I told Boilerdowd I didn't want to be dramatic, but that final drive against Northwestern today was, in my mind, one that makes or breaks our season. Score and you salvage something and have things to feel good about. Do what they did do... and it's probably time to fold the tent.
I hate to be a defeatist, but this might have finished me off, just five games in. I said Friday that Purdue finds new and creative ways to turn themselves into the coyote.
Blowing a 21-3 lead on Homecoming?
Another questionable late-game call (the first-down spike with a timeout left)?
Yeah, sounds about right.
I'm now with those of you who want to blame coaching. I'm fully on board. There is no excuse for this. And when a team looks like world-beaters one quarter and like they've never seen a football before in the very next quarter... well, that's on the coaching staff. There is no consistency out of this team and it's infuriating. The offense slices through teams sometimes -- and then takes a couple of quarters off. The defense makes great stops at times -- and then forgets how to tackle.
Let's also make no mistake here -- Northwestern is not very good. Kafka's a good QB, but their defense looked very porous for much of the game. And yes, I know they shut out the Boilers in the second half, but half a dozen turnovers help that sort of cause. This was a beatable team, a very winnable game and one that, frankly, should have turned into a laugher. And yet Purdue found a way to cough it up. Inexcusable. I don't care how inexperienced some of these guys are. Taking care of the football is something you CAN coach.
And let me also mention that terrible decision on first and goal from the 8. Joey Elliott comes to the line with one timeout remaining and...spikes the ball? I have a HUGE problem with this. Purdue needs every down possible to get into the end zone there. This wasn't a field goal game. Either run a play or call a timeout. Do not give away a down. And it wound up mattering, too, didn't it? Simply an awful decision, either on Joey's part or on that of the coaching if they instructed him to do that.
The wheels are coming off, folks.