My day started with an e-mail from my pal and co-BS editor J asking a simple question that had been asked to him- Have you heard any rumor of Hummel being injured?
I hadn't...and if there's one thing I've learned as a Purdue fan this season, it's that these rumors usually don't mean much. Oh wait, no I haven't learned that. I've learned they're pretty much always true...but worrying about something that I couldn't control wouldn't do me any good. So the BDowd family headed to God's Country for homecoming.
Perfect day- sunny, warm, but not hot, a ton of friends in town to see our alma mater play...Love days like this.
Purdue wore throw-back uniforms that kind of looked more like knock-offs, to me. The colors weren't quite right, the numbers were too small, the stripes on the sleeves weren't the right shape and the icons on the jersey all seemed to be the wrong size. Nike had done it again- just as they had for the Alstott throwback- they had butchered it. But, Purdue paid homage to the BT Co-champ team from a decade ago...and unlike in Pasadena, our Boilers won with roses through the P on the side of the helmet. I guess it kinda helped that they were playing Minnesota and not New Weasel's Huskies.
The game started in pretty-horrible fashion. Both teams seemed to be locked in a battle of who could move the ball less. Three-and-out, three-and-out, FIVE-and-out...etc.
But, eventually, Purdue's o-line started making space, Nord called a few zingers and Dan Dierking made Minny look mini. Danny D finished the day averaging more than 10yds/carry on 12 carries and Henry had an efficient 57 yards rushing...with 3 TDs. The last time a Purdue QB did that, J hadn't yet been born.
Purdue also passed the ball a bit better than last week- Henry was 13/20 w/ 163 yard, 1 TD, 1 Int. Not horrible...definitely better than what we saw in Evanston. But, as a starter, he's now 2-0. The bestest stat of all.
Back to that rumor about Rob's injury. It was all confirmed via multiple sources as Purdue was beginning to take control of the game on the field...and you could feel it throughout RossAde. Purdue was manhandling their opponent, but it was quiet in the concourses and restrooms. I even saw a grown man crying about it- no joke. Granted, all of us felt like crying or vomiting then crying...but most of us didn't do it.
The salve in the Purdue family's massive would was this homecoming game. Honestly, I don't think it wasn't enough to make us feel better, but I'm kinda glad I was in Ross Ade when I got the news...and it would have been much worse had Purdue lost.
But, this Minnesota team looked as bad in person as the rumors told us they were. They made bad decisions, shot themselves in the foot time and time again, their receivers dropped a ton of passes (particularly, former Purdue recruit Marquis Gray) and their white helmets looked stupid.
If you screw with a school's uniforms, I think the alums generally think, it's OK if you're winning. Brewster wasn't. And another rumor that was circulating before the game is now reality- Tim Brewster is out...kinda...following their loss in West Lafayette today. You know what's worse than an interim coach? An interim coach that's already been fired. Nice work, Minnesota Athletic Dept!
Here are some of the noteworthy things I saw today:
-Antavian Edison looked like he was controlled via the R1 button a few times today. On more than one play, he was surrounded by Gophers, then juked one direction, then the opposite to escape nearly untouched.
-Henry's poise is impressive. He seems to be confident when he breaks the huddle and tends to just make good decisions. Plus, his offense looks to be improving each week. In today's game, they scored a TD/qtr...solid.
-Kerrigan is a bad dude...you all knew that already, but holy crap does he hit hard...and gets held EVERY SINGLE PLAY. Plus, he was the victim of a simply horrible personal foul call late in the game. This, following an absurd no-call after Henry took a knee and then was popped by a Minnesota D lineman...with no call made.
What next transpired was pretty great. The anger that Purdue fans had built up was taken out on the officials as the Ross Ade faith reminded the officials for a solid 5 minutes how bad these two calls were.
-Coach Hope made another lousy play call at the end of the first half. With Purdue up by 14 and Minnesota not able to move the ball effectively, Hope and Co. decided to kick a field goal instead of going for the 4th and 1 from the 1 yard line.
I love Hope's ability to motivate and stay positive...but some of the questionable Xs & Os decisions are infuriating. There seems to be one-or-so a game.
Speaking of Hope- where are our pals who have been calling for him to be fired? I guess we'll see you guys next week?
-GBI and a few post-game radio shows remarked about how lucky Purdue got on a few plays this afternoon...true. But, much of that luck was a result of Goldy's poor coaching and Purdue doing some things well. Our Boilers are hitting much harder, seem to be spaced better, are blocking better (both on the line and on the outside) and seem to be playing inspired.
-Rob Henry and OJ Ross were able to do what hadn't been done up to this point in the season- connect on a deep ball...that's a good sign.
-Purdue's DBs are now catching most of the interception opportunities given to them- I think there was one dropped ball, but the defensive backfield is getting better at taking advantage of QB mistakes.
-Do you think Urban Meyer actually did retire after he decided to come back? UF now has 3 losses and will assuredly be unranked in this week's poll.
-Michigan's now 1-2 in the BT. If they drop another next week, will Jim Harbaugh be asked if he's available after the first of the year? Was anything less-surprising than Robinson getting hurt v. Iowa? For a guy his size taking that man shots, it's amazing he's taken as many snaps this season as he has.
-With MSU continuing to play as they have and aOSU losing easily in Madison, who's your prediction for BT champ at this point?
-If you saw the aOSU game, you watched Pryor while like a lil' baby for a full quarter. Do you think this is isolated or will his attitude problems continue throughout the season?