It was kind of an odd day today at Ross-Ade for me. A friend of mine who is a BSU alum took me...so I sat with the enemy. He's a good dude, so it wasn't bothersome at all. In fact, I was more surprised about Purdue's first two fluid scoring drives than he was. He was pretty positive Purdue would win by 40 or so. I told him to just wait and he'd see some evidence of Purdue's youth, lack of focus and inconsistency. I was correct.
But, unlike last week, I feel a few positive steps were taken.
-I really enjoyed seeing a Purdue offense with good rhythm, slightly-faster pace and the ability to finish drives...that was all in the first quarter too.
-Carson Wiggs was crushing the ball well into the end zone for much of the day.
-Marve looked great, some might go as far as to say, marvelous, for much of the first half...all while battling stomach flu-like symptoms...according to GBI he threw up about 5 times before the game.
-Antavian Edison ran the ball very well...and we got to see why the coaches are so excited about his athleticism.
-OJ Ross had his first college TD...more coming.
-Ross, Siller and Edison were used in a variety of formations/positions due to Purdue's shockingly-thin RB corps.
-Nord lined Henry and Marve up in the same backfield finally. The possession yielded nothing, but might have been effective had Marve not been gimpy at that point.
-Kawaan Short was a handful and nearly made another very athletic interception at the line of scrimmage.
-Purdue had its first interception of the season (finally)...Werner pulled one down after a couple of dropped gimmies earlier in the season.
-Beckford had 11 tackles and was involved in a ton of plays.
-The defense was gang-tackling quite a bit.
-Rob Henry got some good reps, still doesn't look real comfortable throwing the ball...but ran a very limited playbook as well as could be expected.
-Purdue rotated a ton of defensive backs, specifically corners into the game.
-Purdue averaged a composite 4.4 yds on the ground and mixed up the runs pretty well (until late in the game).
-The Henry-to BSU defender-to Cortez Smith TD was one of the luckiest plays I've seen in a while...it padded the stats and put some much-needed (at the time) space between Purdue and BSU on the scoreboard.
-Kevin Pamphile returned from injury to play quite a few downs and looked pretty solid.
-BSU clearly game planned to avoid 94 as much as possible...it worked for much of the game. But, Kerrigan eventually had a sack, a couple nice run stops and slapped a BSU RB out of the way before knocking their first-string QB out of the game late in the second half.
-Marve was injured yet again...this time, his surgically-repaired left knee. He tried to play through it, but his stats following the injury showed his lack of confidence in it...and during halftime warm-ups, he simply didn't step into his throws. During scrambles it looked like he simply couldn't slow himself down...he was pulled shortly after.
-Henry's accuracy as a passer was inconsistent.
-Marve's decision-making ability looked suspect again. He had a very athletic, but odd scramble in which he couldn't make his mind up about what to do before finally throwing an incomplete pass. The play in which he tweaked his knee was his call...and a lousy one at that.
-Marve missed on two long passes...one by quite a bit. This is a large hole in Purdue's offense that needs to be figured out.
-Webster and Wiggs combined for two of the worst punts, on two consecutive possessions that I've seen in a while- Webster shanked left, Wiggs shanked right.
-On one of Wiggs booming kickoffs, the coverage seemingly took a play off and allowed a 60 yard return. Wiggs along with someone else (can't remember who now) forced the BSU returner out of bounds.
-The offense seemingly-fell asleep for the middle two quarters as they couldn't do much of anything. BSU was killing Purdue in the field position battle at that point...but couldn't capitalize due to poor field goal kicking (two missed).
-Ball State had way too much success running the ball up the middle in the second half.
-Injuries continue to mount:
RB- Bolden out for season, Carlos still out with stress fracture, ATM out with turf toe, Dierking limited with bruised ribs
WR- K. Smith out for season
QB- Marve left shoulder stinger (WIU), left knee minor sprain (BSU)
DT- Brandon Taylor out (still not sure of injury)
-Gotta say it- I hated seeing Robinson warming up on the sidelines after Marve went down...I really want this guy to RS, as I'm sure everyone else does.
-They showed the Keith Smith "Boilermaker" commercial a few times during the game on the jumbotron...and the second time, showed Smith in sweats on the sidelines right after it. That made me kinda sad to see it.
Old, crotchety Purdue fans still drive me nuts.
I sat in Section 128 today and the woman next to me didn't like all of the noise I was making. That never bothers me. But, after Evans dropped an INT late in the first half, I yelled, "Come on, Al, catch the frickin' ball." Yes, I said frickin'. She turned to me and said, my language was horrible and that this was supposed to be a family atmosphere. Huh?
I have two kids...they've heard the word frickin' before. Pretty sure that's not a dirty word.
Later, I said "damn". She chastised me again. I apologized for that word and begged her to actually cheer for one, just one play. She of course didn't...but did stand for the high school bands (not the fight song, mind you) and "Shout". Then left shortly after.
Boo. Boo to everyone in the stadium who refuses to cheer for the football team, but gets excited about that milquetoast tradition between the third and fourth quarters. Booooooo to every Purdue fan who would rather tell another Boiler to be quiet rather than cheer themselves. You guys are why Purdue fans are perpetually mocked. You clowns are why Purdue only has a homefield advantage near the student section.
Do everyone a favor: Stay at home for the rest of the season.
10,000 good fans are better than 60,000 cardboard cut-outs.