Every year this comes around- you don't really want to see either team (defense or offense) lose during a scrimmage because of what that might mean in the long run. But, in Wednesday and yesterday's limited scrimmages, the offense beat the defense both times. It wasn't a standard game, it was situational scoring competition, but the offense just edged the defense both times. Hope said the defense was battling through injuries, so some of the defensive backfield was held out. I don't really know what to think about the defense getting beaten by this young offense, especially this early...even with a few guys sidelined. We'll see how things progress in the next scrimmage, Saturday afternoon.
Hope talked about the Wednesday morning session of two-a-days saying it was the best practice he's had since he's been back at Purdue; including last season. That's a big positive, no doubt...especially in the wake of some of his reports about the lack of crisp play thus far. Other noteworthy snigbits* include the fact that Jaycen Taylor is playing well and is getting used to contact- Hope says his progress is starting to pick up...and he likes the way the entire team is hustling during the end-of-practice conditioning drills, but they're not leaving it all out there during scrimmages.
I'm pretty positive that Hope rides these guys when effort is in question- I think that might prove to be the biggest improvement from the Tiller era. Plus, Hope is excited for the fans to "meet" Coach Nord as an OC...he thinks we'll be very pleased with the variety of play-calling. I think we're all ready for variety and excitement once-again in the offense.
I've heard from multiple sources that the receivers, as a unit, had some real issues catching the ball in the first few days of this week. It has continued for a couple of the Freshman who were thought to be instant-impact guys (though I don't know which ones)...hopefully that just proves to be nerves and the receiving corps works it out in a hurry; time will tell.
One very-noteworthy, un-Tiller-like situation that's developing is the fact that no quarterbacks have been moved to the defensive backfield yet. It seemed that Nyjee Tyler, specifically, was an ideal candidate for moving from behind center...but if Hope's conferences are any indicator, there's not even a hint in the air that Tyler's time as field general is short. Granted, the info we're receiving is heavily-filtered...so there's a lot going on that we don't know about. Regardless of what's going on behind closed-doors and net-covered fences, let's hope the team is maturing in a hurry and buying into the systems that are being put in place.
*snigbits is a made-up word coined by Joey Elliott during media day