Following last weekend's first conference win in two years, Rutgers football has been picked as an eight-point underdog by Las Vegas prognosticators.
According to SportsLine/com and VegasInsider.com, Purdue has an eight point edge over Rutgers in the Scarlet Knights’ homecoming game scheduled for Saturday at noon, being played at High Point Solutions Stadium. Purdue dropped a 17-9 decision against Wisconsin last week. Wisconsin is ranked #5 in the most recent AP poll.
So far this season, Purdue is 3-3, with their most impressive win being a 35-3 victory over the Missouri Tigers of the SEC. Similar to Rutgers, they are 1-2 in conference play this season, with a loss to Michigan in addition to the aforementioned loss to Wisconsin. Their sole conference win was a 31-17 game over Minnesota in week six.
Purdue’s passing game is clearly stronger than their rushing game. While only gaining 155 yards in the air against Wisconsin, they have averaged 247 yards per game this season. Their rushing attack, on the other hand, is only gaining an average of 125 yards per game.
Rutgers currently averages 141 yards passing, and 174 yards rushing through their first six games. Those rushing statistics were clearly helped in the 274 yards gained last week in Champaign.
The good news for Rutgers (2-4; 1-2) is that the Boilermakers are allowing an average of 175 yards rushing per game. If the Scarlet Knights can mount a similar running game against Purdue, it will certainly improve their chances.
The bad news is that the Boilermakers’ strength, passing game, is an area of weakness for Rutgers. In order to stop Purdue on Saturday, it is imperative that they do better on passing defense, having permitted an average of 228 passing yards per game this season.
What do you think about Purdue opening as an 8 point favorite? Sound off in the comments section.