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Big Ten Bowl Season Preview: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Western Michigan Broncos

Purdue takes on Western Michigan in the

To put it lightly Purdue had an up-and-down season. I know that may sound cliche', but these guys were all over the place, from getting smashed 62-17 against Wisconsin to beating previously unbeaten Illinois and beating red hot Ohio State in overtime.

Still, the Boilermakers did just enough to keep themselves bowl eligible for this season, and they have a chance to make something happen in the Little Caesars Bowl against a very intriguing Western Michigan team, one that features their own version of Case Keenum, only at the wide receiver position.

The Broncos boast a top notch passing attack featuring junior quarterback Alex Carder and one of the most interesting players in the country: wide receiver Jordan White.

White has easily been Carder's favorite target this entire season, catching 127 passes for 1,646 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has a history of injuries, but he is a quick receiver who is really strong after the catch. He is not tall like the ideal NFL prospect, but he is well-built and can make people miss in the open field.

He is going to be a real load for Purdue to handle, and if they are going to beat this high powered offensive attack, they are going to have to do what they do best: run the ball, and be opportunists defensively.

Purdue doesn't have a standout running back this season, but they have a dual-threat quarterback in Robert Marve who can use his legs to move the chains, and they have a couple of solid running backs in juniors Ralph Bolden and Akeem Shavers.

Shavers hasn't made much of an impact since early in the season against Penn State, and Bolden is a pretty well-known name among Purdue fans but he has slightly struggled in his season back from a serious injury.

Bolden has the hot hand right now, scoring a touchdown in each of the last three games. Like I said, if Purdue is going to be able to beat a high powered passing attack, they will need to be opportunistic defensively and control the ball with the ground game. Purdue doesn't have a great rushing attack, but they can get the job done and they have a couple of kids who can make plays in the passing game as well.

This should be an interesting matchup, though it's certainly not going to be the most watched game during bowl season.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.