Saturday, October 06, 2012

First Hand Account of a Debacle

Our pal Ed couldn't come up from Texas for the game, so he sent his tickets to me this week.  I thought I'd take my Dad, fellow Boiler alum...but he had to go visit my grandma for her birthday.  I then asked another Boiler...and another...and another.  I asked quite a few Purdue alums and even a few non-alums that are big fans...but no one was biting.  Perhaps they all knew something that I wasn't willing to admit- nothing's changed in Purdue's program...and they didn't want to see yet another bloodbath in person.

J and I both thought Purdue wouldn't win...but neither of us could really figure out how the Boilers would lose.  Well, they lost in a very familiar way- by doing almost everything poorly.

The Special Teams gave away the ball and set up a score, the offense had too many turnovers- one leading immediately to 6 points...and the defense couldn't stop the run; inside or outside, and just for good measure, the DBs allowed easy completions whenever UM needed a larger chunk of yardage.

Denard Robinson looked like a Heisman candidate once again...shaking the rust loose that is often caused by the shackles of good defenses.  And the old adage that 'nothing cures an ailing team like a game versus Purdue' reared its disgusting head once again.

It was chilly, a bit windy and clear...nearly-perfect weather for football, really.  UM fans were confident as they headed into Ross-Ade- they were confident that Hoke would right their collective ship off of the bye week...and he did. Conversely, Purdue's coaches seemingly took the week off of practice as their players looked extremely ill-prepared, and not at all equipped to play a B1G game on this day.

If you didn't watch it, congratulations.  Those hours that you spent coaching your children, watching better football, gardening, painting, napping or hunting for the perfect pumpkin were hours well-spent.  But the three hours that I spent in one of my favorite places in the world, I'll never get back.  The good news is that I got to watch the game with a friend of mine, and it was good to hang out together...sarcastically cheer every now and again and hope that something would change.

I have a confession- I left this game early...something I hardly ever do.  But, I made it to the around the 4:00 mark. I didn't see UM break 40...but it felt like I watched the Wolverines lay 100 on the metallic beige and black.

TerBush played poorly...but I've said this before- it's not his fault he's starting.  I believe the guy is playing as well as he can.  But today was the reason that people like me have been saying for weeks/months- Purdue needs a gunslinger.  I guess I didn't buy into the idea that Purdue's defense had suddenly become that of the Baltimore Ravens with the injection of the 3-4.  But, in spite of his guts and grit, I'm not sure Marve...or Henry is enough. If the play calling doesn't change, it's not going to matter who is at the controls.

Drew Brees would have been benched by Hope and Nord for too much free-wheeling in this system.  15 might have checked out of the second, third, fourth or fifth fake read draw on first down that didn't gain more than one yard.  Or maybe he'd call a slant route OR a vertical route (*sigh*).  Or maybe not.  What I do know is there's a reason Purdue fans will have a hard time believing the next big game will end differently.

As fans, we're on a hamster wheel of crappy Saturdays.  Just like your favorite rodent runs the same way over and over hoping for something new with the next stride, Danny Hope and company do the same garbage in each game versus good teams and get similar results time and again.  Sure, every now and again, we all jump off of the wheel for some room temperature water (a win over a MAC opponent) or some kibble (an unexpected win over a disappointing aOSU squad).  But when the potential is there for Purdue to actually change course, things don't change.

I really believe that Ross, Bush, Shavers, Marve, Holmes, Short, Gaston, Russell, Allen, Johnson, and others are good enough to start for a ton of really good programs in the nation.  But my Boilers continuously look like they're not ready for primetime when the bright lights come on.

A friend of mine who graduated from Michigan texted me as I got into my car outside of Ross-Ade.  He rightfully taunted me...and I had no response other than Purdue stunk today; a lot like they did last season in Ann Arbor.  A new DC, Senior leadership and a home game didn't change the outcome.

And perhaps even more worrisome, an even bigger intra-divisional game looms six and one-half days from now...versus a program that handed Purdue one of its worst losses in the program's long history, just a season ago.


