Saturday, October 30, 2010

Season Over?


The biggest question is whether the question mark should be in the post title or not.

The Boilers were humiliated for the second straight weekend, and while we didn't have a great feeling about this game, we definitely expected a more competitive effort. Purdue was outplayed in every way and yet I didn't feel like Illinois looked particularly impressive in any area. That' you say... not good. 93-10 over the last two weeks... that's no bueno. Even the most loyal are furious.

Just some observations and then we open it up to you because, really, how much about this game do you really want to read?

-- How much worse could they have looked with Siller at QB? I know you want to get Robinson some reps and that's fine once the game is effectively over, but going in at 4-3, this was a critical game if Purdue wants to go to a bowl game. You need to do everything you can to win. I think Siller would have been a better option...he at least should have been tried for a while when the offense looked putrid and it became apparent that Rob Henry's already limited throwing ability was even more inhibited.

-- The offense was embarrassing. Draw plays on fourth and 3? Draw plays on... everything? Three first downs in the first half? Granted, as b-dowd said to me, Purdue has no QBs right now who can complete passes and no receivers who can catch them. Not the best combo.

-- Kicking a FG to avoid being shut out? Seriously, what kind of message is this? Who gives a sh-t if you lose 37-0 instead of 37-3? You go for it on fourth down with 11 minutes to go in the game down 37 points. You don't kick a field goal, I'm sorry. That is embarrassing to me. Yay, we scored! Humiliating.

-- B-dowd text to me that was quite true: "The 'Fire Hope' camp has some traction now." Indeed. And with rumors out there about Minnesota getting Sumlin, well, the dark days may be ahead. Hate to say it and be so negative, but this team looks listless. Losing is one thing... you can talk about injuries and whatnot. But getting absolutely embarrassed a couple of weeks in a row (and with Wisc and MSU still to come this year)

-- Two lost fumbles today, so special teams ugliness rearing its ugly face again. Gravesande drops one and falls on it, then they use McBurse, who fumbles one away. Earlier, a kick bounces off Holland and winds up going to the Illini. The latter happened when it was only 7-0 and led to the 14-0 score and Purdue having basically one possession in the first quarter. Awesome. Look, mistakes happen, no doubt. But the mistakes Purdue is making are absolutely crippling. This team isn't good enough to win right now without mistakes... toss in some sloppy play, poor tackling, blown coverages (when was the last time you saw a WR as open as Illinois had on their third TD?)...where does it end? And the big thing here is that a lot of those can be blamed on the coaching. Poor preparation leads to poor execution.

I'm not sure what else to say. Oh, sure, there's a lot I could bitch about, but what's the point? You don't want to read any more and get any more depressed. We think the season is probably over. Is there anything to make you think they can beat anyone left on their schedule? My thought right now is that they'll surprise us and pull out one we don't expect them to but I honestly can't see two more wins.


chops1221 said...

Isn't Siller still injured?

boilerdowd said...

He was on the sideline and in uniform, but yeah, he's still injured. Should be available next week, supposedly.

boilerdowd said...

(hope he can play on both sides of the ball)

Jumpndunk42 said...

Yeah Siller's still injured.....and I am pissed with everything too, but I just constantly have to remind myself: how would I like being coach with a 5th string QB, depleted WRs, less than 80% healthy RBs and a very young secondary?????? If we can't get anything going next year....then I'll join the Hope Haters.

(Side note...2 weeks in a row we get crappy turnovers during special teams that completely change the momentum/mind set in the game)

Ross McLochness said...

Where do you go from here?

-Ticket sales at Ross-Ade will be abysmal.
-Enthusiasm will be tepid at best. Most people will just want to beat Indiana and tailgate.
-Recruiting will follow the familiar story: "Why sit the bench at Winning Team X when you can come to Purdue and STAR!" (Though really, who was our last big-time recruit?)
-We're still be the height of mediocrity winning/losing at least 4 games a year.

At least we can finally bury "basketball on grass."

I'm loyal, Purdue. But current circumstances aren't making this easy.

The OX said...

I didn't expect much from the offense. It's well documented what the coach has to work with right now. I see no improvement on the D and special teams, and those are areas right now in the season we should have expected improvement by now. They're just not getting any better.

