All day yesterday I was singing the Purdue fight song. This morning I woke up and immediately started blasting it on my stereo. On the way to the game 93.5 here in Lafayette really seemed to know what to play to get me amped up. Everything was in place for a perfect game. That is everything but the weather. Once again I was very lucky and was given a ticket in the Shively Club to see the game. I was warm walking to the stadium, but the heat did not really hit me until I left the air conditioning of the club to take my seat. After the initial searing I would not take too long to cook. If the weather got to me just sitting watching the game you have to wonder how it affected the players. I know that they are in great shape, but that sun was hot today. The Boilermakers did a great job of not giving up and playing out the game. The heat really was oppressive today. You have to wonder what effect it had on the players. Purdue really did not seemed too focused early. Penalties and turnovers reared their ugly head again. How many third and ridiculously long situations were they in today?
In the third quarter I had already started mentally processing the loss so that it would not hit me so hard. The Boilers just did not seem to have it. You can usually tell what team wants it more, and for some reason it did not seem to be the Boilers. For some reason I think the turning point seemed to be the fumble by Antavian Edison. While fighting for extra yards he lost the ball behind him. With no Boilers in sight it looked as if it was going to be Blue Raider football. Two Raiders collided going for the ball and it went out of bounds to stay Boiler football. I think if MTSU would have picked up the fumble the game would have been over right then.
I really started to get nervous today when MTSU scored a touchdown to go up 24-17. Caleb was not playing that well, and I didn’t know if the Boilers had another score in them. He really seemed to play well after sitting out a series after cramping up. He lead two nice drives including the one that won the game. I had a beautifully framed shot of Edison catching the game winner, but a nice sweat stain drew the attention of my auto focus. Luckily it recovered in time to get the shot above. I guess I need to stop putting the lens cap on in anger after a frustrating play. The pass to Edison was very nice to see. TerBush did not panic and went through his reads to find the open man. If the Boilers are going to make a bowl this year he needs to improve each game until Marve can come back. Hell if he keeps going I don’t see why he can’t just keep improving all the way to the bowl game.
In all this was a great opening day. I went from being way too jacked up prior to the game to wondering if they could pull the game out. A frantic comeback late in the game for the second week in a row sent me home happy again. Last Friday Green Bay scores 11 points in 35 seconds, and this week Purdue wins the game in the final minute. I don’t know if my heart can take this all season long. Next week I have a bye week as I have a wedding to attend so at least I have one week off before seeing what should be an easy Boiler win.
Some other thoughts from the game:
- I never buy a game program, but for some reason almost did just outside of the stadium. Thankfully I did not as they give them away for free in the Shively Club. Shades of the foam finger incident in 1999 went through my mind
- I think that every time Caleb TerBush hits Gary Bush with a pass some sort of lesbian connection line has to be said
- Turnovers and dumb penalties are still killing this team. After this much time you would think that the coaches are out of ideas on how to drill these key points into the players head. Maybe it has been drilled in too much
- When Sean Robinson was inserted into the game it seemed to be the right move. The Boilers had nothing going so what would hurt changing things up. Sean did not provide a spark, and I started to wonder if we could see our third quarterback as Robert Marve started warming up. He looked good cutting on the sideline, but only threw the ball twice.
- The last time I saw Caleb TerBush on the field was as I was leaving Camp Randall in disgust after the beatdown the Badgers put on them. I had really seen enough, but stayed just long enough to watch TerBush for a couple of plays. I am glad to see a better outcome this time around.
- I was excited to see Ricardo Allen returning punts until I actually watched it in person. I think that he should save his energy for defense.
Here are some other pictures that didn’t make the body of the post, but I wanted to include anyway: