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OTB Staff Predictions: Rutgers at Purdue

Find out what our contributors thing heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Boilermakers.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers (1-4) will at Purdue (2-2) for the first time ever on Saturday and are currently listed as almost two touchdown underdogs. Both teams are coming off of emotional losses so it will be interesting to see how they respond. The Boilermakers have a potent passing game and will look to exploit the Scarlet Knights secondary. Of course, RU must clean up their act and have far less penalties if they want to pull the upset on the road.

Our staff make their picks for Saturday’s game here.

Dave White: Purdue sits at 2-2 in the conference. That’s okay. I mean... I’m sitting here writing this trying to come up with chicken or turkey puns and to be completely honest with you, I’m a little distracted by basketball. I don’t know much about the Boilermakers, but I will be watching the game. I’m sure Schiano will have the team play hard and Gleeson will pull out as many stops as he can to get a win. Not sure it’s enough though. All eyes go to next week. Purdue 34 Rutgers 21.

Justin Raffone: Looking into the details of this meeting, one thing I came away with that isn’t completely tied in to the play on the field this Saturday is the parity across the Big Ten. It’s not always advisable to look at how each team fares against the same opponents, especially in college football, but looking at Purdue and Rutgers’ games thus far shows how even the playing field is if you’re not a top program. In Purdue’s two losses (Northwestern, Minnesota) they lost by a combined 10 points. In their two wins (Iowa, Illinois) they won by a combined 11 points. A questionable pass interference call against Minnesota may have cost the Boilermakers a third win, and like most teams the Scarlet Knights play this year, they look like the more complete team.

I still don’t know what to make of this Rutgers team. I think they have more talent than a lot of people were giving them credit for, but they obviously have holes and depth issues. The coaching staff has seemed to get the best out of their players thus far. I’ve felt going into each game, other than Ohio State, that Rutgers could get blown out or steal a win at anytime.

This week is no different. I expect Schiano to have his guys ready again, however, and I know they’d love to get a win and build some confidence and momentum before finishing the season with Penn State and Maryland. But I don’t think they pull off their second road win of the season...just yet. Purdue 31 Rutgers 27

Adam Ross: One thing I have to say about this team is that they have made every game competitive, something that has been sorely lacking in Piscataway in the last decade. The strength of the offense is the running game, which Purdue has had some trouble containing so far this season. If RU can establish the run game and the run defense can get some big stops, then there’s a shot at an upset. Unfortunately though, I dont see it happening this week. The only comp game is against Illinois, who beat us at home and Purdue defeated on the road. Any given Saturday and all that aside, I forsee this game as another hard fought defeat on our path towards respectability. Purdue 30 Rutgers 28

David Anderson: The Boilermakers lost last week on an extremely questionable call against Minnesota and previously squeaked out a win over Illinois playing their 4th string QB. So I think Purdue is like most of the Big Ten this year, rather average, with all their games being decided by 7 points or less. So whichever team comes into this game with better scouting and game plan should have an early advantage, though Rutgers had that edge last week and still couldn’t win. I don’t love this matchup for Rutgers because even if they stuff the run, Purdue will simply abandon it in favor of their two star receivers regardless of who plays quarterback. On the other side of the ball, Purdue’s defense is vulnerable to the run and the pass, especially if their top defensive lineman near the line is out, so I think we might have a real track meet on our hands. My gut says Rutgers has the higher ceiling but am also concerned about the emotional let down after the last two games. Purdue won’t be afraid of a shootout especially in what look to be good weather conditions for this time of year, but the last time Rutgers won a conference one of those was 2015 even if it was in the same state. Purdue 45, Rutgers 41

Aaron Breitman: Rutgers has been consistently good with being ready to play at the start of games this season outside of the loss to Ohio State. I do think the emotional state for each team will be something interesting to watch for. Rutgers is susceptible to giving up big plays on the defensive side and can’t afford to fall behind by multiple scores early on. I think it will be a competitive game but unless Rutgers can clean up their act with penalties and also win the turnover margin but +2 or more, Purdue will pick up the hard earned victory. Purdue 35 Rutgers 24.

Cara Sanfilippo: I was just talking to someone who when I mentioned I went to Rutgers, he mentioned “football is good this year.” To which I started hedging bets, but he insisted we were on the right track. To that I can agree. So I am going off that high and saying you know what, we can win this week. I caught the end of the Purdue/Minnesota game last week and understand why Jeff Brohm was still upset over the weekend. Like the pick play that put us into overtime with Michigan, I think it was a questionable call but also a great game. With that said, while the Boilermakers have a better record, I believe that we have played some tough talent well, lost two games we should have won, and on the verge of it starting to come together if we can stop making so many errors. If we can play clean, improve the secondary, and the Noah Vedral who played last week is here to stay, why not? It’s 2020, and I am just thankful to have some fun RU football to watch. Rutgers 35, Purdue 31

Hopefully Cara is right!!! Let us know what your prediction for the game is in the comment section.