Sunday, September 27, 2009

So Close


Obviously, there will be more coming from us on this one, but for now...it hurts.

I had said earlier this week that as long as the Boilers showed us heart and focus, I'd be pleased. If they lost because of Notre Dame's talent, I could live with that. So why did Purdue lose? Notre Dame's talent? That was an impressive drive, calmly led by Pickles. Or was it what is being called gross incompetence on some of the boards by the Boilermakers coaching staff?

Was it the way too many penalties? Perhaps. Was it a time out in the final minute when UND was facing third and goal and had no time outs and a running clock? I know I am not alone in wondering what was happening there. If the argument is that the defense was not ready, well, who's to know if maybe the Irish could have just pounded one in? But the broadcast team told us the sideline was indicating the Irish were going to spike the ball, bringing up fourth down. Not good.

There was little to like in the first half, after an impressive first drive. Well, I shouldn't say that. The students seemed to be loud and into it from the start, the blackout appeared to really be in effect and I loved that the team bought into the blackout completely. All-black unis, head-to-toe, for the first time in years. And even a blacked out "Purdue" in the end zones. Nicely done.

Then that good first drive, followed by ineptness, on both sides of the ball. In face, while the defense showed up in the third quarter, the offense barely did. Boilerdowd and I have been bickering about yanking Joey Elliott -- at least for a series or two -- to get his attention. By late third quarter we were agreeing that something -- anything -- had to be shaken up. And maybe it was.

The fourth quarter had the makings of one of those legendary Purdue wins. A defining win, it would have been called. I don't know about you, but I saw heart and effort and resilience from these guys tonight. I thought the defense finally adjusted and stopped the ND running attack that was slicing through them in the second quarter. Big stops, good pass defense, forcing three-and-outs. They did their job. Holding a good offense down to 17 until the final minute is a good showing, especially from a D that has been struggling.

The offense even came to life in the fourth. No, Joey Elliott is not having a good run right now. But we've seen over several games that if he gets the ball to guys like Bolden, Carlos, Valentin and especially Smith tonight, these guys can do things with the ball.

And then, of course, the moment where it actually felt like things could be different this time -- the 38 yard touchdown to Jaycen Taylor. Nice to see JT get that one, too.

I can only imagine what it felt like to be there at that very moment. To hear that place like we all know it can be. Sadly, though, it wasn't over yet.

I think there are things to be encouraged about after this one. But going back to my criteria -- that a loss here is tolerable if it's not a bad showing -- it's hard to argue that this wasn't a poor showing from the coaches.

Not sure where we go from here. I need to sleep on it.

9 comments:

Irish_cowboy said...

I have no voice, all I have is heartbreak.

Ryan F said...

What a heart-breaker. I would have killed to be at that game instead of northern Texas even with the result. We are becoming a Jekyll/Hyde team. We saw the team that played Toledo and Oregon in the first drive, then the NIU opponent for the second quarter and parts of the third. Returned to good form for the 4th, but just too many mistakes and poor decisions caught up to us.

I love you, Purdue. Please start pulling some of these out, and we'll be on the way back to respectability.

Mr. Anonymous said...

For me, I can take Elliot, I can take a Jekyll/Hyde defense, I can take the timeout if Hope gives even a half-hearted explanation, BUT, the penalties, I mean my God, some just seemed to be silly beyond belief.

Oh well, I think we are seeing the coaches and players mature. Such is a rebuilding year.

Ryan F said...

Right on, Mr. Anon. Things like Neal's taunting, the illegal formations (on a punt?? Really?), and the repeated offsides are dumb mistakes that shouldn't happen, and came in very bad situations to keep drives alive a couple times.

Although Elliot struggled a lot tonight... I would almost like to see Terbush get some playing time like Hope said. Things like the underthrown INT intended for Adams and the seam route for Smith were simply inaccurate balls that could have led to big plays downfield that we need.

Matt said...

Should've it even came down to the timeout in the end with THIRY-SIX seconds left and a running clock? Probably not. Purdue 'D' gave up 17 points to ND in the 1st half and 0 in the 2nd half until that last second score. The 'D' played great in the 2nd half, but the last drive by ND--Purdue had a chance there, but all game like the bloggers here mentioned already Wiggs' inability to kick it deep on kickoffs/poor kickoff covereage, and penalties hurt.

I wish ND didn't even get that close on the goalline, but timeout or no timeout ND would've still had 2 cracks to score - so why not call one?? Ok, maybe if you let the clock keep running ND offense is a bit more scrambles, but they still get 2 cracks to score or maybe 1 spike the ball and 1 on 4th.

Purdue got what the wanted. 1 chance to stop ND on the goalline on the 4th down. Very close almost stopped them but Kyle Rudolph will be playing on Sundays. Pretty tough play to stop. He used his body to shield off the defender and seal the ball in. He's got good hands.

Too bad ND got down there at the goalline so close at the end. I wanted to see a Reggie White-Lawrence Taylor type swipe of the ball on Clausen by Gooden on a sack or something to end the game...now that would've been great and we would've never had that Rudolph TD at the goalline.

Nate H said...

The student section was rocking. For the probably the first time in my four years at Purdue football games Ross-Ade was LOUD. Mackey Arena Loud. You can say what you want about the crowd being half-hearted at times, but during ND's game winning drive, the students, fans, and alumni were behind the team 100%. I'm proud of that.

I was actually really surprised to see that the rest of the crowd blacked out pretty well. Every other blackout we've ever had was basically the students, and the rest of the crowd in a mix of gold white and black. Good job, alums. Next time, tell the rest of your friends, and let's do this PSU style.

Purdue Matt said...

I was sitting the corner of the endzone where JT came scampering in on that 38 yd TD. That was an awesome moment. I was very impressed with the atmosphere and with how loud the place was. Very impressed with this team. Can't stop wondering what might have been.

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