Like many of you, I watched the game a second time on DVR this weekend...here are some of the quick thoughts I gathered...add your own; I'd love to hear them.
We didn't see many audibles...perhaps that's because Toledo did exactly what Hope thought they would defensively (doubtful)...or, Hope and Nord didn't want to show anything. I think and hope it's the latter.
A Tight Space
Coach Nord said coming into the season that the TE was one of the most-important positions on the offense, but we saw very few passes thrown to Lindsay and Adams. I think this will change next game with drag routes being used in conjunction with maybe a few more vertical routes to open up the middle.
Ralph Bolden is good...I thought he was...saw it with my own eyes, then saw it again. We saw very good speed, very good power and even better agility as he made the defense miss a lot of tackles. Shoulder fakes made the Rockets defenders grab air a few times and the leap in the second half was dangerous, but pretty remarkable...especially since it only yielded him an extra yard.
Taylor was also quite good...and looked like the Jaycen of previous seasons- gutting out sure-loss situations to create positive yards, playing bigger than he is and making very smart cuts as blocks created space. These two are a great one-two.
The front line really dominated Toledo's defensive linemen...on many plays, I was looking for Plue to being busting holes up the middle as Taylor or Bolden got free and he was actually the guy looking for someone to hit on the second level. This unit will rival that of 2001 before their time is over at Purdue.
I think Purdue had much more depth at wide receiver than it showed on Saturday...but I'm not so sure Hope has the confidence in all of the new guys to place the game in their hands their first Saturday in Ross Ade. I look for a better rotation in the Oregon game, if not then, by Northern Illinois.
I was uber-impressed with that corps' ability to block. While Bolden and Taylor didn't run outside too-often, it wasn't because the wide receivers don't know how to hold a block.
A Real Prince
At first glance, I was too tough on Brandon King. While he didn't play as well as I know he's capable of, he was pretty solid...and honestly, there were so many guys that missed tackles on defense, it's kind of wrong for me to call out King...My bad, B.
Plus, he had one of the nastiest hits of the day...I knew that watching it live, but anytime you de-cleat a guy, that's worth a few brownie points. And speaking about knocking a guy around, how about J Werner?
Playing without a Kerr (igan)
I'll admit it- I have huge hopes for Ryan Kerrigan this season...but I didn't see on Saturday the same type of play that we all got spoiled with during his Soph season...especially on passing downs. Kerrigan, and his three counterparts in the front four simply have to disrupt the quarterbacks progressions with greater regularity. Without more pressure up front, the best defensive backfields can't make noise. I'd argue that the DBs were doing a great job in coverage because the experienced Opelt was forced to go to his safety valve after reading the rest of the receivers on a lot of occasions.
And speaking of routes to the tight end...the LBs can't give opposing tight ends that kind of space each week. UND, for one, will kill Purdue on the frustrating drag routes if they're there ad nauseum.
I loved that Carson Wiggs crushed that 59-yarder...and was confident about it when it left his foot. I really loved that Coach Hope had the confidence in him to try it...and loved even more how Hope sprinted out on the field right away to congratulate him.
This should come in handy later.