Saturday, September 04, 2010

Boilermakers Bounced in South Bend

Yep, that one hurt -- any loss to Notre Dame does. However, there were some things to be optimistic about coming away from this game.

Let's start with what happened in front of us. Notre Dame's defense exposed Purdue's thin running back corps and made tackles (which Purdue didn't for large chunks of time). They pressured Marve by flooding through a somewhat porous O-line for much of the day. It also didn't hurt that Notre Dame was called for only two penalties... the entire day.

As for what to be optimistic about, well, I think we saw Marve settle in throughout the game. This is a guy who hadn't seen live action in nearly two years (Nov 2008). He started a little rough, but led a couple of impressive drives in the third and fourth quarters. The ND pressure caused him to rush a couple of passes, leading to INTs, but I know that I came away from this happy with what he clearly is capable of. Seeing him let fly with those long downfield attempts -- even though neither was caught -- was fun to watch. Seeing the ball aired out -- accurately -- more than 50 yards is something that Joey Elliot just, well, wasn't quite able to do. Guys like Justin Siller are going to catch those as we move forward.

Marve's touchdown was a play I loved. As NBC's Mayock pointed out, the Domers were in man-to-man and there was nobody behind the line. Marve saw this and audibled -- though I think his audible may have just been nonsense to get the defense thinking. And then he took off after the fake handoff and, well, we all saw his dive into the end zone. Sure, not the smartest thing and I'm usually one to come down on guys who do dumb things resulting in dumb penalties, BUT.... well, it wasn't that dumb.

Excessive celebration penalties came about to curb taunting. I think it's fair to say that wasn't exactly taunting. That was a kid having fun. However, I don't think you'll see him do it again.

I was also pleased with his 74% completion percentage (31 of 42) and I think that bodes well for the kind of offense run at Purdue.

On the defensive side of the ball, well, the growing pains are there. In what feels like a recurring theme (for years), the Purdue defense did not tackle particularly well. This is not good. Too many times, they had held ND to a third down and then allowed the first down to happen. That's where the games are won and lost. Giving new life and improved field position is crushing, especially in what turned out to be a fairly low-scoring game. However, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Ryan Kerrigan, who is simply the beast we all expected him to be. Early on, Mayock was pointing out that Notre Dame needed to start getting some help over there to deal with Kerrigan. Interestingly, it seemed like every time a replay was shown of Kerrigan manhandling the UND line, it prominently featured someone holding him brutally. Guess we have to get used to that.

And now, a special note to the fans.... I know many of you are loyalists. You love these guys and you already can't wait for next Saturday to show the love. However, I saw a disconcerting number of remarks on Twitter like "Is it basketball season yet?" and other similar remarks. Let me make this clear: That's something a Notre Dame or IU fan would say. Someone who doesn't support their sports teams. That's not something we do at Purdue. Again, I know most of you aren't like that... and maybe some of the people making those remarks were doing it in jest.

I still don't like it.

Remember the support the students gave the basketball team when they returned to campus after big wins? Remember how happy it looked like it made the players? Well, just imagine the football team starts seeing remarks about how we're all looking forward to basketball -- one game in. Well, how would YOU feel? Yeah, let's not discuss this again.

More later on today's game. For now, have a drink, relax and try to enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend. This, my friends, is just the beginning.


The OX said...

Another lackluster and unfocused game against a mediocre and beatable Notre Dame squad. This does not bode well for the rest of the season. This is all on Danny Hope. Morgan Burke needs to wake up and fire him before he can do extended damage to the program and we get a run like the 80s with Akers and Colletto.

Ben C said...

I'll own up to tweeting "Is it basketball season yet?" You're right that it's not a very supportive thing to say. It's also not unreasonable for fans to express frustration in what is essentially a real-time communication medium. Frustration or no, serious fans will be right back in it next weekend. Those who aren't? To hell with them.

Now to the game. I was pretty happy with the defense, especially considering how green the secondary is. This will be a pretty solid unit by the end of the season if they can keep improving. The offense was a bit of a let-down, although I'm confident it will improve, too. Marve was much better at the end than at the beginning. I absolutely LOVED seeing those deep passes, and I can't wait to see them in person next weekend.

jfiandt said...