I see maybe one decent quarter a game from this team now (the second was pretty good from a D standpoint), but there is a clear lack of effort and direction with this team. I can see clearly where this year is heading (already at trainwreck status), but given the lack of talent and coaching I've seen, I really fear for the next two years. They aren't going to be pretty.

zlionsfan said...

So at this point we know that there's definitely a line in the conference somewhere, and Purdue can't compete with anyone above the line: that obviously includes Illinois and Ohio State and presumably includes Wisconsin and Michigan State as well. Michigan and Indiana both have good offenses and bad defenses ... but unless the Boilers can cut out the big mistakes, I can't see those as wins either. Even if Purdue does end up winning them, they'll probably end up getting hammered in a bowl game. (Then again, given what's happened so far, I think just making a bowl game would be a huge win.)

What I hope to see the rest of the season is good play from young, returning players, something to look forward to for next season. Hope needs to be thinking about next year - not to the point of unnecessarily burning redshirts, but at least rotating young backups in to get significant game experience.

I also hope to see some coaching changes in the offseason. Not Hope, not yet, but there should be people available who can make a difference in one aspect of the team ... and really, would we believe that health is the only problem Purdue has this season?

jfiandt said...

Leinie's Oktoberfest draft tastes so good right now. My Row Boat of Optimism sprung a leak and I had to ditch her Captain Jack Sparrow-style. So long girl, you were great for the brief ride we were on together.

So, considering we're Purdue and Burke is our AD, the big picture must be kept front-and-center.

1. Hope will remain HC for contract length unless off-field issues rear ugly head and there are dead hookers in everyone's trunks, (T-Mill reference).

2. Talent disparity again is a huge issue. Northwestern got de-pantsed a few times in the Fitz era, but hardly 2 times in a row. Our offense is not solid enough at most skill positions to be tricky or even consistent and our defense is tepid at best with special teams rolling out the proverbial wheelchair to complete our crippled team status. Bad news, yes. we stink right now. Good news is we only have a few games left and this young team will have a bad taste in its collective mouth. How they react after that is up to the coaching staff.

3. Staff changes. I predicted that Emmanuel's hiring meant Landholm will bow out gracefully after this season. I think all would agree Gibboney should be right in front of him. I will also throw out that Hagen needs to go as well. Our linebacking corps. has not been a strength since 2004. Call it lack of talent, lack of healthy bodies or whatever, but the consistent variable is Hagen and he needs to pack it up.

4. Patience. I will keep stressing this, but Tiller soured realistic expectations when he came out roaring to some great seasons his first 3 years. Danny Hope was left with some big shoes to fill and has shown some head-scratching attemtps to fill them. I've got to believe he isn't as inept as some say, so I'm waiting on how this year and next pan out before I make a decision there.

So take heart, suck it up, and let's remember that we aren't let's not act like it.

Robert said...

You know with how explosive Michigan's offense is, and watching IU's play pretty good today, if we don't step up on D (outside of Kerrigan, Short, and Jason W.) we are going to get clobbered.

I am optimistic that Siller warmed up with the QB's today and hopefully gets some play next weekend. I like Henry, but a change has GOT to be made if we want to go to a bowl game. Perfect time to bring Siller in for a home rematch vs. a Michigan team that he won Offensive Player of the week against 2 years ago. Yes that was two years ago, but talent like that doesn't evaporate over night. He was coming in off of a position switch and had about the same amount of time to get ready at QB and put on a show.

We shall see, the way the coaching has been I doubt Siller will even see any snaps in game.

Who knows.

John said...

Saw an awful lot of sloppy play - that late hit in the second quarter was inexcuseable - and a lot of mental errors. I am not calling for Hope's job, but you gotta wonder about all the mental mistakes. Torn ACL's do not lead to sloppy play and mental errors.

Chris said...

It's pretty bad. Sometimes I feel like they should be playing the Yakety Sax music while Purdue is playing. Best description of Purdue came on twitter today:

"Purdue football is the French Army in WW1. Just an old dude with a mustache watching young men get shot to pieces."

