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Pregamin’ Purdue

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CHOO-CHOO Y’ALL, IT’S TIME TO BOARD THE PREGAMIN’ HYPE TRAIN, NONSTOP SERVICE TO WEST LAFAYETTE

Purdue Pete wondered if he’d ever get to watch a football game ever again. But I think he deserved his punishment... don’t you?
Josh Matejka

Get Hype!

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

ICY WHITES! My favorite uni color scheme is back (though it’s technically a new one), and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

What the “Experts” are saying:

1. Two up, two down. It’s hard to get too jazzed about Mizzou beating up on UT Martin and Wyoming, but they certainly have looked good so far. What’s been the most encouraging development in the early going of the 2018 season?

Josh Matejka, Editor: It’s a tough call, because there have been quite a few good developments. But it has to be how stout the defense has been so far, right? Every Mizzou fan knew what the offense was bringing back in Lock, Hall, Johnson, Okwuegbunam, Crockett, etc. But aside from Terry Beckner Jr., Terez Hall and Cale Garrett, it’s hard to say anyone was expecting great things from the defense. But so far, they’ve been excellent. The line is deep and extremely effective at causing havoc in the backfield. The linebackers are fierce to the ball. And the secondary — accounting for the fact it hasn’t been tested completely yet — has been solid. We’ll see how they fare in the coming weeks, but Drew Lock + good defense = very good Mizzou team.

Chris Bohkay, Featured Writer: The most encouraging for me is that the offense (for the most part), once they get going seem to be able to move the ball as they did in the second half of last season. The running game continues to be befuddling as to why they can’t get going, though perhaps that has to do with the offensive line learning a new system and having to stay in their blocks a bit longer. We’re not 2007 level O yet — where points felt almost assured every drive — but it appears they’re getting off on the good foot.

Connor Snelson, Football Analyst: The most encouraging thing thus far is the connection Drew Lock and Emanuel Hall have developed. Through two games, Hall has 342 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Lock knows where Hall is on every play and looks for his star receiver often. The two will continue to grow together, and both should have a great season.

2. Let’s talk about Purdue Pete for a second. Can we not agree he’s the creepiest looking mascot in college football? Pitch me your new mascot for the Boilermakers.

Josh Matejka: Young-Gary-Busey-conductor-cosplaying-lookin-ass. Purdue Pete looks like a coked-out velvet version of the Juggernaut, and I can’t believe they keep letting him run around West Lafayette. But, I do really enjoy how wild the Boilermakers are willing to make their mascot. I think it would be admirable for Purdue to go all-out and at least try the Thomas the Dank Engine model. Gray suit with a full train head. They’d achieve the same levels of weirdness, but with a pleasant hilarity as opposed to drugged-out nightmare fuel.

Chris Bohkay: Let me begin by stating that a mascot that is just a human with some comically large headgear on should not qualify as a mascot. Purdue, like K-State or Oklahoma State, has fallen into this lazy trap, as if the school could only afford the head and figured that was good enough. I mean even Kansas gets this right with their trash birds, because when you have the opportunity to have one terrible mascot, why not have three. ANYWAY, the origin of this dead eyed mascot that would likely to kill you in your sleep, was that the Purdue kids worked on locomotives back in the day. Tradition is important so you want to maintain that, so what I would hope to see after a redesign is a mere readjustment to the mascot, but make it look just like an angry Gene Keady, combover and all and some hideous gold jacket, but do it in a way similar to the Wake Forest mascot, so it’s at least a full costume and kid friendly. That or go full train and co-opt the train from Back to the Future 3.

Imagine: a flying train zooming over Ross-Ade Stadium

Connor Snelson: The new Purdue mascot should be the Knights. This comes to mind because their color scheme is similar to the Vegas Golden Knights (a lame answer I know).

3. Mizzou would seem to have all the momentum it needs to waltz out of West Lafayette with a win this weekend: They haven’t had to flex all their muscle yet, Purdue is struggling hard, and the Tigers should be looking to redeem themselves for last year’s embarrassing loss. What two things do the Tigers need to do to move themselves to 3-0 before the SEC slate?

Josh Matejka: First things first, stomp on them early and often. Purdue’s defense is currently 82nd in the S&P+ rankings, and they’ve been gashed from every which way: Northwestern pounded out 168 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns; Eastern Michigan put up 347 yards through the air. Neither of those teams has the offensive talent as Missouri. If they can get in gear early, they’ll have a chance of putting it out of reach early.

Second, the defensive line needs to stuff up the run game. QBs Elijah Sindelar and David Blough have been abysmal in the early going for the Boilermakers, making their offense pretty one-dimensional. If TBJ and Jordan Elliot can stuff up the middle and force Elijah Sindelar and David Blough to win the game, Mizzou should be sitting pretty.

Chris Bohkay: (1) They’ve got to contain Rondale Moore, who had a tremendous first game. He’s like Marcus Murphy back in the day but bigger. Now he did not have a great second game, but no one in Purdue did. He showed his stuff in game one and could single handedly keep the Boilermakers in the game.

(2) Establish the ground game, which will only open up the field for Lock, and his stable of receivers to slice and dice the Purdue secondary. This should also make all Mizzou fans feel that much better about the season to come, so you know, do that.

Connor Snelson: The Tigers need to limit the offensive productivity of the Boilermaker offense, starting by keying in on true freshman wide receiver Rondale Moore. Moore set the Purdue single-game all-purpose yard record against Northwestern at 313 yards. Moore gets touches in a variety of ways via receiving and rushing as well as on special teams. If the Tigers defense can limit Moore’s big plays I expect for them to handle the rest of the Purdue offense quite easily, despite last seasons embarrassing loss.

4. PICK ‘EM! Let’s hear your predictions for the score and who will make the play of the game.

Josh Matejka: It’s the first road game of the year, so I’d expect Mizzou to struggle in the early going. But I’d bet a characteristic Lock to Hall 60-yard-plus bomb gets the offense in gear in the second quarter. Mizzou 38, Purdue 24

Chris Bohkay: Mizzou 31 - Purdue 20. I think Crockett goes off for a long run in the 4th quarter that breaks Purdue’s will to live and Mizzou hangs on to win a closer game than expected. Mizzou fans everywhere get to tell Matt Painter what for, and the Tigers get to SEC chant all over West Lafayette and show the B1G they made a BIG mistake taking stupid Nebraska over us those many years ago.

Connor Snelson: Mizzou 42, Purdue 21. I think the Tigers offense is finding itself and Dooley is loving all the options he has with Lock and Hall leading the way. I expect a big game from both of them, Lock will have 3 passing touchdowns, 1 rushing, while Hall will have a receiving touchdown and over 100 yards. As far as a play of the game, I’m going to go with the defense. I think Cam Hilton makes his presence felt with either an interception or forced fumble that goes for 6 or sets up the offense for some easy points.