I'm a firm believer in giving a coach 3 years to prove himself. The first thing I saw was a team that was obviously adjusting. A new O-line meant Marve was going to run alot. The O-line is a work in progress. The defense tackled well to start, lost it, and then did it again. kerrigan is a beast. However, we caused three fumbles that were receovered by ND. Take 2 of those away, and this game may have been different. Third, we were starting a 3rd string RB and a converted WR at HB. With a learn-on-the-fly O-line, we were going to have issues. Danny has had a number of things to change in a short period of time and all the while, has had to deal with serious personnel deficiencies. Coach Fitgerald had a bad 2 years but his effort and poise has led Northwestern to bowl games. Hope will do the same. This team is a work-in-progress and, as I recall, ol' Matt Painter had some issues his first 2 seasons too. Year 3 is the year I expect things to get much better. So enough of this fire Hope crap. We got spoiled with Tiller's fast start. A little patience is required, otherwise shut the hell up.

Ryan F said...

Thanks for the optimistic post, J. I have seen way too many Doom and Gloom projections based on today's results. It's one game, against a respectable team, in a very tough location to win.

People like OX up there need to relax and realize that this team has potential, and will live up to it as they grow up.

Ben C said...

I'm not sure Danny Hope will end up being the best coach in Purdue history, but I'm fine with what he's done so far. Last year's team played better than most people expected and this year should be better. Would you have fired Matt Painter after one season?

Ryan said...

Our offense just still seems too predictable. Short passes, we run it 90% of the time when we are under center, and we don't take enough shots downfield. All have been staples of a Purdue offense. I hope this changes as Marve gets some more experience.

I also hope we stop running bootlegs so often. I know our line is not the best but you can't boot on the majority of your pass plays, it takes away half the field. Often time it takes away more than that depending on how far the QB rolls.

Our tackling was better than last year, seemed to be mostly over pursuing that caused guys to have to dive (creating "arm tackles")because they were out of position or went to the A gap when the play was in the B gap.

Let's get'em next week! Boiler Up!

Brad said...

This team fought all game -- they just didn't have it.

On defense I'm not even that upset by the run D. It wasn't a lack of tackling, it was being out of position. The D line was stunting too much to try to get to Crist, and too often getting in their own way. I saw a couple instances where their stunt allowed one ND O-lineman to block 2 Boilers. That allowed them to outman us at the second level. We'll fix that at the scheme level and by executing our stunts better.

The OL, though, was terrible. They couldn't pass-block long enough to give Marve time on 3-step drops, and even when we would roll him out, had trouble blocking the playside DE, leaving him scrambling for his life. Run blocking was terrible too. We had a few decent runs on delayed handoffs, but when we lined up and tried to run the ball, couldn't count on it.

The OL play frankly lost the game for us.

The good news is that Hope, as a former OL coach, has the pedigree to fix this problem. The better news is we've got 3 weeks to dine on cupcakes to solidify the rotation. We'll need it, because there's a lot of work to be done.

Rick said...

1. We have a excellent quarterback that can stretch the field for the first time in years assuming we can get Siller/Cortez to catch the ball.
2. Kerrigan
3. Talented Freshmen that will contribute
4. Keith Smith

1. Special Teams - does this sound familiar?
2. Dierking is not the answer. McBurse looks tentative.
3. Run Defense does not look improved. ND ran the same play that Oregon killed us on.

We should win the next several games handily and we will have a better handle on what this team is capable of. I am struggling a little bit with the constant roll outs. It limits Marve to half the field and basically says we do not have confidence in the O-Line.

J Money said...

To be fair, special teams looked better to me than some of last year's games... remember all the ridiculous fumbling?

For those calling for Coach Hope's head or giving up already, let's also remember there's something about that craphole stadium that affects Purdue... one win there since '74. Drew Brees went 0-2. It's not just Hope's boys.

Rick said...

That's not saying much!!

Michael said...

Why in the world would you not chastise Marve for his 15 yard penalty? Like the announcers stated, no one around, down by 9, in the 4th quarter. This place on the first drive? Ok. First half? Ok. Then and there in the 4th, hurt the game. Couple that penalty with the kick return they were in Purdue's territory at the 45 instead of nd's 40.

In a case like what occured, the field position is not negated unless Purdue scores. He gave nd good field position on the return. nd then put them within the 10 after the punt as opposed to the 25. The penalty pushed them back to the 5 as opposed to the 20. Purdue punted and I believe on that possession nd kicked a 39 yard fg instead of 54, that made the game a 2 possession game instead of 1 (td + 2 pt conv.)

That lapse of judgmenet was huge. Purdue has a good history of qb's, but we also have had some misses (Hance, Kirsch). I feel that penalty screwed the way the game was played from there on out and gave the upper hand to nd. Some may make the argument that those bombs should have been caught by the wr's. Thats a performance argument, Marve's penalty had nothing to do with a play. He did not respond to a cheap shot by an opposing player. He made a leap after he was already in the end zone.