In all seriousness, I hope they improve, but not sure where I see the two wins to bowl eligibility would be. And, if you assume the injuries will be gone, it *seems* like Purdue will be better next year, but the question is whether you give Hope that chance. The offense is depleted but the defense has no excuse.

Going into the year I knew it would be a building year and the thought was that year 3 was the test for Hope: More of his guys, years of experience, as this year's team is so young. But not being competitive can shorten the leash, and the life can bleed out of a program.

I guess we'll see, but let's say we don't win anymore games, or maybe only beat IU, and that we're not competitive otherwise. Can you fire a guy only two years in? Should you? Clearly, if next year is no better I think Hope is done.

Realistically I think we've got the guy for another year and he either wins over his team and the fans (preferably by winning games) or that's it. Get the shortlist ready. But I think we're stuck with him until then. God let's hope we improve.

Daggio said...

I think it is ludicrous to talk about firing Hope given all the injuries prior to this week. Did you want to play Siller while he is still injured and tank the balance of the season. Your blog should be renamed Boiled Senseless to match your mental state and loyalty to Purdue.

Ben C said...

I think Hope has turned out to be a bad hire, but I agree he gets a pass on this season. There have been too many injuries to skill players for any coach to handle.

What gets me is the failure of the defense (especially the experienced linebackers) and the special teams (for which was have a coach!!!) to help make up for it.

If there's not significant improvement next year, then we'll see a lot of calls for Hope to go away -- and I won't object.

Handel said...

Seriously Daggio? What is the current balance of this football team? I guess I do agree we are "balanced" due to the fact that our offense is putrid (injury affected) and our defense hasn't improved. We can go back to the NW and Minnesota games and think that our defense got better (and they did perform rather well) but NW also played a horrible offensive and special team game and minnesota is more hapless than us. I don't think we expected to beat OSU but to give up 42 points to them in the first half is unacceptable in a major conference D1 school (yes I know the offense didn't give the defense anytime to rest blah blah blah- you have to make stops on 3rd and long). Illinois pretty much just did the same thing to us, they didn't even overpower us they just ran around us. Mind you, this is the same defense that allowed Toledo to drop 30+ on us. We might have some good front line players, but the D as a whole is pretty soft, and there really hasn't been a swagger or confidence on the D. Maybe they try to instill the swagger but they forget to instill the teaching and schemes behind it. All I know that that side of the ball hasn't had major injuries yes they have youth (although having experience doesn't mean squat if you're not taught correctly and execute correctly. See Defense 2005, and 2009) but it seems like they are as clueless as the D-coordinator.

So yes we have balance of "slim" and "none" which equals oblivion (or if you're a washed up boxer who likes to bite ears, "Bolivia"), a place that this season and our fans hopes are fading into. Sorry that the "Boiled Senseless" guys aren't trying to ask a question to try anything to shake up this team.

Ryan said...

Clean house. Including Burke.

ChicagoBoiler said...

I understand everyone's frustration, but sadly my emotional connection to Purdue football fizzled out some time ago... not sure when. But with Tiller's lame effort in his late years and the "Ho Hum" hiring of a guy like Hope, I've lost interest in something I used to love. You know who I really felt sorry for today? Even though Disney is a big corporate giant, I felt sorry for them for wasting an ESPN2 time slot on this game when so many other programs deserve it more. Purdue Basketball starts Tuesday night on the BTN friends! :-)

Ben said...

I know we've had injuries....but I see teams from all across the country playing football with true freshmen and they are having success. It would appear our talent depth is not yet deep enough to field a competent team.

Our defense has given up a ton of points, but how many times has special teams/ turnover after a defensive stop...and you end up putting a tired defense back out onto the field. The defense will continue to struggle as long as special teams and draw/option keeper offense continues to put it in bad spots.

I try to picture how this team would play with a healthy lineup and I don't know that we look too much different. I'm not saying they aren't game changers...but they aren't. They're hurt.

dozer8589 said...

I understand Hopes' predicament with a limited roster and all, but one thing I saw today bewildered me:

Everyone in the stadium knew Henry was hurt, and may not be able to throw. So why did we continually put Henry in for two running plays and then on 3rd and long send Robinson in to throw a pass? I was predicting "run" or "pass" with 100% accuracy in the first half - today's offense made me look like Brock Spack (the good one, when his defenses were awesome).

