Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Football Recap: Purdue 20 - Indiana State 14

I purposely waited to write this recap since I'm pretty sure not a single soul actively searched for a recap of this game.  So for those of you coming here hoping that we'd get an early preview of the Notre Dame game, GOT YA!  Now you're forced to relive the most disappointing win in recent Purdue memory...

Purdue football game at Cincinnati
Not sure which game this is from, but I'm pretty sure it could have come from either one.

Heading into the game, many Boilermaker fans had put the prior week's shellacking behind them and I had even come up with a way to sugarcoat the loss to local Cleveland coworkers who were upset that Ohio State had only won by 20 points and asked how I could live with a blowout loss in the first week...
  • "It really wasn't a blowout...the Bearcats scored their last two touchdowns after failed 4th downs deep in our end!"
  • "Cincinnati is expected to be good this year.  They might even go undefeated!"
  • "It was their first game under the new system and they had some kinks to work out.  This week's our cupcake game to try some things and really get the machine oiled for Notre Dame."
Sure enough, the opening kick was returned for a touchdown and things were looking excellent in Boilertown.  A dominant defense (albeit against an offense missing their best player) and an offense that moved the ball a bit and this had the makings of a classic FCS blowout.  While the Boilers couldn’t punch it in from the 1-yardline and settled for a field goal (and missed another), there was no inkling that Purdue would slow down or that Indiana State could manufacture more than 2 first downs on a given drive.  

Towards the end of the first half, Purdue blocked a punt deep in Indiana State territory which looked to be the dagger as the Boilers once again marched down to the 1-yardline.  However, things went sour quick as the coaching staff made the biggest blunder of the year (hopefully) by calling 3 straight runs with no timeouts.  Stuffed all 3 times, the field goal team couldn’t get out on the field before time expired.  People may not agree with me, but one thing Danny Hope was quite good at (other than getting blown out at home to any team not named Ohio State) was clock management…ESPECIALLY compared to the Joe Tiller.  Let’s hope, for my currently hole-less wall’s sake, that we don’t have to live through another coaching regime with Tiller-esque game management.   

Still, Purdue had dominated the first half, and we had found another name besides Jeremiah Alphabet to laugh at in starting running back George Cheeseburgerorough.  Sure, play was sloppy at times, but I of course came up with the obligatory glass half full excuses:
  • The defense gave up only 4 first downs in the first half to a team that scored 35 on Indiana the prior week!
  • We should have scored several more times…the score really doesn’t show how awesome we were!
  • Heck, no Purdue wide receiver has more than 1 catch…once we get them involved, I see a 38-0 blowout on the horizon!
Damn my optimism.  Purdue would score again to make things 17-0, but that was the end of any good feelings.  The defense went into some sort of prevent mode, giving up 2 touchdowns sandwiched by a Purdue field goal.  The offense couldn’t get anything going (and even when they weren’t getting anything going, they were still snapping the ball with 12 seconds left on the play clock!) and the defense couldn’t get a stop.  Luckily, the Sycamores shot themselves in the foot. 

Indiana State drove the ball from their own 10 to Purdue’s 37-yardline and looked ready to strike again.  A false start and a holding penalty forced a 2nd and 25 which was even enough for Purdue’s awful second half defense to stop.  Indiana State would get the ball back one more time, but Ricardo Allen came up with a huge interception (not sure if you can call anything over an FCS school huge, but I just did) to seal the game.

So what did we learn?
  1. I’m done making excuses for this team.  In its current state, this is a team with poor coaching and poor execution.  Are there reasons behind it?  Sure.  Can they turn my opinion around with a couple well-managed games?  Absolutely.  But until then, I am not impressed by the disciplined approach we expected to see from Coach Hazell and his team.
  2. Purdue will almost assuredly be the underdog in every game, meaning that a 1-11 record is definitely possible.  If they play like they did in the first two games, it’s almost a certainty.
  3. The Boilers had no wide receiver catch more than 2 passes.  Is this a function of bad quarterbacking or bad route running?  Probably both.
  4. Cincinnati isn't good.  They got killed by Illinois.  There goes that excuse.
  5. Coach Hazell is bound and determined to prove to people that he’s going to do things “his way” by wearing that ugly, impractical, awful vest ensemble for every game.   Is anybody else completely embarrassed by this?  It’s the middle of summer!  Wear some short sleeves at least!

I mean, if he wanted to look like a stormtrooper, he might as well just add on the helmet to make it complete…

Wait, he did this at Kent State too?  How did we not know about this before we decided to hire the guy?

Coach, I’m pleading with you.  I know you read our blog because we are the second-most important independent Purdue blog that we know of. You have the chance to be (and more importantly) look like a cool and awesome coach on the sidelines.  The vest has got to go.

It could be a long year, but it looks like it’ll be an even longer year for Kirk.  I’ve already built up a $59 lead in our annual fake betting pool and he now has to run around his house naked 5 times since I guessed the margin of victory right with my 27-21 prediction (I’m not proud of it, but I could sort of sense it).   You don’t want to know what happens if you guess the exact score correctly.

I know this was sort of a depressing post, but keep your chin up Boiler Nation.  Worse Purdue teams have shocked us before, and I suspect they’re already heading into this week’s bout against Notre Dame with a “nothing to lose” attitude.  We’ll post our preview of that one later in the week.

Boiler Up!

P.S. Betsy, I just paid some punk $3,241 (in Rubles) to secure our preferred twitter handle…apparently he knew how big was going to get.  Once we get it up and running, we’ll let you and all of our tweeters know.  Thanks for the suggestion!

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