Saturday, September 08, 2012

Great Performance Marred by Poor Coaching Decisions

The Purdue Boilermaker football players laid it all out on the field today in a close 20 to 17 effort.  The Boilers never stopped fighting but like so many times before, came up just short in South Bend.

Robert Marve didn’t get the start but was the difference in the game that kept the Boilers in it.  Marve was 11-18 for 119 yards and a touchdown pass.  Marve was the one moving the offense until going down with an injury at the end of the game, details still not known on his status.

Terbush went 8-19 for 79 yards, one touchdown and threw two interceptions, one of which was during a late Hail Mary attempt.

Unfortunately the story of this loss isn’t going to be how great Notre Dame is, but how horrible some of the coaching decisions were for the Boilermakers. 

After finishing the half with a 13 play 58 yard touchdown drive to tie the game, Robert Marve was benched in favor for Caleb Terbush whose best first half drive was a 13 play 58 yard drive that ended in a punt.

The fact of the matter is, Marve was leading the team and had the momentum, why bench him now?  It was a questionable decision that very well could have changed the entire landscape of the game. Sometimes I feel like Purdue has a coach that doesn’t think about anything but his game plan.  Sure, the game plan is something to follow, but if something new is working, why change it?

It’s like banging your head against a sharp point multiple times and saying, “Next time this isn’t going to bleed, I’m going with my game plan.”

Danny Hope has no idea what is going on out on the field and I'm beginning to think it might be time for him to go. Does he deserve another chance? Probably, but after countless numbers of dumb decisions, what’s the point of even “Hoping” anymore?

Complete coverage of Purdue-Notre Dame coming this evening.


zlionsfan said...

Hope rotates QBs like Isiah Thomas rotated players: OK, we're at X point in the game, you guys out, you guys in, I don't care who's hot or who's not or what the score is or who we're playing.

I hope Marve is OK, not just for his sake, but because Hope may well play the QB carousel game no matter who is healthy. I bet he is checking out his LB depth just in case he needs Robinson again.

Also, the word in the captcha is doenry. No, don't do him. Play Marve. If he's hurt, play TerBush. That's it.

MrAnonymous said...

Purdue lost by 3 on a last second field goal on the road in a stadium that Brees never won in when they were 14 point underdogs.

Is that on the coaches??

And really, Marve? He had a terrible delay of game call that left a potential TD on the field. And plenty of 3 and outs.

The Starving Guitarist said...

I disagree that he needs to go. After Marve went down against EKU grabbing his knee, I wondered if it was going to be an issue. I remember him "tweaking" it before the game in which he tore his ACL the 2nd time in 2010. Then there's what happened today. Marve is one of my favorite players, but I just don't know if he's durable enough to rely on for a whole season and I'm sure that's probably where the coaches are coming from.

2nd... this was waaayyy better than last year. And I think ND is significantly better than they were last year too. We could have pulled off an amazing upset today. If we got thrashed again maybe I'd consider how you feel about Coach Hope, but there are a ton of positives to take away from today's game. Like the fact that I really think we can compete with literally everyone left on our schedule. We may have a really good shot at winning the division, not just as a dark horse. Think about what happens to Hope's recruiting after a couple good seasons. But if you want to throw all of that out and just look at it as a loss... I dunno what to tell you.

zlionsfan said...

"Plenty of 3 and outs"? According to ESPN's play-by-play, he was in for 2 ... which happens to be the same number that TerBush was responsible for. Sure, he had the delay of game on third down at the 1. I didn't see the play, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were characteristic of a QB that doesn't have enough experience. If Hope would just pick a guy and go with him, maybe that would happen less often. Notre Dame used two timeouts in less than two minutes in the first quarter for a similar reason. And, of course, Hope could have called a timeout himself in that situation.

I don't think recruiting is the issue. Hope is bringing some decent guys in now (like O.J. Ross), and the coaching staff is making decent players out of some of them (like Kerrigan and Short). But I'm not sure Hope and Nord can get better results than this, even with significantly better players, if it's even possible to get significantly better recruits to come here. Purdue's football success seems always to come from finding undervalued high school players and "coaching them up".

Sure, it was a much better result than last year. (Maybe the Irish are a better team than in 2011. It's hard to tell - they've played two teams so far that are middling at best. Navy could turn out to be awful, and Purdue could as well, although I think that's unlikely.) But it was a winnable game, and Purdue didn't win it. The players deserve a lot of credit for playing a good game, but the coaching ... punting at the 36, swapping QBs regularly, the need for a timeout after scoring the last TD, perhaps other things that you can't tell from the pbp or box score.