While McBurse did fumble, I can't blame him. The defense saw Henry was in, knew a run was coming, and blasted the runner - eezy-peezy-football, pleezy.

I am willing to give Hope a chance, but c'mon, Coach - you have to at least try a LITTLE.

J Money said...

Daggio, just so I'm clear....we're senseless and disloyal because we don't want to accept embarrassing efforts? I would argue demanding something better is common sense as well as being very loyal. Lack of loyalty would be simply be not being a fan anymore.

To paraphrase another commenter, injuries don't lead to sloppy, uninspired play.

MrAnonymous said...

God, I get so mad when I read some of these blogs and comments/

Hey, I know that everyone is upset, but talk of firing the coach is silly. Really, what did you think was going to happen today? We are playing QB #3, who cannot thow because of a hand injury, and using #4 to throw, who is obviously extremely green. Teams know what they are getting based on who is behind center. Watching the game, it is obvious that we cannot get anything going due to injuries. When Henry is in, the other team knows that is a run, when Robinson is in, it's an incomplete pass. You guys complain about the play calling, but really, given this, what are you going to do?

It sounds like you guys have some really unreasonable expectations. Injuries not leading to sloppy play? What, can we just plug in green, inexperienced pieces and expect everything to run without a hitch? Really? Oh, come on guys! How? How do green, inexperienced pieces come together?

How would the game look if Illinois was down to QB#3, RB#3, and depleted wide receivers? Or, if we had Marve, Bolden, and Smith? If the playing field was more even? Guys with experience, have a lot of practice, lot of Big Ten game time behind your belt.

Again, what exactly did you think was going to happen?

Now, I will admit that I know less about football than most on this board. But, I do know that the scales are tipped heavily against our boilers.

Jeff Stine said...

It's funny that people rip on the defense when they completely fail to acknowledge the impact that the offense and special teams have on their success.

Purdue had the ball for 10:15 in the firt half and had 64 total yards of offense. 7 of Purdue's first 8 possessions lasted less than 2:00.

The defenses charge was to be essentially perfect and frankly, while missing a senior (Werner) and 2 juniors (Evans and Eargle), that's just too much to ask. They did still manage to hold Illinois to 3 three and outs and 1 four and out of the 7 first half possessions. Giving up 186 yards in a half (and 390 for the game) when your offense can't do dick and your special teams give the opponent the ball in great field position is just too much to ask this defense.

Kevin said...

I don't care what side of the fence you are on. That picture says it all.

jfiandt said...

I don't think firing Hope is the answer. In fact, few logical posters and followers of this great site throw that out there. I've never stated it was even an option unless off-field matters get out of hand.

With that said, the effort was lukewarm. The offense is hampered. The defense had SEVERAL chances to get off the field today and did not. How many more 3rd and long conversions must we see before someone gets a clue as to how to defend against the pass acorss the middle? The penalties and mental errors also contributed to this ugly display of dog vomit.

Hope is mad. Watch the post-game. The guy knows he's up against it and is frustrated that at every turn, the team is getting slammed. I'm glad to see some vinegar come out of him, quite honestly, but the team just looks bad. What happens these next few weeks will determine how he will handle the team down the road. If he fails, then let the whispering begin. If the team shows some grit and we don't give the game away, we have a puncher's chance. I'll take that.

We're all frustrated. We all want to see the team succeed. But remember, we're not playing the game and it's easier to hurl criticism and be know-it-alls from where we sit. Stand behind the team because they need us to be there. Love 'em or leave 'em...they're one of us.

Boiler UP!

boilerdowd said...

We are not, nor have not suggested Hope should be fired. We are absolutely saying that the argument against the coach is getting stronger. Back-to-back uncompetitive losses don't help people like me who defended him. Make no mistake, he's not going anywhere at the end of this season...even if they lose all remaining games in similar fashion. Seems pretty possible right now.

Bloomington.Boiler said...

I'm cool with Hope getting fired.

Boilergal said...

