Well, it’s paid to be pessimistic these last couple weeks as the Hawkeyes have left the offense at home and failed to cover each of the last two games. That’s meant we have more parity in the staff rankings than at any other time this season as all but two of us are now sitting at .500 on the year. It’s almost like Vegas knows what the heck it’s doing.
Here’s a look at the updated standings for the year.
Thad - 1-0
Ben - 3-3
BoilerHawk - 3-3
DC - 3-3
Jerry - 3-3
JP - 3-3
Matt C - 3-3
Matt R - 3-3
Doug - 2-4
Looking ahead to this week, the staff is somehow optimistic Iowa finds some other team’s playbook. OR - and this is honestly the more likely scenario at this point - they think the defense finally gets into the endzone. In all seriousness, we all seem to be in agreement the Iowa offense has a get right game against a Purdue defense that gave up 36 to the Hawkeyes a season ago.
Does that mean we think the last two weeks were more of the exception than the rule? I think it’s safe to say that’s not how many feel (though I will tell you now, I’m the most apologetic of Ferentz apologists and I’m 100% in the camp that Iowa is like all other teams on the planet - they do better against bad teams than good ones). What it does mean, however, is that all but one of us is on Iowa to finally get a W this week and most of us have the offense getting into the endzone more than the last two weeks combined.
However, the line on this one is pretty absurd. After starting at Iowa -15, it climbed all the way to -18.5 at Riverside’s Elite Sports Book (raise your hand if you were able to lock that in!). It’s now floating around -17.5 with an over/under at 48.5. The math there tells you Vegas is predicting a final score of roughly 33-15.5 Iowa (yeah, the Iowa D is good enough to hold Purdue to half points - deal with it).
Despite that wide spread, nearly half of the staff is on Iowa to cover and we’ve even got some sage gambling advice in one of the predictions. In total, the staff is calling for an average final score of 30-12. That **checks notes** that’s good enough to cover that monster spread and still somehow hit the under.
Here are the staff’s individual predictions.
JPinIC: I really, really want to reverse jinx this thing and take the Boilermakers. There’s little more frustrating than keeping the faith, remaining optimistic and then have the offense totally crap the bed. And yet, I just can’t do it.
This Purdue defense has all the makings of a team that will allow Iowa to get things going. I expect the middle of the offensive line to have much more success this week. Look for the running game to find its way to more than 150 yards. We all know the success Iowa has when they hit 100 rushing yards. It should open up the passing game and if Stanley can set his feet and avoid guys in the wrong colored jerseys, I like the offense to find paydirt at least 3 times.
On the other side of the ball, do we really expect Phil Parker to have his lunch stolen for a third straight year? I don’t. The secondary finds a way to stop fade routes and the line gets some pressure. I think the defense finds the endzone for the first time all year.
Iowa 31, Purdue 16
Mattcabel: I have zero faith in this offense against any team with any level of competence. Purdue has some competence, but also a lot of injuries this year. My heart tells me Iowa gets back on track this week, my brain tells me not to count out a loss.
Iowa 17, Purdue 10
tnels20: If Iowa scores a touchdown on their first possession, you may hear the loudest cheer in Kinnick Stadium all season. Purdue allowed QBs from Penn St and Minnesota to go a combined 41-51 for 660 yards, and 7 touchdowns. On top of that, both of those teams had a 100 yard rusher. The offense gets a couple of scores and the defense creates two turnovers. I don’t see a cover but Hawkeyes get back in the win column.
Iowa 26 Purdue 13
BoilerHawk: The BoilerHawk Bowl has only one annual winner and that is me. I can’t lose! Except for when Iowa does. Which has been too many times lately and actually forced the Hawkeyes into 4th in the division each of the last two years.
I just think Purdue’s defense is too bad/injured and Iowa’s defense feels weirdly due for a turnover and even a score off of it. Maybe Brohm catches the Hawkeye secondary sleeping with the dusted off 4-2-5 alignment using David Bell and a potentially available Rondale Moore but this group is pretty resilient. Plus, I have a feeling that freshman QB Jack Plummer (no relation to Jake) gonna freshman QB.
Iowa 31, Purdue 17. But I’m the real winner.
DC: I know Purdue has given the Hawkeyes troubles recently but as others have mentioned, their defense is very injured and bad right now which leads me to believe that they’re coming to Iowa City at the perfect time. The Iowa offense needs to put up points in bunches this week so the many factions of Iowa fans we talked about on the pod this week all settle down. I think that happens while the defense continues playing at an elite level. I picked Purdue to cover on the pod but I’m changing my mind:
Iowa 34, Purdue 14
Jerry Scherwin: Iowa scores over 40 points and Kirk finally gets his first win over Brohm. Things feel slightly better. We all talk ourselves into the offense being back back.
Iowa 42, Purdue 9
Doug: This game is a WIN. If the spread is still around -18, I’m not as confident for you gamblers. See what kind of odds you can get with a six-point teaser with Ohio State over Northwestern and Penn State over Michigan.
Iowa’s front seven are active and prevent Purdue from having time to set up deep routes. The key to the victory will be a couple key turnovers forced from the young Boilermaker team.
Iowa 26, Purdue 9
Ben: If Iowa doesn’t win I’m quitting the blog.
Iowa 27, Purdue 6
MattReisener: I was absolutely blown away to learn on the television broadcast of last week’s game that Purdue has more wins over Iowa in Kinnick Stadium than any other opponent. I’d be almost as shocked if the Boilermakers managed to add to that total this weekend. Purdue had the talent of a 6-7 win team BEFORE all their best players got hurt. The Boilermakers won’t be able to move the ball consistently against an Iowa defense that is really hitting its stride, and this could be a perfect “get right” game for a Hawkeye offense than can exploit Purdue’s porous secondary and the weaknesses in the middle of their defense.
Iowa 35, Purdue 13
That’s what we’ve got, what are you predicting?