I guess the good news is the media will be off of Purdue's back...removing all of that undo pressure from them about being one of the best teams in the league. So there is a silver lining.


Kodiak33 said...


Allen said...

I made a deal with myself. If they went three and out on the first drive I would turn off the TV and do something more productive with my evening. Unfortunately, I stuck around until the end of the 3rd quarter.

Austin Steenman said...

Like Allen I made a deal, I would pay attention the first drive then play xbox in my loft with the tv still on downstairs if I wasn't impressed. Guess what I did all afternoon?

Mommatried said...

So to stick the elephant in the room with a cattle prod-

Is this MJB's fault for keeping the coach that always gets out coached around?

Or is it OUR (collective) faults for tolerating mediocrity for so long and keeping MJB in power?

AD has actually been heading in the rightish direction with football being an obvious exception.

Is this on us or MJB? Either way...this brand of football is sickening.

Meanwhile...J Gibboney remains gainfully employed.

Oh brother.

Purdue Matt said...

I didn't even bother watching. This program is going nowhere with Hope at the helm. He coaches scared and is incapable of thinking one play ahead. I dream of one day having a coach like Holgorson, someone who is bold with play calling and understands the odds and strategy of football. Clue for Danny: punting on 4th and 1 on the first series of the game is chicken s--- coaching. Wake me when Hope is fired.

Purdue Matt said...

Also, Gibboney is stealing money. He might as well be a government employee.

patsloan said...

As a government employee, I resemble that remark.

Can we officially, as a fan base, move to a "fire Hope" stance. This guy always lulls us to sleep with sweet nothing's or an OSU upset or crappy bowl win. It is seriously sad to see how inept we look on the field, even in games we win.

COD said...

I had to kill 6 hours in Lexington VA yesterday, from 3 PM to 9 PM. Applebee's is the only place in town that even sort of resembles a sports bar. And it was 72 and sunny, so we decided to wander in and out of antique and art stores instead of camping at Applebee's.

We chose wisely.

However, I am suddenly a lot less excited about the 10 hour dive back for homecoming next week.

J Money said...

"Dive." An a propos typo.

Hope_Nord_Stink said...

Same crap, different year. Anyone who still cares is insane.

Mike Tomko said...

Don't forget how much the school and AD love their fans. They closed off the IM fields for public parking requiring most of the non JP club members to park halfway to Indy. They bitch about how no fans come to the games, but when they treat their fan base like crap it's no wonder why 1/2 the stadium is empty.

boilerbugle said...

Where exactly is everyone parking now?

Mike Tomko said...

They left a small part of the IM fields for parking. I parked north of Purdue west in a small grass lot where I thing a movie theater once stood. I think they are expecting everyone to park near the airport and stand in line for an hour waiting for a shuttle.

pinball said...

Im new this this blog this season and I and wanted to let the authors know I truly enjoy their comments. It seems like you guys have a great deal of support, but at times I notice readers complaining about your negativety. As a life-long boiler fan (now in his 40s) I call it realism. Over the years we have all witnessed poor: coaching,play calling,player performance on and off the field. (Hell, my years at Purdue involved supporting an absurdly coached Jim Colletto team and was highlighted by throwing marshmallows and cheering on the rumbling of Alsott in the hopes of possible beating IU and winning 3 games). I think as Purdue fans we are we are all Optimistic Pessimists. We hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I had a feeling this would be another let down season, but help out on my comments until after this game. You guys do a great job expressing what many..probably most Purdue fans are feeling but cant or wont say. Keep slinging the smack...its refreshing and somewhat therapuetic to read some like thoughts and even lol at some of the verbage used to describe the disappointment we all feel after a pathetic but not suprising performance.

With still a shred of optimism that starts with each new day... I pray to the football Gods that Marves knee will hold up long enough to give us 3 or 4 drives each game. This will be the difference in a close game(if Terbush and the defense can keep it close) obviosly we all see it (my 11 year old daughter sees it) with his command of the offense, the arm cannon and sure will to win... he will get up points upon request. With Marve healthy we are in contention for the BIG 10 championship. With Terbush and a little Marve sprinkled in....i think we make a bowl game. Straight Terbush...The "Old Puckin Bucket" will once again be the highlight of this season.

pinball said...

sorry for the mis-spells...typing and watching Colts game.

