Michigan vs. Purdue NCAA Football Preview
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium – West Lafayette, IN
When: Saturday, September 23, 2017, 4:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX
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Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (3-0)
Michigan may be a perfect 3-0, but the Wolverines have hardly been incredible in their three wins. While the defense has remained formidable despite a lot of turnover, the offense has continued to be a major question mark.
Wilton Speight, in particular, has not convinced at the quarterback position. The senior is completing just 54 percent of his passes thus far this season, with just three touchowns and two interceptions. He went 14-of-23 for 169 yards in Michigan’s 29-13 win against Air Force, as the Wolverines fell way short of covering as 22.5-point favorites.
The running game has hardly been able to get it done, either. They’ve failed to top 200 yards in each of their last two games against Cincinnati and Air Force, and have scored just one total rushing touchdown. Meanwhile, the defense and special teams have three total touchdowns during that span.
But while Michigan hasn’t been great, they’re still clearly the better team against Purdue. The defense, in particular, should be able to slow down a Purdue offense that is still some ways away from where head coach Jeff Brohm would like it to be.
Purdue has also been prone to giving up turnovers; they already have five giveaways this season, four coming against Louisville. If there’s a team that can force a couple more, it’s a Michigan defense that has already forced six takeaways this season, with three returned for a touchdown.
Betting on the Purdue Boilermakers (2-1)
Purdue has continued its promising start under head coach Jeff Brohm as they blew out Missouri, 35-3, on the road. The Boilermakers outgained the Tigers, 477-203, and had almost 44 minutes of possession.
Just like they did in their 44-21 win over Ohio, Purdue leaned more on the run. Tario Fuller had 90 yards rushing and a touchdown as the Boilermakers had 205 rushing yards and three scores.
However, it remains to be seen whether they can run the ball quite as effectively against Michigan’s solid front. Purdue put up just 51 rushing yards in their season opener against Louisville. But their quarterback platoon of David Blough and Elijah Sindelar was able to move the ball effectively enough to keep it close in a 35-28 defeat at home despite being 26.5-point underdogs.
The Purdue defense figures to stand a better chance of slowing down an already sputtering Michigan offense. If they can effectively stop Michigan on the ground and force Speight to beat them, the Boilermakers should like their chances of at least covering as home underdogs.
Michigan (-10) makes a strong statement as they slow down the Purdue hype train with a 24-10 road win.
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