Today Purdue officially re-opened Mackey Arena. I was pretty excited for what should have been a great atmosphere. I guess after some of the great crowds last season my expectations were pretty high. In a blowout like the one tonight it would have been the perfect opportunity for someone like Bobby Riddell to get into the game. It would have been fitting since today was a day full of 11’s. As with the last post I will quit talking and just post some pictures from the big night. For some reason they are very heavy on Kelsey Barlow, but he did seem to be in the middle of the action a lot tonight.
I don’t have a lot to say about the way the Boilers played today. After two good games they came out flat. The final score was 28-21 Northern Illinois. On paper that makes it look like a close game, but it was not. This was the Huskies first win against the Big Ten since 1988, and the second in the program’s history. It was a big day for the team from Dekalb. Turnovers and poor execution were the downfall today. Aaron Valentin put us up early 7-0 with a great punt return. He more than made up for that with two costly turnovers while returning punts. Purdue also had a tough time bringing down anyone in a white jersey. Poor tackling led to a couple of career days for Northern Illinois backs. They did have some moves, but that is no excuse for the tackling (or lack thereof) display that I saw today. On the offensive side Ralph Bolden entered the game as the nations leading rusher. He only gained 64 yards on the ground and was ineffective. Joey Elliot had his first poor game behind center for the Boilers. He really was off in his passing today. Next week is a big one for the sports junkie. My favorite team as a child faces off against my Alma mater. With the way these two teams our playing this could be an interesting game. I am sure I will have more on the Notre Dame/Purdue matchup as the week goes on. For now I am searching for a new sport for the next couple of days.