Apparently there has been some very good news from practice over the past few days. Although there are rumors that the secondary is a bit banged up, the offense is what dominated the first scrimmage. That comes as a shock to me. As always, I don't know if I should be concerned that out "stronger unit" couldn't stop the weaker unit or what. I guess it is good that the offense is getting a little more crisp and some receivers are emerging. From GBI yesterday:
Receivers progressing - This is exactly what we need to hear. Antavian Edison was the early one doing this, but we need multiple guys coming along. Yesterday was the first day of that. JuCo receiver Cortez Smith got his first positive mention yesterday. The same is true for Gary Bush. Keith Carlos had the same report of "he will be good, but he needs to be more consistent"
Offensive playcalling - This will be a key element this year, and if the report is true, fans will be happy to see something new. One way to move the ball with subpar talent is to keep the defense off balance with your play calls. We can all agree our offense has gotten way too predictable, so it is good to see Gary Nord mixing things up.
The defense wearing thin - To me, this is a gigantic red flag. We absolutely cannot afford the defense to struggle this year. The secondary has experience, but not much depth. Dwayne Beckford and Antwon Higgs are supposed to give us depth at linebacker, especially if Jason Werner has issues again. The defensive line has depth all over the place. Still, they are wearing down less than a week into practice?
Other Boilermaking thoughts:
Basketball ticket sales are going well - I don't know what the official count from the university is, but my own drive to sell tickets is going very well. A big thank you to those that have inquired about buying tickets off of me. I will get on a spreadsheet sometime today and work out what games are claimed and get you what is available still. It looks like I will be getting tickets again and sharing the wealth with other Purdue fans, which is always good. I can say that is someone is definitely interested in some of the smaller non-conference games like Ball State, Valpo, Central Michigan, and SIU Edwardsville they are definitely available. Drop me an e-mail and they can be yours.
PurdueSports.com is redesigned - I just saw this for the first time this morning. The site has undergone a complete redesign and looks sharp!
Carson Wiggs on Groza Award watch list - Quite an honor for a guy that wasn't even the starter until halfway through last season. I think Wiggs can be a very special kicker for us. He banged home a school record 53-yarder at Ohio State last year as a true freshman. I felt really bad for Chris Summers last year and his struggles, but at least Chris still gets to handle punting duties.
Big Ten will likely have a new bowl lineup - Much has been made about five of the seven bowl contracts expiring after this season. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg posted some info yesterday about what the new bowl lineup will look like. Gone are the Alamo and Champs Sports bowls. In return, we will likely get the Gator (vs. the ACC) and Texas (vs. the Big 12). Aside from the Gator always giving the danger to my marriage of a Miami-Purdue game, this is a great lineup. Counting the Rose Bowl, that gives us four chances to play on New Year's Day. It would just be nice if the Insight Bowl was on a channel other than the NFL Network.
New dorm opens on campus - Holy crap this is a nice dorm. For my two years in the dorms at Purdue I saw the best and worst we had to offer. As a freshman, I lived in Cary Quad East: two years before they began the massive renovation that has it as one of the nicest places on campus now. My room was 8'x12'. The heat had two settings: off and hell. There was no high speed internet, as we had to rely on dial-up while every other dorm had T1 lines. I shared it with a Korean guy who wasn't exactly shy about his personal practices if you catch my drift.
That solves the mystery as to why I was home most every weekend my freshman year.
As a sophomore, I lived in the relatively new Hillenbrand Hall, which was in just its 5th year that year and was the nicest dorm on campus until now.
Incoming freshman wins National championship - I think it is very impressive that the new Boilermaker Aquatics Facility is starting to attract some of the best swimming and diving talent in the country. Our divers have had a successful busy summer, but Incoming freshman Vinny Donnelly recently showed that he will be a force in long distance events at Purdue. He recently won the U.S. Open Water championships in the 5,000 meters. He is expected to head to the 2012 Olympics in three years with sophomore diver David Boudia.
Speaking of diving - All seven Purdue divers have qualified for this weekend's AT&T National Diving Championships.