Saturday, October 03, 2009

Things I Learned Saturday

It certainly looks like they're done.

-Purdue's players now stand and watch the "I Am an American" pre-game tradition...I really like that they're instructed to do this. I don't believe Tiller-coached teams stopped their warm-up to watch/listen to this recurring-presentation.

-Homecoming didn't feel like homecoming. The crowd was pretty sluggish and small...and the energy in the tailgate lots wasn't even good. It reminded me of the bad ole days when J, Tim and I walked the halls of Cary Quad...and a disgruntled Jim Colletto prowled the sidelines of RA. Sure the fanbase has a hangover from pouring out a lot in the loss to UND. But, high ticket prices, a lot of mediocre seasons and now a rebuilding season, have taken it's toll on Purdue's fanbase.

-Aaron Valentin, Keith Smith & Keith Carlos all made some very impressive catches and runs after the catch today. Most-noteworthy was Valentin's 67-yard TD. He caught a high pass, shed a tackler with a stiff arm, avoided two more tacklers and out-ran the defense down the left sideline in the first quarter...sadly, as we all know too well, Mr. Valentin giveth, and Mr. Valentin taketh away.

-Purdue had 6 turnovers...and could have had 8 or 9. They simply don't take care of the ball.

-Purdue gift-wrapped this game and handed it to Coach Fitz. He accepted the gift, begrudgingly. Make no mistake- NW did not grab this game from Purdue, with a macho kung fu grip...but instead, politely and quietly said, "thanks" as Purdue's offense and special teams turned the ball over 3 times in a 2.5 minute period to end the first half. Then, to start the second half, had a mere 4 plays in the books before giving it up again. Valentin, Elliott and even Taylor coughed up the ball and Northwestern accepted the turnovers and turned them into 13 easy points.

-I'm sure J.B. Gibbony is a good guy. But, it doesn't look like he should be coaching a major college team's special teams unit...especially Purdue's. This week, the kickoff teams did a good job on coverage, but the fumbles returned in a disgusting way. Each week we've watched the special teams fail in some way...this week was no different.

-Hope spoke highly of his Special Teams Coordinator before the season...and he also spoke highly of Nord. Well, honestly, neither has been too impressive thus far, to me.

-Purdue's event planning staff planned today poorly. They didn't even have enough port-o-lets on the intramural fields. In fact, the port-o-lets I saw at the end of the day were full. That's flat-out nasty.

-Keith Smith was wasted today...specifically, in the second half, the coaches did nothing to assure he'd get the ball.

-Ralph Bolden is better than the stats are showing...many times today, he was handed the ball and met by the defense almost immediately. The play-call is starting to make me furious.

-Joey Elliott is not the guy. I'm not intending this as a dig on Elliott- I think he's doing everything he's capable of doing, and on paper, his numbers are pretty-darned good. I know Purdue's rebuilding and Elliott's not the sole reason Purdue loses, but it's time to, at minimum, see someone else taking some snaps. The old adage, "it's not how you start, but how you finish" is ringing in my head right now...and Elliott simply hasn't finished a game strong this season.

-Purdue's defense did enough to win...and deserved better. But, it's a team game- and this team is not a good one right now. The 1-4 record is the worst start in nearly 15 seasons.

-Skinny jeans are a bad thing. I'm not just saying for fat people either- they're not flattering, even on a fit, young college girl. I miss low-cut, boot cut jeans on the young ladies.

-Hope has some decisions to make for the future now- he can begin preparing his personnel for the coming seasons, or continue coaching without a good rotation of receivers, DBs and even running backs. It's time to look forward.

-Many prognosticators picked Purdue to finish last in the BT...and to only have one-win. I scoffed at the idea. But now, it looks like I might have been pre-mature in my optimism. I thought this was a re-building year, and the magazines were way off base. But, if things continue to go the way they're going, we might be witnessing an historic season- Purdue has only won 1 or fewer games 8 times since 1887.

-Coaches often tell teams that it's them against the world...and that no one believes in them but the guys in the locker room. Well, Coach Hope can now say that to his guys, and might not simply be giving the team just a motivational speech.

-Purdue knows how to lose. But something...a lot of things...need to change for this team to start winning again. The one, two, three-quarter-long lapses by the offense are now a trend, and the fact that multiple facets of the team seem to contribute to the loss tells me that there's a systematic issue- could be depth, could be preparation, could be conditioning, could be mentality...could be a combo of the four.

16 comments:

Ross McLochness said...

I was actually shocked hear multiple people say Elliott had a great game. He did - as you mention - tear things up on paper, but that's not what most of us remember.

I'm not going to blame him for the interception because the receiver flat fell. But Elliott had a hand in the spike on first down and assuredly - and literally - threw the game away on the final play.

How do you do that? Give me someone who will at least attempt a downfield pass.


**Funny note. The word verification I had to type to post this: "ineda."

Well Purdue, you, and Ineda something to cheer for.

ninja4201 said...

hope is a d2 loser why are u guys surprised

dozer8589 said...

Okay. 1-4. Can we PLEASE stop the Joey Elliot experiment? Another game, two more game-changing turnovers.

Did you SEE that first interception (after the defense got the crowd rocking with their SECOND goal line stand)? Smith was behind the defense, the ball wasn't. Elliot won't/can't throw deep and every defense knows that.

Bench Elliot, heck - bench all the seniors (Smith is exempt), and let's start building a REAL team. Remember - lots of these upperclassmen were recruits from Tiller's "I'm just mailing it in" recruiting efforts.

Plang said...

Hey Ross - my word verification is "rejazz" - as in they need to rejazz this team up if they are going to win.