Anonymous said...

Fire Hope? Bench Marve? When's basketball season? Ridiculous sentiments after one game fellas. Are we men or Hoosier fans? Let's regroup and put it all together in the coming weeks.

Anonymous said...

If people want to crack on Marve for the penalty, so be it. But the two interceptions, one in field goal range and one in the red-zone, was the difference in the game. The first one was particularly irritating because he stared down the receiver the whole way a la Curtis Painter!! Crist may not have been great, but he was better than Marve today. That was the difference.

Bryan said...

I, for one, am still standing by Hope. I don't understand why people wanted him gone last season. Even though it was a losing season, the biggest problem was just holding on to the ball - that responsibility falls on the players (especially on punts/kickoffs). Not much Hope could have done.
As for the game today, I am proud of Purdue for not giving up. There were problems with the O-line and running backs. If Marve would have had more time to throw the ball, the game would have been much closer, or possibly a win. But, like I said before, this team did not give up. Game 1, at Notre Dame, lots of hype for them, and down a couple scores in the 4th. They kept playing.
Marve's penalty, though...I'm glad the coaching staff didn't get on his case at that time (from what we saw). I'm pretty sure Hope is going to rip him a new one, since he is the leader of the team. That was crap he would pull prior to transferring. We can't have him start that now, and I'm sure Hope will let him know all too well about it. I wouldn't be surprised if Henry starts next week for a couple downs, just to send a message to him.

Ben said...

Marve's penalty was embarrassing 1) it's an endzone. Pretend you've been there before. 2) It put the team in awful field position the rest of the is a game of attrition and that penalty helped seal their fate. The bootleg wasn't run because they thought it to be a neat was a necessity to give receivers enough time to get open as Marve had no time to throw the ball as there was no pocket. Our linebackers looked a step behind on every play...and don't seem to play downhill. They don't attack the football. They wait for it and chase it so it seems. Marve has potential, definitely. I loved what I saw in Rob Henry. Would have loved to see more packages with him involved. He is a game changer.

The OX said...

Bryan, I don't know what game you were watching. This team failed to show up until the 4th quarter. If it wasn't for an Irish fumble on their 5 this game wouldn't have been close. More unfocused an undisciplined play from the Boilers and that is directly on Hope. It's not like he was handed a program that needed a complete rebuild. Last year's team should have been to a lower bowl game. Hope clearly doesn't have the stones to be the Purdue head coach.

Jeffobocko said...

Are you insane? The 2008 team that preceded Hope was 4-8 and 2-6 in the conference. Last year they were 5-7 and 4-4. This year starts off with a loss at Notre Dame with a new QB, new DBs and the RB from last year is hurt.

Maybe you are a Michigan fan that happened to comment on the wrong site. Now there is a coach that was handed a team that didn't need much rebuilding and they have had two terrible years.

We have only beaten ND in South Bend once since 1975. Hope doesn't have the stones? What does that mean in this context? Give him a break. We didn't even get blown out. Complain that the team played badly. That makes sense. They didn't play that well. To say that Hope should be fired for losing by 11 points at Notre Dame is ridiculous.

This is what I hate about college football. There are too many fans that think their team should win every game and complain that the coach should be fired if they don't. Every team has fans like this.

I'm all for thinking big and expecting great things, but if all you want to do is complain and call for coaches to be fired after losing one freaking game by the exact point spread margin, then why do you even follow the team? If the team has to win every game and play perfectly for you to be happy, why bother? I get mad and disappointed when we lose and play badly, but have some perspective.

IceT said...

I have only one complaint about the coaching staff: I thought our play calling was predictable, uninspired, and lacked sensible logic at crucial times during the game (i.e. not running the ball on 4th and 1). Another point, it's always important for the Offense to be in rhythm. Except for a handful of drives today, we had none. That will come with time though. Marve is fine (and appears to have unlimited upside)...there is nothing wrong w/ Coach Hope. This team could still win 8 or 9 games people. Everyone wanting to jump ship should just STFU!

IceT said...

Aside from Ohio State, who will Purdue play that has more talent than nd? As much as it sucks to admit, nd is chalked full of studs on both sides of the ball. We were just out manned in the trenches, plain and simple

dozer8589 said...

Wow, settle the F- down everyone. This was one game, the first of 12 games. This Boiler squad is fast and talented, but inexperienced. The way everyone is acting, maybe next year we should open against Townsen and boatrace them by 50 - would that make everyone feel better?! Geez.

