West Lafayette, IN – Coming off a disappointing week one loss, the Purdue Boilermakers are looking to rebound. The Eastern Michigan Eagles are heading to Ross-Ade Stadium for what will be a rain soaked match up. Current forecast is calling for West Lafayette to receive nearly three inches of rain as remnants of hurricane Gordon pass overhead. This will be a sloppy game and you can go into this game expecting a lot of turnovers due to the conditions.
Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm has the challenge again of picking a starting quarterback. Last week, he choose Elijah Sindelar to get the start. Sindelar went on to throw three first half interceptions that led to 21 Northwestern Wildcat points. Purdue ended up losing by a mere four points. Many fans left last Thursday night thinking what if as a result of those miscues by the offense. 5th year senior David Blough came into the game late in the first half and played the entire second half. While he led Purdue on two scoring drives, the offense crawled to a halt. There wasn’t any threat of the downfield passing game with Blough under center. He made plays with his legs but that only works so often. Under normal circumstances, I would have Sindelar as the starter on Saturday but that is far from the case with the weather in the forecast. Blough allows you to run the read option. Throwing the ball in downpours and 10-15 mph winds is going to be next to impossible. Blough should get the start and roll into week three knowing this is a freak circumstance that you just need to survive.
The Eagles started their year off with a win over the Monmouth Hawks. While that is a division two school they won quite handily. The Eagles nearly had 500 yards of offense combined. Senior quarterback Tyler Wiegers picked them apart in the passing game. He finished with a stat line of 18 for 21 238 yards passing and two touchdowns. Yes the level of competition that Monmouth provided won’t be the same level of Purdue’s defense but Purdue didn’t exactly play sound defense last week. Brohm was even quoted directly after the game saying he didn’t think the defense tried very hard in the first half. With the weather being forecasted this will be an excellent time to load the box with eight to nine players and force EMU to throw the football. Purdue might not have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball but they should be able to slow down this Eagles offense if the rain doesn’t do that for them.
While the passing game might take a hit for both teams in this one. Purdue freshman wide receiver Rondale Moore will be looking to top is ridiculous performance in week one. Expect Moore to still touch the ball 8-10 times this game mostly on end around runs or quick passes. Getting Moore the ball with any semblance of daylight and result in big plays for Purdue. Brohm will do whatever he can to make sure is shiny new receiver is used to his full potential.
If the forecast for this game was sunny and 80 degrees, it would be easy to see how Purdue could easily win this game. The rain and wind will make this a challenge for both teams. Kickoff forecast is 62 degrees with an 80% chance of rain and winds at 10-15 mph with gusts reaching 20 mph. An estimated 1-1.5 inches will have already fallen from Friday night into Saturday with the heavier rain coming in the afternoon. This will be a washout type of game that could end 10-7. Ugly is the name of the game this weekend and Purdue needs to win it in the worst way possible.
Nick Konkel is the Purdue Boilermakers beat writer for Indiana Sports Report. You can follow him on Twitter @NickKonkelISR and Indiana Sports Report @IndySportsRep