Yes, I'm willing to throw all that out. I'm still not convinced that Hope can coach in the Big Ten, and the decisions I saw from the coaches today didn't change my mind. I wouldn't do it during the season, but barring the kind of season some people are expecting from the Boilers this year, I'd buy out the rest of his contract in December.

jbrunner said...

Isn't this a bit of a knee-jerk reaction only two games into the season?

This isn't least year's team...last year we would have been killed in South Bend. Our defense is a lot better and should keep us in bigger games.

Markag said...

Hope punted early in the game when we drove the ball inside the 40 yard line. I know we don't have Wiggs any more, but most coaches would have at least attempted a field goal there. If we make that field goal and everything else was the same, we go to overtime. Also, putting Terbush in after the half when Marve was running the game well cost us pretty much the entire third quarter. Terbush looked bad when he came back in at the half. He didn't look confident or like he knew what he was doing. His interception was terrible, and luckily our defense kept the irish from scoring another touchdown.

This game was a good effort from our players, but our coaches didn't do what they needed to do to win. My wife is due any day with our child, and Danny Hope's stupid decisions were giving her contractions.

KevinB said...

Whoa? I went to Boiled Sports after a Purdue game and all they could talk about was bad coaching? That is crazy. And the reason we lost was because they didn't let Marve start the second half?

Why not talk about how our team played a good Notre Dame team on the road, our defensive line was great, and now I think we have a good shot at the Leaders division. I don't know that I think our offense played well enough the whole game to win, but our defense played pretty well. Notre Dame got some help from the refs (No delay of game penalty).

Anyway, this game gave me more confidence in our coaching staff, especially the new defense. I am feeling much better about this season.

zlionsfan said...

Hope's coached 40 games at Purdue. I think that's long enough to make a decision about him.

I'm not advocating firing him now. I even gave the option of retaining him if he does produce this season. I'm saying I don't think what happened today changes my opinion of him.

I understand why other people would look at it differently. That's fine with me. I would be surprised, honestly, if all of us felt the same way about Hope at any time. I've just seen enough mediocrity at Purdue to make me expect more of it.

Jim Colletto got road wins over top-25 teams California, Illinois, and West Virginia, as well as a road tie against top-25 Wisconsin. It didn't make him a good coach. Leon Burtnett got wins against Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame in the same season. (Granted, that was 6-6 Michigan, 9-3 Ohio State, and 7-5 Notre Dame.) Etc. etc.

If you guys are optimistic about this team, that's great. I really would like you to be right. I just don't expect it. I'm not rooting against TerBush or Hope or Purdue, but if the season turns out like I'm afraid it will, I hope Burke makes the call.

BoilerRick said...

I can only assume Terbush does great in practice when the defense isn't allowed to touch him and Marve probably gets bored with practice.
But Big Ten is not strong this year and this team can accomplish a lot if given the opprotunity. The defense will continue to improve as long as we don't have to face very large receivers.
I'm optimitic

BoilerWhat said...

I am proud of the team, but do not accept moral victories.

I enjoy the college game because the mental aspect plays so much into the way the contest plays out. Momentum cannot be quantified, but is oftentimes a key component to an outcome. Coach Hope killed the momentum of this game. I don't care that halftime is 15+ minutes, the play carries over. Wtf goes into a decision to stray from the QB that brought the team back into the game?

I enjoy read Jackson Brunner's thoughts, but Coach Hope is an idiot who recruits well given his resources. In terms of achieving great success, I'm out on Coach Hope. Please prove me wrong and I will gladly eat crow.

Kevin said...

Just arrived at home after the trip to SB. I have to say this game was one of the most excruciating games to watch in person. Not only was it aggravating to deal with TV timeouts (thank you NBC), but it was almost a game of which coach can be dumber than the other. Notre Dame (read Brian Kelly) practically wanted to give this game away. Others may see it differently, but ND looked like they were in slow motion. Gholston was on a tight leash and Purdue didn’t take advantage. I lost count of the number of times we almost had too many men on the field on defense. Thank God that ND wasn’t smart enough to randomly snap the ball to take advantage of how unprepared we were. Others in the Big Ten will not be so kind.

