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Giger's game breakdown vs. Purdue: Lions have chance to shred Boilermakers' defense

November 2, 2012 - Cory Giger
OFFENSE

PSU: It was peculiar that Bill O'Brien didn't use NASCAR more against Ohio State, since that's been best weapon all season. Look for it more against bad Purdue defense. QB Matt McGloin could be without second-leading target in TE Kyle Carter (ankle).

Purdue: Robert Marve gets start at QB over ineffective Caleb TerBush. Marve, a sixth-year player, began career at Miami and went 6-5 as freshman starter way back in 2008. He wound up at Purdue and has battled severe knee injuries that make him immobile.

Advantage: Penn State

DEFENSE

PSU: This one's not even close. The Lions held Buckeyes to 7 points in first half last week but wore down in second half, and Ted Roof didn't make adjustments. Front seven should be able to pressure Marve. Secondary will get a test with Purdue throwing a lot.

Purdue: Boilermakers' defense has been atrocious. In past five games it's allowed 44, 29, 38, 44 and 41 points. Can't stop run (194 ypg) or pass (214 ypg). Unless something crazy happens, there's no reason at all to believe Boilers can stop PSU offense.

Advantage: Penn State

SPECIAL TEAMS

PSU: O'Brien called kickoff return team's effort last week "terrible." He opted not to let PK Sam Ficken, who's been battling quad injury, attempt 37-yarder. That was a mistake. Fake punt call also a mistake, especially with P Alex Butterworth having good game.

Purdue: PK job up for grabs between Sam McCartney (1-for-1 from 33 yards) and Paul Griggs (3-for-5, long of 40). P Cody Webster is very good, averaging 42.9 yards, exactly same as last year when he had sixth-best figure in school history with no touchbacks.

Advantage: Purdue

COACHING/INTANGIBLES

PSU: Lions must avoid letdown after losing biggest game of the season last week. Kids on this team have been through much more difficult things than that loss, so they should be ready to play. After parking it last week, look for O'Brien to return to NASCAR.

Purdue: Coach Danny Hope is fighting for his job and could be fired after season if Boilers can't turn things around. Have to wonder if kids have quit on the season. Gonna give Purdue very slight edge, thinking players and coaches will show some pride with good effort.

Advantage: Purdue

PREDICTION

Purdue's defense has been awful. End of story. Penn State 31, Purdue 16. (Giger's prediction record: 6-2)

 
 
 

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