Opposition Q&A: Purdue
After a bit of time off we welcome back Opposition Q&A for this week. Our friends over at BoiledSports.com were kind enough to sit down and answer some questions ahead of the game tomorrow. We hope you enjoy the perspective of the Boilers fans and just remember we've got a flying Gilbert who's grounded in this game (see pic to the left)...
Without further a do, here is our interview with BoiledSports.com:
WiscoBadgers: What is the view of your QB situation? Is there any trust in Caleb TerBush or should there be a 2 man rotation w/ Robert Marve?
BoiledSports: The adage that a team with two QBs has none is applicable here. TerBush plays like a guy who’s starting his first season- he makes decisions slowly and seems to think too much while on the field. He gets the majority of the snaps because Hope seems to like the kid and the fact that he plays within the system. Marve might not think enough and seems to make avoidable mistakes too often. That said, he’s given very-limited action and much of the time, the play calling run first...that’s not the case when TerBush is in.
We don’t think there should be a 2-man rotation at this point as there is no advantage to doing it.
WB: How underrated do you think the tandem of Akeem Shavers and Ralph Bolden are? What do they bring to the table?
BoiledSports: I don’t know if they’re underrated because you have to be rated or getting some attention to be underrated. These guys are both very solid running backs. If the offensive line gives them any room at all to run, they capitalize. Bolden is a shiftier runner who seems to be pissed off when on the field...which I think Purdue needs more of. Shavers hits holes hard and with ferocity, and when he gets into the second level, he can be tough to bring down. Both guys change direction well at full speed and finish runs well. They’re really a tandem that is not dissimilar to what Badger fans have been used to the last few years.
WB: Besides Ricardo Allen, what player has really stood out defensively for you?
BoiledSports: His counterpart, Josh Johnson is also a very good cover corner and hits harder than Allen. These guys like being challenged and take offense to it...but Purdue’s inconsistent pass rush has left them hanging a bit at times this season. The last few games Purdue has seen a more-consistent pass rush and that’s helped those two. One of their biggest problems as a duo has been the trouble the safeties have had in pass coverage.
I know you only asked for one guy, but Kawann Short is a big, sexy, beast at DT...you might only notice a few guys on Purdue’s defense, but these three are tough to miss and would be starting anywhere in the B1G.
WB: If there’s one Wisconsin player your QB would shiver at the thought of being rushed by who would it be?
BoiledSports: With Watt gone and Gilbert injured, Wisconsin’s front four isn’t as scary as B1G fans are accustomed to...and while Nzegwu reminds me a bit of some of Purdue speed pass rushers of the past decade, he’s not the guy that I’d choose. I think Borland on a delay blitz with a full head of steam would be the player that might be the toughest to deal with. That said, Purdue’s front has struggled to provide a pocket for most of the season...so anyone at this point might make them shiver.
WB: Both teams are coming off of losses, how does Purdue fix what when wrong in the loss to Michigan, or can it be fixed against Wisconsin?
BoiledSports: Purdue has had problems all year with stupid penalties, undisciplined play and poor scheme preparation. Those things can be fixed, but since we haven’t seen much reason to believe they will be, I think it’s doubtful to think it’ll have changed in the last six days. We believe Purdue’s talent has made strides in the past year to get back to competing with about anyone...but their inability to make a play on third down on defense has been infuriating and they way the played the run v. UM was atrocious.
On top of defensive woes, the play calling smacked of desperation with trick plays coming early...and the next tier after trick plays was terribly-predictable play. The coaches have said they trimmed down the playbook quite a bit from the beginning of the season and the simplicity shows itself as predictability versus well-coached teams.
WB: Wisconsin plans to “revamp” the ground game Saturday. Is your defense prepared to stop Ball and who do you think will stand out as a key defensive player?
BoiledSports: Purdue’s defensive ends were thin and young to begin the season, so two DEs down later, they’re doing everything they can to stay competitive. On top of that, a couple of Purdue’s linebackers have struggled tackling in the open field. Joe Holland is the goat for a lot of Purdue fans, but has been the most-sure tackler of the bunch. Even though Wisconsin has beef up front, it’ll be tough for them to run between the tackles against Gaston and Short...but outside will be a different story. Plus, Wisconsin’s offensive ability to do so many different things will have Purdue’s coaches spun around and confused by mid-second quarter. I didn’t like this match up before the Badgers had dropped two-straight...now I hate it.
WB:Prediction for the game?
Not sure if you know this (sarcasm), but no one outside of Madison (and maybe a pocket of Iowa City) likes your head coach. He’ll get a chance to remind everyone why they dislike him on Saturday.