I can't even bring myself to get upset about Purdue football losses this year, anymore. We have too many injuries to even think about winning another game, except MAYBE IU. The fire Hope crowd in insane and has unrealistic expectations about how a college football team in the middle of rebuilding is supposed to respond to losing their #1 RB, mulitple WRs (including an NFL-caliber receiver), the top 2 QBs (playing with an injured 3rd-stringer and freshman 4th-stringer), multiple defensive players. Get real people, realize that the rest of this season is about getting younger kids experience. Yes, I would like to see some more intensity, but geez, it is definitely natural to be a bit down after all that has already happened. Move on, keep cheering, but quit it with the constant bitching and moaning. Basketball is almost here... but wait, we all have to constantly bitch and moan about that also! Let's just hope that Painter and the players have a different attitude and expectations that the sourpuss fans that have nothing positive to add to the conversation.

zlionsfan said...

Even if Burke were considering it (I think from what we know he's not - he won't want to buy out Hope's contract), what good would it do? The players we'll have next season aren't necessarily going to be any better for another coach, and if the next coach uses a different system, it may not work with some of the players we have now. How would we react to a year or two of transition after this season?

And who would want this job at that point? As it is, it's a challenging situation: take a second-tier team and compete in one of the toughest conferences in the country, with 5-7 Top 25 teams every year vying for bowl bids (good thing Pelini's turned around Nebraska, right?). The AD doesn't like to pay well, oh, and by the way, the last guy got fired two years into his contract.

The right guy can change some of that. (Maybe even the part about Burke being tight-fisted ... I guess we'll see what happens with Painter.) But it's not going to happen next season, not the way things are now. Let's see what happens between now and the 2011 opener. Hope will have to make some changes somewhere, players will get healthy, and maybe he'll find the right buttons to push to grab one or two more wins this season.

Hope's been here two years; in another year, a good portion of the team will have been recruited by him. If his players and his assistants aren't starting to get results the way we expect a Purdue team to get them (i.e. not like they do it in the SEC), then maybe Burke needs to give an ultimatum. Until then, I think Hope just needs to know that we support the team, but we're expecting things to turn around eventually.

We don't want to be one of those schools that's constantly firing coaches because they can't meet unrealistic expectations ... how's that working in South Bend right now? lol. ND and Purdue could end up with the same record this season. (The Irish face Utah, Army, and USC. I doubt they'll be bowl-eligible.)

boilerdowd said...

z- you honestly believe making one fire/hire would make everyone ignore the past 50 years? It won't happen, like you said...but if this guy gets hired by Minnesota, it might be the worst mistake Burke made during his tenure.

zlionsfan said...

It doesn't happen all at once, but it does start somewhere. One out Burke might have is that Hope's only real qualification was that Tiller picked him ... there were (and are) many other candidates better qualified to coach at this level.

That link poses an interesting question. Would it take double the salary to get Sumlin out of Houston? If so, doesn't that flat-out eliminate Purdue as a possible destination? Would Burke shell out roughly double Hope's salary, even for someone who's shown he can coach somewhere in I-A?

Defense would be a question as well. Houston's defense is bad, and has been throughout Sumlin's tenure. The offense has done well enough to allow the Cougars to compete in Conference USA, but would that work against a tougher schedule? We don't have to look very far to see how a team with a terrible defense is doing: for a solid offense, look at Michigan; for an average offense, look at Indiana or Minnesota. Brewster's gone, Rodriguez is in trouble, and Lynch probably would be if football were a priority at IU.

Maybe Sumlin isn't worrying about defense because he doesn't have to. Maybe it would work here if we stole a page from The Daily Gopher and made sure he hired a competent DC.

Or maybe it wouldn't matter, at least for now. Maybe it would be fine to go 7-6 with a good offense and a terrible defense. It would be better than 4-8 with a mediocre offense and a bad defense ...

Jeff Stine said...

BD, In hindsight, one could infer that Burke should have hired Sumlin rather than Burke, but the reality is that Sumlin was essentially an unknown when Hope was hired. He had just completed his first year as a D-1 head coach and Houston went 8-5 (the same record as his predecessor's last season), including a win in the Armed Forces Bowl.

boilerdowd said...

Jeff- Sumlin was on our radar...I'd hope he was on Burke's too: