Joe Tiller says goodbye to Spartan Stadium on Saturday when his Purdue Boilermakers face Michigan State. Hard for me to believe Tiller has a 7-2 record against the Spartans. Purdue fans overwhelmingly believe it's time for Tiller to retire-- recruiting hasn't been that good the past few years. Purdue did lose last year to MSU in West Lafayette, 48-31.
Tiller has coached 12 seasons and his team is 3-6 with games at Iowa and at home against Indiana left on the schedule. Purdue's chances of winning all three and finishing bowl eligible at 6-6 seem slim. As it is, the Boilermakers are 9 1/2 point underdogs to MSU. Purdue has a terrific running back in Korey Sheets-- if he runs for two touchdowns, he sets the Purdue single season record-- he currently has 13. Javon Ringer has 18 and needs four more to break the single season record at MSU.
Tiller's teams have a 19-1 record in games over his career in which they did not turn the ball over. If they can avoid turnovers against the Spartans then perhaps they have a chance. The Spartans seem beat up physically and they are looking forward to a week of rest before they end at Penn State. Javon Ringer is averaging 4.4 yards per carry this season-- his worst total in his career. But then he hasn't had any backfield running help all fall and teams have keyed on him and stopped him numerous times. Purdue's defense at times is porous, but was brilliant in close losses to Ohio State and Penn State. Tough to figure how that plays out for the game this Saturday. But it's senior day in East Lansing for 16 MSU players and that resolve should get MSU to its ninth win of the season.