College Football Betting: Purdue Boilermakers at Cincinnati Bearcats

Purdue Boilermakers at Cincinnati Bearcats
Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, August 31, 2013, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Cincinnati -7 1/2
Current Line: Cincinnati -10 1/2
Opening Total: 49
Current Total: 50 1/2
Opening Money Line: Cincinnati -360 / Purdue +295
Current Money Line: Cincinnati -380 . Purdue +310

Cincinnati opens the season at home against Purdue Saturday. The Bearcats are 10.5 point favorites.

Cincinnati opens the season at home against Purdue Saturday. The Bearcats are 10.5 point favorites.

The Purdue Boilermakers and Cincinnati Bearcats meet for only the second time ever Saturday in the season opener for both teams in Cincinnati. Purdue won 19-14 in Cincinnati to open the 2001 season.

Both teams went to bowl games last year, but have new coaches this season. Purdue fired Danny Hope despite Purdue winning their last 3 games to become bowl eligible. Purdue had narrow losses at Notre Dame and Ohio State who both finished the regular season undefeated.  The Boilermakers were destroyed by Oklahoma State 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Purdue replaced Hope with Darrell Hazell, who was the head coach at Kent State.

Cincinnati went 10-3 last year and were part of a four way tie for first in the Big East, now known as the American Athletic Conference. All three losses were by 7 points or less at Toledo and Louisville, and at home against Rutgers. The Bearcats beat Duke 48-34 in the Belk Bowl. Coach Butch Jones left the Bearcats to become the head coach at Tennessee. Cincinnati hired Tommy Tuberville, the former head coach at Texas Tech.

The new offensive coordinator for Purdue John Shoop has installed a new pro style offense. The offense wasn’t terrible last year, but didn’t exactly set the world on fire either. The Boilermakers scored 29 points a game, and were #56 in total offense at 402.4 yards per game.

Senior quarterback Rob Henry threw for only 216 yards last year with 3 touchdowns and an interception, along with 28 carries, 74 yards and a touchdown. He was named the starter earlier this week after a tough battle with true freshman Danny Etling. Etling is a true passer and fits the system better than Henry, and could see some snaps as well. Junior running back Akeem Hunt had 42 carries, 335 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 13 catches, 204 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior Gary Bush looks to be the go to receiver after making 41 catches, 370 yards and 7 touchdowns. O.J. Ross was kicked off the team for violating team rules, after making 56 catches last year. The offensive line needs to  improve at pass protection.

The Purdue defense struggled last year giving up 31.2 points per game, and the Boilermakers were #11 into total defense in the Big Ten. Hazell brought in Greg Hudson from Florida State to be the new coordinator. The defense should improve with quality starters back such as junior DE Ryan Russell who had 4 sacks last year and junior strong safety Landon Feichter who had  80 tackles and 4 picks.

Cincinnati averaged 440 yards and 32.3 points per game last season which was in the top 40 nationally. Tuberville brought in Eddie Gran as his offensive coordinator. The Bearcats lost a lost of players at the skill positions, so Gran will have his work cut out for him.

Tuberville has not named his starting quarterback yet. Seniors Brendon Kay and Munchie Legaux are locked in a tight battle, and both could see snaps. Legaux started off 2012 as the starter and completed 52.2% of his passes for 1,716 yards with 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 55 carries, 335 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was pulled midway through the season, and Kay took over. Kay completed 63% of his passes for 1,298 yards with 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 48 carries, 308 yards and 2 touchdowns. kay is probable with a shoulder injury. Running back Ralph David Abernathy IV takes over as the feature back for George Winn who rushed for over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. Abernathy had 69 carries, 366 yards and 3 touchdowns last year, along with 28 catches, 341 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Bearcats must also replace their top two receivers in tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Kenbrell Thompkins. Anthony McClung had 34 catches, 539 yards and 2 touchdowns and looks to be the go-to receiver. He is also probable with a shoulder injury. The offesnive line could very well be the best in the new AAC.

Cincinnati had a top 15 defense last year giving up only 18.5 points a game. New coordinator Art Kaufman was on Tuberville’s staff at Texas Tech last year, and the Red Raiders improved immensely on defense last year. Senior linebacker Greg Blair was first team All-Big East last year with 138 tackles. Cornerback Deven Drane anchors what should be a decent secondary.

Purdue is 3-7 ATS overall, and 3-9-2 on fieldturf. The over is 8-3 in Purdue’s last 11 games, and 4-1-1 in non-conference games.

Cincinnati is 6-1 ATS overall and in non-conference games, 6-2 at home and 8-3 on fieldturf.

This line opened at 7.5 and has moved to Cincinnati -10.5. Cincinnati should win handily, even with the quarterback controversy. Purdue could struggle on offense, and look for Henry to be on a short leash. Hazell could yank him in favor of the freshman Etling if Henry struggles.

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