Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Heart of Dallas Bowl Recap - At Least It's Over

OK State, walking on air
If you're reading this, I assume you're a Purdue fan and that you don't live in a cave.  The wifi sucks in caves anyway.  Therefore, you already had the opportunity to watch, listen to, or read about the results of the Heart of Dallas Bowl this afternoon.  Yep, the Boilers ended their disappointing season with another steaming pile,and hopefully you didn't waste three hours of your day off watching the futility on the field.

It was appropriate that Purdue was a huge underdog against Oklahoma State, a team that had some quality wins and that basically got screwed to have to play in such a lowly bowl.  Meanwhile the Boilers were just happy to be there, getting bowl eligible with three straight wins against non-bowl competition.  Still, I expected this game to be FUN to watch.  Since the results of 97% of bowl games don't really matter (do the math), if the game isn't entertaining, everyone has failed.  Even if the teams aren't evenly matched, trick plays, energized seniors, fun climates, and risky coaching decisions can make for some compelling viewing.  Just look at the other Big Ten bowl games today that were far more interesting.
That's about how wide open the Cowboys were today

Both teams had nothing to lose, and we know the Cowboys would put up a lot of points.  I was hoping interim coach Higgins would go insane, calling every other play out of the NFL Blitz playbook.  Erik mentioned in his game preview that Higgins was ready for some trickery, and we certainly saw it with a fake punt from the Purdue 13-yard line on the first series of the game.  Little did we know that it would not only be the last fun trick play we'd see, but also the last good play for the Boilers for the next two hours.

A swarm of all-black unis is much more intimidating than all white
Here's the quick rundown for those wanting to relive the agony of defeat:

  • The Boilers held Oklahoma State to a three-and-out on the first series of the game, which was a surprise.  The Cowboys then rattled off three straight touchdowns, only having to punt three times the entire game.
  • While we're talking about punting, for a team that rarely needs to use their punter, Oklahoma State has a terrific kicker!  Not only does he do all the kicking (making three field goals and seven PATs on the day), he booms punts and kickoffs and should definitely get a look at the NFL.  His hair is also awesome.
  • At the end of the first half, Purdue had only 30 fewer offensive yards as OSU and dominated time of possession but was losing 28-0.   This was due to a tipped interception, missed field goal, fumble, and turnover on downs (going for it instead of trying another mid-range field goal).
  • Yes, the officials were pretty horrible, but getting the benefit of the doubt on all the calls in the world still wouldn't have impacted the outcome, just the margin of defeat.  I do have to point out the ridiculous ruling in the second quarter on the Gabe Holmes fumble.  The replay should without a doubt that Holmes was down with possession of the ball before it came loose.  The announcers all agreed.  It was obvious.  Yet the referees let the ruling on the field stand, which made absolutely no sense.
  • The entire team looked incredibly slow.  Maybe the Cowboys are just that fast, or the Boilers were just not that into you, but at times it looked like a D1 team against a D3 opponent.
  • It was 45-0 before the Boilers finally scored with 18 seconds left in the third quarter.
  • If Higgins was trying to earn an assistant coaching spot with the new Darrell Hazell regime, he didn't do himself any favors with preparing this team for a battle or his play calling.
  • The most entertaining part of the game (after the fake punt) was the interview in the booth with Coach Hazell.  The entire time, I just pictured his thought process being "What have I gotten myself into," "Wow these guys aren't very good," and "My Kent State team is ten times better.  Maybe I should stay?"
  • I wanted to turn this game off in the third quarter, but I'm just masochistic enough the keep watching.
  • The final turnover margin: five for Purdue (two INTs, three fumbles), zero for OSU.
  • As they did most of the season, the Boiler defense made opposing quarterbacks look like Drew Brees.  It seemed like they never threw an incompletion, and looking at the stats afterwards, starter Clint Chelf only missed on five passes through three quarters.
  • Was it better that this drubbing happened on a day with other more interesting games to watch (and so early in the afternoon)?  Maybe people won't notice, as opposed if this game was played a week ago as the only bowl game of the night.
OK, I have to stop.  I just can't write about this game anymore.  It was horrible, pretty meaningless other than to disappoint Boiler Nation, and likely won't be remembered very long by anyone who wasn't directly involved.  I'm very, very glad to be done with football for the season, and I hope it left a sour taste in the mouths of the underclassmen and they work twice as hard to not get embarrassed again.  I'm also excited to see what's next under Coach Hazell.  Next year's schedule is brutal, so I don't expect a quick turnaround, but I'm sure it will be a step in the right direction.

And one last non-Purdue-related item: please, please Roll Tide!

Picks of the Week Update - Final Edition
The final standings all came down to Erik'a pick.  If he was correct, he'd win the season series, but if he was wrong, I would stand victorious as king of the horrible bettors.  Thankfully, Erik was drinking the Gold and Black Kool-Aid, and predicted a narrow Cowboy victory.  Four points is a little bit less than 44, or so my math teachers tell me.

Therefore the season ends with Erik losing $268 while I'm at negative $80.50.  So we both suck, and my bookie will be making a stop outside Cleveland to collect or break some kneecaps tomorrow.  It's hard to bask in the glory of beating Erik when the game was so horrible, but I'll do my best.

1 comment:

  1. I blame whoever came up with the ridiculous betting system for the bowl game.

    Oh wait, that was me.

    Nice recap, but I disagree with you on one thing - the OSU kicker's hair is not awesome at all. While my wife and I pretty much sat in silence for the entire game other than a few expletives, she did come out and say, "If you ever grow your hair like that, I'll leave you in a heartbeat."