I'm going to give the coaches the whole year before I start getting mad. I hate to see the losses, but maybe this is a hangover from Tiller's last season. Really, I have no idea. But I want to give Hope and his staff one full season to see if they are the problem.

Hope says all the right things, he isn't down or cynical. He doesn't throw guys under the bus. But if he, or is staff, don't have the X's and O's to go along with the talk, then the talk is useless. Maybe it is Hope, maybe his staff, maybe both. I'm going to wait and see.

If IU whips our Boilers, and they start off next season like this one, then it is 100% the coaches, and we can get real pissed off at Burke for bending to Tiller on this one. But I really want to see the entire season before I make up my mind.

I don't like the losses. Last week's almost sucked out my soul. I am pretty sure that at the very least Gibbony needs to go at the end of the season. I do agree that it may be time to rotate in some of the younger guys. But I really can't drop the hammer on the coaching staff - yet.

Hope is not, and will not, be Colletto. We just do not know yet if he is the man for the job.

zlionsfan said...

This kind of reminds me a bit of the Burtnett/Akers transition ... the new coach is supposed to bring promise, maybe not for the first season, but for future seasons.

But it started loss-tie-loss-loss, close win over Illinois, close loss to OSU, loss (of course this is not from memory), and it went from "maybe he'll improve right away" to "maybe it'll take a few games" to "maybe it'll take a season or two." And of course it never happened under Akers.

Not to say Hope is or will be that bad, just that it's the same feeling now, that instead of this being the first season of the turnaround, apparently we're coming to a dead stop first. (And also not to suggest anything about shortening his contract, so to speak. Let's not be a Notre Dame.)

Elliott is definitely not the guy, but really, aren't we basically waiting for Marve to become eligible? (Not that it would hurt, I suppose, to get one or two of the freshmen some snaps.) stupid transfer rules.

blah. It's not like we were expecting 7-6 and a bowl win, but man, I was hoping we could at least win a couple of games.

On the bright side, our schedule starts to look more difficult as teams that beat us seem to be whipping through their own schedules. That Oregon loss is much more understandable now (or more painful, I suppose, when you consider we should have beat them in Eugene and Cal looked like a high-school team there). And Northern Illinois ripping Western Michigan makes our schedule look a little better and IU's a bit worse.

My word is "ressess". Not sure if that means the football team is out for recess and will come back when they're ready, or if we need to reassess our expectations for this season and next.

Irish_cowboy said...

My verification word is 'quambog' which sounds surprisingly like some of the strangled curse-words that were issuing forth from my noise-hole after the 3rd or 4th fumble.

Boilergal said...

Now, now- these are "unpaid student-athletes, I don't want to hear you tell them they suck"... at least that is what the D-bag a few rows ahead of me said when I offended him by yelling "Valentin, you suck" on his attempt to fumble again on the last kick-off of the game. Seriously, how many times are you allowed to fumble before the coach benches you? After the 3rd... 4th... 5th turnover, shouldn't it be engrained into your head to hang onto the ball at all cost? This game was pathetic! I am beginning to believe that maybe our players are paid... to lose the game! How else can you have that much trouble holding onto the ball without trying to lose it? I don't know what ticks me off more, how pathetic the effort is or the guy that thinks these kids should be coddled for that same pathetic effort?

Chad said...

First 5 games, 20 turnovers! That's the only stat that matters to this 1-4 team. I truly hope the coaching staff works on nothing but holding on to the ball this week. There is no reason to prepare for Minnesota, because we obviously can't beat anybody if we can't keep the ball!

I do not want them to mail in the rest of the season, mainly because I plan on attending 5 of the last 7 games of the season! This team has been fun to watch most of the time, just frustrating at the worst times!

Call me the ultimate Purdue football optimist, but I feel we can still beat anybody. Unfortunately, we all know we can also lose to anybody. I will guarantee 1 thing though, continuing to average 4 turnovers a game will not get it done!

Collin Fultz said...

My word: torsup. As in, Northwestern's special teams torsup on Saturday. I happen to like skinny jeans. But, unlike most readers of this blog, I am under 25.

boilerdowd said...

Collin- two things- I think you're underestimating the youth movement here on BS.

Second, skinny jeans are nasty and make the finest back side look saggy. They only look good on models using heroine. I love heroine addicts.

boilerdowd said...

Gal and others- wouldn't you say that the root goes back to the coaches not holding the kids accountable? While AV has had a lot of problems receiving the punt, I'm from the school of thought that says don't give him any more chances to fail on the punt return team. Don't let him earn it back, he's been give second and third chances...If Waynelle can't hold onto the ball, next guy in line will do it...and so on.

I blame the coaches first.

J Money said...

'dowd -- you're my heroine.

Or maybe you meant heroin?

boilerdowd said...

Suck it.
Did I spell that correctly?

Boilergal said...

I agree that this is a coaching issue- Valentin should never be on the return team again! Usually a kicking team is trying to avoid kicking to a certain returner... not aiming directly toward him! He is a football player for a Div-I school and should be able to field a catch without fumbling over 50% of the time. The coach has made a bad decision to keep him out there, but come one... catch the danged ball and hold onto it! You are a scholarship football player and need to be able to make adjustments to right the wrongs.

On a side note, I can't wait for basketball season- this football team may be the death of me!

BoilerBiker said...

"unpaid student-athletes, I don't want to hear you tell them they suck"
- as you say, valentin is on scholarship. that's not exactly chump change.

valentin fumbling & coaching
- he appeared to remain unchanged (no coaching?) w/the way he holds the ball during returns. one hand, way out from the body, it's a wonder he doesn't fumble even more (at WR).

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