Purdue Boilermakers @ Illinois Fighting Illini (-10.5)
People already want Darrell Hazell fired as Purdue’s head coach after being blown out 50-7 to Maryland a week ago. The truth is that a coaching change won’t make a difference, Purdue is simply not a good football team.
It won’t get much better this week as they travel to Champaign, Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini. Illinois is on a three game losing streak, however all three losses came against top-26 teams. North Carolina is the 17th ranked team, Western Michigan is the first unranked team in the AP Poll, and Nebraska is now the 12th ranked team.
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Besides their matchup with Western Michigan, Illinois has played their opponents tough this season. They hung around against the Tar Heels for a half and went into the third quarter with a lead against Nebraska. It’s evident that they don’t have the talent to hang with top teams in the nation, however Purdue is a far cry from even being considered a good team.
Purdue’s defense is allowing 5.3 yards per carry, which could turn into a nightmare against Illinois. The Illini are averaging 5.3 yards per carry and rushed for 124 yards on 5.9 yards per rush a week ago against Nebraska.
To make matters worse for Purdue, starting running back Markell Jones might not suit up this week after suffering a shoulder injury against Maryland. Quarterback David Blough has already thrown seven interceptions on the season and struggles when the Boilermakers run game disappears.
Illinois isn’t a great team but they’re better than Purdue. Besides, Maryland showed last week what can happen when that’s the case.
Prediction: Illinois 35 Purdue 17