Some of the darkest days for a Purdue football defense have become the norm for Darrell Hazell. Despite having two different defensive coordinators, the same problems continue. Today marked the 6th time that Purdue has given up at least 50 points under Hazell. Twice his teams have set new opponent records for points given up to a visiting team at Ross-Ade Stadium (55 points for Northern Illinois in 2013 and 56 a few weeks later to Ohio State). The five 50 point games have come in contrast to only three such games (Oklahoma State 2012, Wisconsin 2011, and Michigan State 1996) dating back to the infamous 59-56 loss at Minnesota in 1993.
At least that team, while 1-10, was entertaining. Today Purdue was not competitive in any way, shape, or form. There was a spark of hope when a Markus Bailey interception gave Purdue excellent field position in the first quarter, but Purdue could not capitalize and J.D. Dellinger missed a field goal. That came just over 6 minutes into the game, and even though the game was scoreless still, it was virtually over from there. Maryland answered with a 6 play, 80 yard drive and got the deuce when Purdue was caught napping. Purdue never seriously threatened to get back in it from there.
The numbers were appalling. David Blough was sacked six times as Purdue’s tackles were as effective as turnstiles at stopping the Maryland pass rush. Markell Jones had nowhere to run and finished the game back on the bench with his shoulder on ice. Ty Johnson ran for over 200 yards on just seven carries and would have had more had that pesky end zone not gotten in the way. As a team Maryland had 400 yards rushing and did not threaten the Purdue opponent record of 573 set by Michigan State in 1971, but only because Maryland was uninterested in going for said record in the fourth quarter.
There was nothing positive to take away from this game, not even a promising couple of throws from Elijah Sindelar. Purdue had an opponent throw for only 96 yards, but still gave up two touchdowns and the backup quarterback was playing the by the third quarter! Purdue looked completely and utterly unprepared. The sideline had guys trying to find any sort of spark, but for the most park it was dead after the missed field goal. Also, I should note, the team entered the field before the game and encouraged the boos from the Maryland student section with some gestures before kneeling in that end zone. If you’re going to taunt the home crowd, guys, at least do something to back it up.
This was complete and utter domination by Maryland, a team that was 3-9 a year ago and is definitely better this season, but not THAT much better. This was a poor performance even by the dismal Darrell Hazell standards. It really makes me feel for guys like Jones and Jake Replogle who are exerting a ton of effort, but getting zero results. Purdue not only gave up a ton of yards on the ground, on most plays they were laughably out of position as Maryland backs had gigantic holes to run through.
If this does not warrant a midseason firing I have no idea what else Hazell has to do to earn a pink slip before the end of the season. Maybe he has to come out wearing only his bent hat. Maybe he has to play only five guys on offense or defense (not that it would really affect the defense). Maybe he has to start answering press conference questions with rants against the United Nations. His entire era has been a complete and abject failure on every level. Today I saw that there is nothing on the sidelines that can save it.
Every single hour he remains as Purdue’s head coach is a wasted hour.