The Accidental Expat said...

Clearly, somebody actually listened to the garbage Kirk Herbstreit was saying about a PU-NU game in Indy and believed it. Wins are earned people, not granted by the football gods. Forgetting about this coaching staff's infuriating insistence on negligible halftime adjustments, did they not realize that UM might actually make a change to their offensive scheme before kickoff? Alabama and ND showed that Robinson is a mediocre and beatable pocket passer. Clearly, UM coaches figured that out too, and let Shoelace be Shoelace-- because this guy is next-level good as a runner. We as fans were treated to no plan B ("Hey, what if they let Denard run?" Nah, couldn't possibly happen, no need to come up with anything"), no answers and no adjustments from the Men in Black. So Purdue got steamrolled by a one-dimensional (and largely improvised looking) offense that seemed to score at will. The one bright side was that Toussaint was completely bottled up, and had only 19 yards on the day... other than that, not much to write home about.

On the offensive side, Terbush looked flustered and scared, and was spelled by Marve way the hell too late to make any difference. The running game was effectively shut down, which forced Terbush to throw-- and without offensive balance, this team suffers greatly. Marve per usual brought swagger and a gunslinger's attitude and moved the chains in his limited time. Henry took his usual handful of garbage time snaps in preparation for... oh hell, I don't know; I doubt Nord even knows. Normally I have a beef with Nord's play calls because he likes to get cute instead of sticking to what works (I both look forward to and dread the inevitable day that Nord finds an Australian Rules Football or rugby player so that he can throw in an anachronistic 2-point drop kick play), but it was the stupid gimmick plays that were the only bright points on an otherwise soul-crushing day... which can only mean more gimmicky plays in the future. Yay.

Special teams: Why was the coaching staff so hesitant to use Griggs in the past? The guy accounted for 54% of the points yesterday and was either the #3 or #5 (depending on the report) kicking prospect in the USA out of high school. Granted, in the non-con games, we rarely needed a FG-- but the kid is a weapon, and needs some more snaps-- but I'll agree that attempting FG's in the 4th quarter when down by a lot are another example of crapass, overwhelmed coaching.

As I said in J's post, I'll continue to cheer for my team until the final whistle, and believe that there are still winnable games ahead, even including against a weakened Bucky-- but my confidence in this coaching staff and belief that these guys are a possible B1G spoiler are gone. Prove me otherwise, Boilers. I've never wanted to be so wrong in my life.

boilerdowd said...

Pinball- as a couple fellow Boilers during the Colletto era, we get what you're saying; glad you found the site and came back!

Mike- excellent take. The athletic department has itself to blame for the situation it's in...I feel a post brewing...

J Money said...

Bdowd-- that could just be gas you feel.

IceT said...

I'm still in disbelief that Hope didn't tout the amazing stat that we finally went a game without a botched extra point... said...

As someone who was also in Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday, I concur that it was absolutely miserable. Not only in how inept our team looked, but in how the fans have become. We've been down so long now, that there is no excitement or enthusiasm in the stands. I couldn't even tell when our team ran out in the field. There was minimal fanfare, while it felt like the place erupted when Michigan came on. The entire debacle was an embarrassment. Hope needs to go and needs to go now, even though Morgan Burke is way too cheap to fire him before his contract is up in two years.

Thomas Floyd said...

The team is lacking a few key elements to be successful. One is from the head coaching position it's self. He is not capable of getting his players to play week in and week out! As a die hard fan I can't accept that from a person who is in charge of any situation. Second is the lack of leadership at the quarterback position. Out of the years when Purdue's been successful our quarterback position was rock solid at the helm of Orton, Dickens, or Brees! We can blame Burke for keeping a coach around that runs around scared, but we have to blame the coaching staff for not being able to find the leadership to help us compete on the field!