I feel very, VERY sorry for Western Illinois next week.


The OX said...

Chalked full of studs? Charlie left the cupboard bare. This is a very mediocre and beatable Irish team. It's as if people have compketely forgotten about last year. That team should have been bowl bound had it not been for the poor coaching. And yes, I consider it poor coaching when a team consistently finds new ways to blow games. This Purdue team played uninspired and listless football for 3 quarters and if it wasn't for a gift of a turnover by the Irish would have been blown out of the stadium. I'm sure everybody will be on board the bandwagon after three straight weeks of cupcakes, but make no mistake...once this team hits decent competition there're going to fold like a cheap tent. Fire Danny Hope.

BG said...

I was really proud of our boilers today. I think our linemen need to just stay low as they were getting stood up by a D-line with better positioning. However, ND for the first time in over a Decade has a good coach.

I was totally impressed with our secondary as compared to last years group. I did get sick of seeing pierce #72 getting blown up all day but when will we see a defense like this, not until we are in mid-season form and much improved.

I did miss Bolden today :( Dan is a stud but man the burst just isn't there. It's so nice to have a reliable WR. I was impressed with our D-line besides just Ryan K who as mentioned before (by others) is awesome.

Kyle Adams has great hands but needs to learn how to block!

I hate ND but this is the first year they actually looked respectable and I think they will have a good year which will make this bowl run look even better at the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

so Purdue loses and all you guys can do is resort to making fun of IU fans? weak.

boilerdowd said...

Ox, according to Rivals & Scout, UND has around 45 4-star players on the roster and an additional 4 5-star players in the starting 22.

I'd say that's chocked-full of talent.

Sure, one 5-star QB left...he was replaced by another. And one 5-star receiver left...and now their primary target is another 5-star and a 4-star...along with a 5-star TE.

Get on that site right away...the domain name isn't taken now, but I'm sure it will be soon if you don't act soon!!

The OX said...

Boilerdowd, at what point are you going to admit that Purdue's preparation was inadequate for today's game? Notre Dame was featuring a team that was just as inexperienced at key positions as Purdue was. Even last year, Hope was consistently out coached and Purdue seemed ill prepared. Same goes for today. At a certain point, you have to stop using the 5 star player excuse and start looking at the real reason Purdue has failed to execute for the last year plus, and that's on Danny Hope. He was clearly in over his head last year and this year has shown no differently. Unfortunately we'll be stuck with this clown for at least two more years after this. Unfortunate, but Morgan Burke isn't one to bail on a contract early.

Jeffobocko said...

OX, you have changed my mind. I'm going to get my millionaire friends together and were going to buy out Hope's contract. Then we are going to throw so much money at Nick Saban that he will come and be our coach. Saban will have the stones to be our coach.

Then we will not need the other team to give us turnover gifts. In fact, when we get Saban we will institute a new rule: if the other team makes a mistake and gives us a turnover, we will give the ball back to them. We would hate to win games because of other teams' mistakes. That would be a sign of weakness.

The OX said...

Jeff, you would actually have to start winning games to make that rule, wouldn't you? Who cares about Nick Saban? Morgan Burke has a great track record of finding great young coaches with large amounts of upside. I have a great deal of trouble trying to reconcile how Danny Hope fits into that model, as I've seen no upside from him at all. Last year was an absolute disaster in terms of preparation and game coaching, and this year doesn't look much better.

It's ok to admit that Danny Hope isn't the guy to lead this university's football program.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying you're the only person that thinks that way OX, but you look like a damn fool saying it after one game. ND hasn't been the best team in the last few years, but they're certainly not the bottom of the barrel you're trying to make them out to be. We were all worried about this game, especially with it being away AND the season opener. Step away from ledge, we'll be okay.

Ryan F said...

No, hobbes, I'd rather have this moron jump off the ledge.

The OX said...

Ryan F, keep drinking that kool aid!

Purdue Matt said...

I was pleased with Marve's play. The completion percentage was good despite not having the support of a running game. I liked the dive into the endzone. He was excited to score a TD after 2 years off from football.

ND gets away with so much holding at home its ridiculous. Everytime Allen ran around the offensive tackle the DE was nowhere to be seen.

Purdue Matt said...


those deep balls were absolutely gorgeous throws right on the money and should have been caught. One the first Cortez broke stride and then just missed it. On the second Siller got two hands on it. If those are caught it could have easily been tied 23-23.

J Money said...

I blame those drops on Danny Hope.