When I made my predictions for the week I made them under the assumption that the Purdue offense was moving forward. Yesterday they looked like a team that was just learning the forward pass. Michigan has a terrible offense, yet somehow Purdue could not score a touchdown against that terrible defense. Let’s put that into perspective. UConn, UMass, and Bowling Green all scored on this defense. I came into the game with expectations that were apparently way too high for the current state of the team. I really cannot believe that I sat through the rain to watch that game. Purdue had six turnovers on the day. When things finally start getting better we have regressed to last season where we give games away with the turnover.
The day started off with a twist. After talking about Sean Robinson starting all week I was amazed when I saw Rob Henry walk onto the field. It wasn’t until we broke the huddle that I realized that Henry was the running back. Justin Siller was starting the game at quarterback. Siller is the fourth quarterback to start for the Boilers this season. He is also the third in three weeks. He didn’t last long though as he appeared to re-injure his leg midway through the first play. He never re-entered the game. Rob Henry then took over for a while, but his passes looked erratic because of his finger. Sean Robinson then came into the game, and his passes also looked erratic. I don’t have a reason for those though. This team really needs to find something that will work for them. I realize how hard that must be right now. How many people has this team counted on that have gotten hurt? Against a terrible secondary I really thought that Robinson would have a field day. Apparently though the coaches thought that running the ball was the answer. I am not a coach, and know that they know the team way better than I do. I think that the gameplan might have even worked if they had taken care of the football.
The offense was bad yesterday, but for the second straight week I really enjoyed watching the defense. Ryan Kerrigan might have had the best day that I have seen in person. He had ten tackles, five for a loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He now sits just two sacks shy of the Purdue record for sacks in a career. The four sacks in one game ties a Purdue record as well. I enjoyed watching him so much that I felt the need to post about it last night after dinner. You can read that post here. The highlight of the day had to be the 94 yard interception return by Ricardo Allen. I actually called the pick and run back, but since I do that 20 times a game I don’t think that I can take credit. Allen picked the ball, and had clear sailing ahead of him to the end zone. Denard Robinson tried to make a tackle, but Allen put a move on him that would have left me with two broken legs. Somehow Allen got by Robinson, and was escorted into the end zone by Purdue Pete. That was a huge play because Michigan was driving, and it seemed like the score would be 21-3. The pick six made it 14-10, and the Boilers had some life. Josh Johnson also had a nice interception in Michigan territory as well as a forced fumble yesterday. Kawann Short knocked down yet another pass, and the defense was just playing inspired.
I would say that special teams had a bad day today An ill advised try by Wayne Gravesande to pick up a rolling punt led to the score that I think turned the tide. Purdue never recovered after that on the day. The punt team was also bad day. On the flip side of that the field goal team was fantastic. Maybe I am biased because the holder for field goals is from my hometown, but with the conditions on the field they had a stellar day. Kris Staats is the holder, and he made one great play where I don’t think he ever had the wet football. He found a way to get it down in time for the kick though. This is a special group that still might have a record kick in their future. I thought it might come before halftime, but we couldn’t move the ball even to midfield to give Wiggs a shot. I will have more on this unit as the end of season approaches.
Early in the season the forecast kept calling for rain. It never happened, but it seems like we paid for it yesterday. The rain was off and on, but it really came down for a few stretches. Of course it was driving in right at us so our ponchos did not really even keep us dry. I would like to say that the rain had something to do with the ten total turnovers, but I really don’t know if it did. Both teams love to turn the ball over, and they just added to their total yesterday.
I have seen a lot of talk about Danny Hope not being entirely forthcoming about who he is playing during the week. This week was a great example. He kept saying that Sean Robinson was his man, and then proceeded to play two other quarterbacks before Sean. Does he really have to reveal his pregame plan to the media or the fans? I would rather he just keep it to himself. His plans haven’t worked to perfection the past few weeks, but I bet Rich Rodriguez did a double take when he saw Justin Siller under center with Rob Henry at running back. I really like the fact that Hope keeps some information back.
The loss by the Boilers means that they have to win their last two games in order to become bowl eligible. A trip to East Lansing next weekend could spell the end for this team. The Spartans are fighting for a spot in the Rose Bowl so it will be a tough game. Maybe we can catch them overlooking the Boilers. In two weeks Purdue plays Indiana at home for the Old Oaken Bucket. Indiana is still smarting from a 83-20 beating by Wisconsin. I guess passing the ball late was on the card today for the Badgers.