Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Big Ten Preview: Purdue

College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today it's Purdue. Make it four Boilermakers!

This is the last season for Joe Tiller (or Wilford Brimley) in West Lafayette and the Boilermakers will have some extra motivation to send him into his diabeetus commercial making future with a solid season.

While Rich Rodriguez will bring his wide open spread offense to Ann Arbor this year, it was Tiller who gave the Big Ten its first look at a spread attack. Returning starter Curtis Painter will give Purdue a shot in most games, but he loses his top three targets from a season ago. Running back Jaycen Taylor was just lost for the season, and WR Greg Jones is the only real threat other than Painter to come back.

That being said, the defense is the real trouble area. They were very mediocre last season, finishing eighth in total defense in the Big Ten.

Purdue will figure out what they have early in the season, when Oregon comes to town in Week Two. Then its a rematch with Central Michigan, who Purdue barely beat in its bowl game last year, then at Notre Dame. Big Ten play starts brutally, with Penn State at home and on the road against the Buckeyes. Missing Illinois and Wisconsin will help, but it won't be easy to send Tiller out with a bowl appearance in 2008, much less a New Year's farewell.

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