If you listened to the Handsome Hour or are a dork like I am, these stats are redundant. If not, there's some tell-tale stuff in the numbers at this point in the season.
First off, I've had a problem with Purdue's defensive play and more poignantly, the defensive coordinator, Landholm. One thing that didn't help my opinion of him was an interview that GBI had this week with the first year Purdue DC. When asked if he regretted the base defense versus UND in their final drive, he said he'd do it the same if in that position again. That's not at all what I want to hear after watching Purdue's defense playing in a trench coat for UND's final drive...this philosophy of keeping guys in front of you, especially with an injured quarterback, makes no sense. But, turns out, my opinion isn't the only thing showing that the coach might not be doing such a great job...the numbers corroborate my theory.
Purdue is 97th in scoring defense and 108th in total defense. The pass defense that was supposed to be tough, and was in the top-3 last season is 9th in the Big Ten. Granted, most BT teams have been playing some pillow-soft cream puffs thus far, but NIU and Toledo aren't Florida and OK.
On the positive side of the stat line, Werner is 10th in the nation in TFL & tied for 30th in sacks. The only other Boiler in the top-100 in a category is Torri Williams (along with Werner once again) who is a top-100 tackler.
On the offensive side of the ball, things look pretty respectable...part of that is because the running start this unit received v. Toledo, but they've been able to put up points and yards, if inconsistently, all season.
The offense is 32nd in total offense, and 36th in scoring offense. Of course you know about Ralph Bolden who started the first two games like an absolute mother, but gotten unhinged the past few games...but is still the 7th-leading rusher in the nation. Keith Smith is 14th in rec/gm & 29th in rec. yds/gm. Valentin is #1 in the Big Ten in total yards/gm due to the fact that he plays punt returner, kickoff returner and receivers...and is pretty good at all three.
I think comparing/contrasting the two sides of the ball might want to give pause to those who have been urging Coach Hope to play someone else at QB...I'm one of those people, by the way. But, as I've said before, you can't replace an entire defense, you can easily replace a quarterback...even for a possession or two. And if the defense isn't going to stop anybody, plain and simply-put, the offense simply must be high-octane.
Mr. Smith (cont.)
Keith Smith has nearly done it all for Nord's offense this season. And like Notre Dame's Tate, he's lined up at multiple positions in order to get him the ball. What's noteworthy to me is how Smith simply doesn't fit the mold of the multi-dimensional player in this era. Most of them are blazingly-fast a la Reggie Bush at SC...but Smith is a hybrid of sorts. Not a scat back or water bug, he's kind of a fullback/H-back but seems to be nearly impossible to stop if given the rock in the right situation. He's one of Purdue's only receivers that runs precise routes, he holds his blocks well, can shed defenders and can even throw a laser of a ball...pretty awesome to watch this guy come into his own.
We all know Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow are very fond of eachother...and after Saturday's game in which Tebow left in an ambulance, Coach Meyer was nearly in tears as he gave his report. It's understandable...Tebow's probably been a great guy to coach and they've been moderately successful together, I guess. But, does anyone else think it's odd that Urban Meyer took the post-concussion test with Tim Tebow yesterday? Maybe it's just me.