I feel terrible for the players. They came to play, and I felt like they answered the call when they were up against it. The coaches blew this game. Say what you want about refs, and they were terrible, but we should never have been in that situation in the first place. Once Marve drove down the field with the offense, I would have scrapped Terbush for the rest of the game. That last drive before the half was one of the most exciting drives I have seen as a Boilermaker fan in a while. How about that play on 4th down to keep the drive alive? That was an awesome throw, and great catch by Crosby Wright. That drive took the wind right out of the Irish fans in the stands around me.

Once the offense went three and out at the start of the second half (Why he put Terbush in is beyond me. Dumbest call of the whole game), I thought for sure Marve would come back in. Nope. We had the pleasure of watching two more crappy drives, one of them costing us a field goal. I know Caleb redeemed himself on the 4th and 10 play, but killing that 1st half momentum did us in. Why can we never put anyone away? You could even see the frustration in the offensive line after the interception. They looked pissed, and seemed to give Caleb an earful.

The players deserve better. I know we have the talent. That was evident. Unfortunately our talent is stuck with this coaching staff that is too stubborn to admit when they are wrong. Coach Hope’s press conference was a joke. He should be proud of his players, and take the blame entirely.

On a side note, Marve looks to be a great teammate. He was cheering everyone on, pumping guys up on both sides of the ball during timeouts and stoppages in play, and really involved on the sidelines when he wasn’t in the game. I thought it was a good example of a leader.

L2F said...

I said before the game that I would be happy if it was close. I am not. I am a hypocrite. To all of those who think this was a good sign for the season to are delusional. Seriously. We had every opportunity to beat a very mediocre looking ND team and we couldn't. We will lose 6 games this year. ND, UM, Wiscy, OSU, @Iowa, @Ill.

When we tied the game with two minutes to go I turned to my dad and said "We are losing this game?" Good coaches play to win. That is not Danny Hope, and history repeated itself today.

Marve showed that he is the better QB last weekend and today. Even if he is injury prone he should be playing every down. Marve barely played the last 4 seasons and still tore 2 ACLs. Limiting his minutes isn't going to do keep him safe. You play your best players and hope for the best. It's now or never. If he is too fragile to play then make him a backup kicker.

Bottom line is, despite losing by 3 in South Bend, the outlook is not good. The players are capable but the defense gave up too many 3rd and longs and the offense didn't move the ball consistently. That is all coaching. Our tiny corners cannot cover man to man, and a 5 yard crossing route does not get a first down on 3rd and 12. Every year there is a contingent of fans who refuse to face reality but its time for everyone to wake up. This coaching staff has reached its apex with 7 wins and no one should be satisfied with that.

JonS said...

I'm honestly surprised at the number of people who are satisfied to chalk this up as a moral victory. Purdue should have won this game and the fault rests solely on the shoulders of the coaching staff and Danny Hope. What reason would any sane person have for not playing Marve at the start of the second half?

Mommatried said...

Poor coaching kept this team from succeeding today. It was not due to lack of effort. For once.

Danny Hope has won 17 games in 4 years. If you consider you typically have 3 non-conference games a season and you can count on FBS schools being in on that W list...think about it. Big wins are only big if it makes a difference in your season. Beating OSU with the starters out due to suspension is nothing to rush the field about. Sorry. In just about every game I can remember in recent history- Danny Hope was out coached.

QuadBoiler said...

L2F - Can you honestly say we definitely lose to UM, Wis, @Iowa, and @ Ill after watching the games they played? I mean saying this is a mediocre ND team and then saying losses to those teams are definite boggles my mind. As far as I can see, they are all fairly mediocre. Mich beat Air Force by 6, Wisc lost to Oregon State 10-7, Iowa lost to Iowa State 9-6, and Ill got crushed by ASU 45-14. You are acting like those teams are a bunch of world beaters and I'm just not seeing it. If we lose to all 6 of those teams then our own team will have vastly under performed.

L2F said...

I think that this ND team is not that good, especially their defense. Never during the game did I think our offense looked good. I think we will definitely lose to UM, UW and OSU. Their defenses are much much better than NDs. Apart from those two Hope will find a way to lose two more.

QuadBoiler said...

I guess I can agree with the OSU and UM comments although I don't see Michigan's defense as being all that stout after this past weekend. They gave up 25 points to Air Force. However with Wisconsin, we have played them extremely poorly over the past decade or so, but their offense looks to be even worse than ours. As for the rest, away games always seem to be difficult in the Big Ten, but with the state of the conference (or at least the Leaders Division) this year, I don't count us out of any game except for maybe at OSU.