Saturday, September 04, 2010

A Final Look at the UND Loss

I had been calm for most of the week leading up to this game. It kinda felt like I had almost forgotten about my feelings toward Notre Dame...but I was reminded this morning as my family and I went out. Poser Notre Dame fans are everywhere in the Indianapolis area, but they've been quiet for about 10 months...I like it that way. I like the fact that these jerks put their gear up when things aren't rosy in South Bend and act like they don't root for Notre Dame as they're distracted by whatever the hell else they've done in the winter since IU's been awful in basketball. But they came out of their hibernation this morning in Fishers.

First off, I saw two guys with IU hats on and UND sweatshirts. Frickin' perfect. I Didn't waste my time even talking to them. But, I spoke with the stooges clad in solely UND gear...and shocker- most had no attachment to the university...just were Irish and/or Catholic and blah blah blah. Shut it. This is probably why I get so pissed at these people. They don't get it. They don't understand what it's like not to have an appetite for the entire day before a game or to be so revved up after a game that you can't really talk to anyone for an hour or so until you calm down. They can pick and choose when they're going to root for their team- when it's easy, when it doesn't sting, when there's a party around it, they're fans. Plus, the a-holes will call or text and taunt people like me. "Did you see the game?" "Your Boilers looked great today." "How'd you like that one?"

Suck it.

I don't taunt people. I didn't call these jackholes as the Irish were getting pounded each and every game a few years ago. I didn't e-mail them reminders as they lost as many as they won last season and the service academies and Syracuse beat them. They probably didn't notice anyway...they had already hopped off the bandwagon at that point so it wouldn't have mattered to them. The point I'm driving at is, this stuff does matter to me...probably too much, but 13 years removed from graduation, I still hate to see Purdue lose...especially to Notre Dame.

All that said, for me, nothings changed from before this game. I thought they'd lose and they did. A lot of teams that were better than this year's Purdue team have struggled in South Bend. I still think Marve is going to be very good and he's going to lead Purdue to a lot of victories in the next two seasons. I still like Hope. I don't think he's a perfect coach, didn't think he was the perfect hire, but I really like a lot of what he does and the way he does it...but there's plenty of room for improvement.

Play Calling
For stretches in the game, the offensive play calling was extremely milquetoast. Fake boot legs, misdirection sweep tosses to the short side of the field, and simple draws up the middle just weren't working...yet, they kept trying those plays, and others ad nauseaum. We heard rumors that Purdue would bring the kitchen sink, from a play-calling standpoint, in the days leading up to this afternoon's contest. If that was all this coaching staff's got, our Boilers are in huge trouble.

But, I don't think that's all this team or coaching staff has in it. I do think that these coaches might think that's all this group could handle at this point. It was glaringly-obvious that the offensive line is simply not ready for primetime. I'm not saying they won't be good, but they just weren't nearly good enough today. Let's keep in mind too, this UND defense is no world beater, in my opinion. While much-improved, they're no where near the best defense Purdue will face this season...but today, especially in the trenches, they manhandled Purdue. Part of that's because of an inexperience offensive line...and in a related note, part is because the play calling made it easy for the Irish to get into position to make plays for much of the day.

A couple things happened today that I didn't think would happen.

-The defensive backfield looked pretty good for much of the day versus a very talented group of receivers. They were far from the weakest unit on Purdue's team this afternoon.

-The linebacking corps seemed to really struggle as running plays would bounce to the outside. They missed tackles, were in poor position, did an spotty job on pass coverage (especially on drag routes) and worst of all, looked slow at times.

-Edison played running back and didn't look too bad. Seems to me that he might make sense at HB more often with some of what we saw today.

-ATM was super-quiet. He didn't carry the ball a ton (4 carries), and when he did, not much happened (-2 yds. rush). He also didn't make much noise on kickoff returns averaging 12.7/return.

-Keith Smith caught punts...didn't really return, just caught them.
-Dan Dierking averaged 6.2 yds/carry and finished runs off very well.

-Purdue's focus on ball security led them to having 0 fumbles lost...a welcomed improvement.

-Gaston played a lot...looks the part in a uniform...and played well.

-O.J. Ross didn't get the chance to catch anything...honestly not many did outside of the starting rotation of receivers.

-Carson Wiggs punted all day, and with the exception of one lousy kick, was pretty solid.

-Notre Dame's defense seemed much improve...but more so was simply an excellent tackling team as they hardly ever let a Purdue player get significant yards after first contact.

-Purdue's offense only scored 12 modern era football, if you hold an opponent to 23 points, you should be able to win. But, if the offense can't move the ball, guess not.

-Justin Pierce looked out of position quite a few times today. And, if the old adage is true, "a good offensive lineman is one you don't notice"...Pierce is in trouble.

-Rob Henry ran the option very well. His combo of size and athleticism were obvious during his limited action at quarterback...I would have liked to see him a bit more- maybe in the same backfield as Marve?

-Siller nor K. Smith passed the ball today nor spent much time in the offensive backfield.

-Gerald Gooden was relatively quiet and didn't seem as disruptive as I thought he might have been.

No Surprise
-Ryan Kerrigan looked like a beautiful beast for most of the day. He was held each time he took his hand out of the dirt...but the officials missed it each time. Kerrigan's tackle for safety in the early fourth quarter coulda shoulda woulda been something important had the offense been able to get into rhythm.
-Kawaan Short looked very good and will be a pretty frightening player by the end of the season.

-The offense looked good at times and bad at others and looks like it simply needs reps. They should get plenty next Saturday.

-Robert Marve has a big arm, good legs and made some bad decisions today. He'll get better all season, in my opinion.

-Keith Smith, Dan Dierking and Kyle Adams were all trusty catching the ball...Siller & C. Smith got into a bit of a rhythm late as well...C. Smith probably should have come up with the long ball down the left fact, he must do so for Purdue to beat the tougher opponents on the schedule.

-Ralph Bolden's abilities were definitely missed today...but it seems to me, the lackluster line play coupled with Purdue being behind all day made it tougher for the running game to be truly successful.

What's Next?
If you're already off the bandwagon as a Purdue fan, like J alluded to, you're really not different than the UND fans that I spoke about earlier in the post. Let's not forget that Drew Brees as a Senior, back when Tiller's offense really was the gun-slinging spread offense, couldn't beat UND in South Bend. Today's game didn't break Hope, Marve's, or anybody else's career. Over 91% (at least) of the season's games have still yet to have been played. There's a ton that can and will happen that will be fun to watch this season.

You can rule out whatever you'd like (i.e. potential bowl, Danny Hope's success, Robert Marve's success) based on seeing just today's game...but I think that's completely foolish. There's a lot of football left.


Anonymous said...

In before "Fire Hope" and all that garbage.

Anyway yes, the play calling needs a lot more imagination, and it'd be great to see our team not have the most penalty yards.

MattDSM said...

I agree with the playcalling comments. All those roll-outs looked like they made it difficult for Marve to settle and do his reads, even when he wasn't running for his life.

T-Mill said...

Funny you mention IU. The car in front of me as I was trying to park had an IU license plate. Surprise, surprise.

Kevin said...

I went to South Bend not knowing what to expect. I was dissapointed in the loss for sure, I was even more upset over the effort during the game. Don't misunderstand me, I know these guys work hard during the off-season, yesterday it didn't seem like that was the case.

B-dowd, I like your positive attitude, and your absolutely right, there is plenty of football yet to be playd. Yesterday was just so tough to watch.

One thing that I saw that I couldn't understand, was the slow pace at which the offense ran. When they ran no-huddle we would run down the field. Everytime we huddled up we would evetually do something completely stupid, or a sack, or an interception. Why Hope didn't push the no-huddle during the rest of the game I will never understand. When we were in the huddle it gave our unexperienced players too much time to think about what they were about to do.

Marve is an awesome talent, but he is extremely raw. He looked like a freshman out there, but give him time and good coaching and he'll be fine. I have a hard time with the jumping in the end-zone. That was extemely selfish. All the Purdue fans in the stadium were in shock, and really pissed off. This isn't Florida or Miami. We would never catch Drew, Kyle, Curtis, or Joey doing that. I hope he gets some good coaching on that move.

I don't think it's time to throw coach Hope out yet, but I do think we could have been better prepared.

Our defense looked brilliant in spots, and I agree, the secondary looked better than I thought they would. We could not stop the counter to save our lives. ND ran it over and over and over again. Their O-line owned us during the running game. It looked like the GB Packer Sweep with how efficient it was run.

There were a lot of other positive/negative observations, but I am looking forward to how this team WILL improve over the next few weeks.

Let's put this loss behind us and Boiler Up!

BoilerUpAT said...

Everyone needs to chill out. This was a tough first game for a young football team. Danny Hope knows what he is doing, the playcalling was semi-limited based on the abilities of the personnel on the field.
There are plenty of growing pains to be experienced, and we just went through some.
Everyone needs to relax and understand that we won't win every game. We grew A LOT today, and I think we will still be very good this year.

Ryan F said...

For those of you complaining about the bootlegs... I think Marve stayed in the pocket about 5 times. Four of them resulted in sacks, and one was the INT on the goal line on 4th and 1. He simply didn't have time for a 3-step drop if he didn't roll out.

JD said...

I, too, am definitely looking forward to watching this team grow as the season goes along. Few things that stood out at me...

I know were not deep at running back, but I really don't know why ATM was even playing or returning kicks. He clearly isn't healthy or fast at the moment.

We heard a lot about Edison, Ross and Bush throughout the summer but didn't see a whole lot of involvement with them yesterday.

Hawkeye X said...

Your O line was not good and your leading rusher was your fullback. This does not bode well for the rest of the season. Marve looked worse than his stats indicate and jumping into the endzone like that is unacceptable on any team. The starting point is the o line. If they can get some push and allow the running game to get going, Marve may get a chance to make some plays if your o coordinator let's him throw downfield.

Ryan F said...

Hawkeye, you're right that the o-line sucked, but the rest of your post is quite off base. Dan Dierking is a backup RB, not a FB. Marve looked solid in the 2nd half and made several accurate downfield throws that the WRs couldn't come up with. The leap into the endzone, silly, but what's done is done.

IceT said...

I really love seeing our defensive ends, after almost every play, with jerseys dislodged over the shoulder pads. As a high school ref, I'm not entirely sure what the umpire (or referee for that matter) was watching. How can a team not get called for holding at least once in a game? I mean come on, it happens every play!

Hawkeye X said...

Yeah, no. He is listed as a fullback. He may be your back up RB. But he is listed as a FB.
The fact remains, your o-line needs improvement.

Ryan F said...

Haha, interesting. They probably didn't update the individual profile positions after Bolden tore his ACL and Keith Carlos got a stress fracture, because Dierking has been taking reps at RB since early in August. Jared Crank has been the starting FB since last season.

Michael said...

Can someone please explain to me what is meant by the play calling needs more imagination, was predicatble, and milquetoast?

You call plays to that ability of the team, not individuals. Bootlegs, at the rate that they were ran and the amount Marve was running out of the pocket, should be viewed as a slap in the face of the OL.

Purdue played well inthe second half. 2 things never clicked; OL and MLB's. I see that that the OL may improve, but the MLB's will be the weak point against quality opponets.

Purdue Matt said...

Whenever I encounter a mouthy/noisy ND fan I always ask them what they majored in at Notre Dame. That shuts them up real quick.

I was at the game yesterday and saw a flagpole with ND on top and IU on bottom. Also saw several IU hats and sweatshirts. Some people are so worthless.

Purdue Matt said...

Is it being a sore loser to think/say that ND gets away with a TON of holding at home?

Purdue Matt said...

Well said on the last point. I also live in Fishers and hope I don't encounter any ND stooge fans this week.

Cortez Smith should have caught that deep ball. It was a beautiful throw and he would have caught it in stride if he didn't panic and break stride.

Ryan said...

Hey, I love this team and will watch every painful minute no matter what, but I'd be lying if I said my mind didn't wander to the better times of basketball a few times this weekend.

There's just a lot to complain about with this team. I could go on about the play calling for hours...I'm really not sold on Hope, but we'll see. Only Kerrigan and Dierking really impressed me.

T-Mill said...

Exhibit A of why We hate them:

Yeah, it's going to be a nightmare and you're really back. Keep dreaming.

Mark said...

OL stunk.
Marve did OK/good.
DL did well then stunk then did OK.
OL stunk.
WR's did OK...but MUST hold on to the deep ball!
Bootlegs until the OL plays better.
OL stunk.
RB's were hard to judge because...
OL stunk.

Very, very disappointing showing by the most important group on the field. RB's, WR's, and QB's won't matter unless they hold blocks.

And yes, it's official, Ryan Kerrigan got held on every single play.

word verification: efiest. Definition: losing to notre dame is the efiest thing in college football.

boilerdowd said...

Agreed, Mark...Hope made his name in football by making OK players into great offensive linemen...we'll see if he's still got the mojo this season, I guess.

Mark said...

According to Nord the Oline wasn't at fault...He said that Marve didn't get rid of the ball. That's not what I saw, but I'm not a coach either.

Nord also said the RBs failed to execute properly. I guess the RBs picked the wrong stack of guys to stop behind...I saw few running lanes myself.

I guess I stand corrected.