Wisconsin 62, Purdue 17: When Will The Embarrassment End?

MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 05: Starting quarterback Caleb TerBush #19 of the Purdue Boilermakers attempts a pass against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Madison Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It is one thing to lose games. I don't think anyone expected to win today. Wisconsin is an excellent team that has a ton of offensive weapons. Still, for the second straight week we started out like we were going to make a game of things. It was even 14-10 after one quarter. That's not great, but we were still within striking distance and could make a game of it. I think most Purdue fans were simply asking for competitiveness, and that is what we provided at the start.

Then, again for the second straight week, the defense made the conscious decision to quit. Yes, there were questionable calls and I have to credit Wisconsin's offensive line for doing work and plowing the road for Montee Ball, but any time you are reaching back to the Colletto years and tying records of futility there is something fundamentally wrong. Here is the final, gruesome truth:

  • 62 points is the most ever given up by a Purdue team
  • 8 touchdowns given up: Most ever by a Purdue team since 1971
  • 605 yards given up: Most ever by a Purdue team
  • 30 First Downs given up
  • 365 yards rushing given up (amazingly, not a record, as that was 573 against Michigan State in 1971)

This was a complete failure in every defensive aspect of the game. Once again, when the game was still somewhat competitive and we received a break (Will Lucas recovering a fumble down 21-10) we could not take advantage. Caleb TerBush immediately threw an interception and the rest was just details. We flat out quit defensively, and it was exhibited on the final drive of the first half. After Robert Marve led a touchdown drive there was still a very small chance to do something. He had cut the lead to 35-17, and by using halftime as a defensive stop we could drive for another TD, cut it to 11, and maybe with a little momentum something could happen. Sadly, even a portable usb charger battery couldn't help.

Something did happen. With only 24 seconds left we allowed the Badgers to drive 36 yards and score a long field goal. Any momentum from Marve's drive was pissed awayin that moment. I am sorry, but it is completely inexcusable to allow a team to move like that in that small amount of time. Yes, the Badgers are an incredibly good offensive team, but no one in that situation should allow anyone to move like that.

It is sad it has come to this. This is our third embarrassment of the season where we flat out gave up on a game. Notre Dame and Michigan were the other two. This team is better than this, but the same mistakes keep happening over and over again. We continue to make dumb penalties such as false starts on offense. Our defense has no idea how to tackle. When we get good efforts like Raheem Mostert playing his ass off on kick returns we make stupid mistakes to kill that momentum. Mostert at least gave us a chance early, but without a defense it did not matter.

It lies with the coaches too. Something is clearly wrong when former players are Tweeting in game about coaching decisions. I offer Jason Werner and David Pender as examples:

jasonwerner24 Jason Werner

Two of the worst play calls I have ever witnessed.... Gees fellas

@David_Pender912 If purdue had better play calling we would be so much better

Folks, it is bad when former players, especially those that have played under the current coaches, are making statements like this. It is really simple things too. We lack discipline to avoid preventable penalties. We are out of position and display poor form on every tackle. Our coaches limit players like Marve in a system that has no definition whatsoever.  Until these things change we will continue to see results like this.

Now we have to move on to reality. In my opinion, it is highly unlikely coach Hope will be fired at the end of this season, but it my hope that at least some coordinators are fired. Our defensive co-cordinators (if that's what they are) are awful. Gary Nord, who had a decent offense two years ago, continues to make curious at best decisions. It might be Hope's last ditch effort to save his hide, but if changes like that are made and we can at least bring in someone different I am willing to give it a shot.

As far as this season goes, nothing has changed about the last three games. The goal is still the same. We have to split the remaining home games and beat Indiana for the Bucket. Then we will at least go bowling, which is something the players deserve. It is at least an improvement record-wise and allows us to get back on track with most of the rest of the conference in the extra bowl practices and growth that comes from them.

In looking toward Ohio State next week the fixes are very simple:

1.       Every single defensive position needs to be up for grabs after a debacle like this.

2.       They have no passing game. It is not a threat. They had three 100 yard rushers this week against Indiana and struggled to beat the Hoosiers. They will be running the ball. I know this. You know this. Dogs know this. You have to go after the run and make them throw. They are terrified to even try throwing it. They have only three offensive threats in Braxton Miller running, Carlos Hyde running, and Dan Herron running. If we cannot prepare for a simple game plan like that Hope is truly hopeless.

3.       Pick a damn quarterback and stick with him. TerBush has been fine, but Marve hasn't been given a fair shot at all. If he is indeed who he was touted as, then get him in there and open up the damn playbook. Screw "the system".

4.       Indiana scored 20 points and was pretty successful against OSU. We have better offensive talent, so use it. We have a stable of good running abcks so pound the ball and don't let a solid defense rest.

Ohio State is not a good team. Yes, they just beat the team that we gave up 62 points to, but their offense is not a difficult one to figure out and their defense can be scored upon. In my mind it is a winnable game, but there have to be changes as outlined above. It is just sad that I have no faith said changes will be made.

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