but we're not exactly going to rule it out.

Put it this way: if you put the over/under on Iowa's rushing yards for Saturday at 300, I'd probably end up taking the under... but I'd have to think about it.

Actual Excerpt From Purdue's Official Curtis Painter Heisman Website:

Curtis Painter 1

Is... is that supposed to be a painting?

Curtis Painter 2

That is definitely not what paintings look like.

Curtis Painter Fisheye



We're not qualified to judge who might be the single best or worst kicker in the nation, or how you'd go about judging that. All we'll point out is that Purdue's Paul Griggs is 3-for-9 here in his senior season, with precisely one make of 30 or more yards (a 34-yarder against Virginia Tech in Week 3; he hasn't made one since), and that Hazell didn't even bother attempting a field goal in five straight games before giving Griggs another shot last Saturday—a 43-yarder that Griggs, of course, missed.

So when we complain about the recently unsteady Marshall Koehn, please keep in mind just how much worse it can get.

Purdue's kick return game is lackluster; nobody has taken one back farther than 30 yards, and it's not like they've been lacking for opportunities. Punt returner Frankie Williams has a 51-yarder to his name, but that's virtually it for the entire season, as the Boilermakers are sitting at 73 yards here for the season. Desmond King, by comparison, has 165 yards returning punts, and his 25 yards per kickoff return vastly outpaces Purdue's 17.6.

Griggs has 15 touchbacks on kickoffs, at least. I guess.

Actual Excerpt From Purdue's Official Curtis Painter Heisman Website:

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