By: Will Burchfield
First it was Cincinnati’s Mike Boone.
Now it’s Purdue’s Gregory Phillips.
Phillips, a senior wide receiver for the Boilermakers, made a bold prediction ahead of his team’s Big 10 opener at home versus Michigan on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a surprise when people see us beat Michigan. I wish we played Ohio State, too, because nobody can stop us right now except ourselves. If we don’t beat Purdue and turn over the ball, we win every game,” Phillips told ESPN.
His confidence is brash, but not unfounded.
Purdue has looked impressive in its first three games, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The Boilermakers hung tough with No. 19 Louisville in the season-opener, falling 35-28, before blowing out Ohio and Missouri in back to back weeks.
They’re averaging over 35 points per game.
First-year head coach Jeff Brohm has filled his team with swagger.
“Running the plays Coach Brohm gives us, we don’t have any doubt in our mind,” Phillips said. “If your coach is aggressive, you become aggressive. If your coach is confident, you become confident.”
No. 8 Michigan is 3-0, but its record belies its play. The young Wolverines have struggled to move the ball, especially in the red zone, and have just five offensive touchdowns on the season. Their best playmaker, freshman wide receiver Tarik Black, broke his foot in last week’s win and could be done for the year.
Michigan has won on the back of its defense, and that’s likely the script for a victory this weekend.
Phillips isn’t the first player to call his shot versus the Wolverines this season. Boone, the Cincinnati running back, made a similar claim before the Bearcats visited Michigan in Week 2. He was knocked down to size when Michigan made out with a 36-14 win.
The Wolverines will look to do the same to Phillips and the Boilermakers. Saturday’s game kicks off at 4:00.