When this game started I assumed Purdue would win. That in itself was a strange feeling. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I thought Purdue would win a game. I would say the first game of the Hazell era but that was a tough game against Cincinnati where Purdue crapped the bed and set the tone for the entirety of the Hazell era. Since then though life as a Purdue football fan has been a struggle. Tonight though, it was fun again. And I don’t mean just because Purdue won. Don’t get me wrong that was a very fun part of the experience, but Purdue looked competent in all phases of the game. That hasn’t been the case in YEARS. Is Purdue football back? I don’t think we can go that far but tonight was certainly a night when it felt good to be a Purdue fan again.
Purdue played three quarterbacks tonight and that actually was a good thing. Sindelar and Blough both put points on the board. Elijah Sindelar started the game for the second straight week but again yielded to David Blough for the majority of the game. In the brief time that Sindelar was in the game he was 4-10 (with roughly 5 drops by the receiving corps) for 60 yards and a touchdown. He continues to look good. I think if I could pinpoint a problem he has it would be that he throws bullets that sometimes guys can’t hold onto. Maybe the strength of his arm is a bit of his weakness.
Blough then came into the game and played the majority of minutes and he looked stellar doing it. I don’t know how much of that had to do with the defense of Ohio and how much of it had to do with the game plan of Purdue and Jeff Brohm but it was amazing to watch Purdue march up and down the field and score 44 points. That’s right, 44! This included some trickery and just some great passes by Blough. Perhaps the standout play of the game came with a reverse flea flicker. If you didn’t see it, like my brother who was in the bathroom line, then you truly missed it. Check out the video below to get a picture of just how beautifully executed this was by all involved.
There’s so much to talk about, and Travis will have more later tonight, but I want to get some quick hits in to highlight some of my quick impressions from this marvelous victory.
- Tario Fuller had 16 carries for 142 yards. That’s an 8.9 yard average. That’s umm...good.
- Brian Lankford-Johnson had nine carried for 92 yards. If Purdue can continue that 1-2 punch they will really have something there.
- Purdue’s main two tight ends, Cole Herdman and Brycen Hopkins accounted for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. I’m gonna go ahead and say that’s a strength of this team that Purdue will need to continue to exploit.
- Though Sindelar acquitted himself well tonight I’d say the coaching staff is clearly leaning towards Blough and he seems to have earned it based on the output tonight. He was 11-13 for 235 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Hard to top that.
- Purdue was 3-3 on field goals. It’s amazing the amount of anxiety that goes away if you feel like your kicker is going to make the field goal automatically.
- Four different receivers caught touchdowns for Purdue. That’s how you spread the ball around.
- I want to toot my own horn and say I predicted a 42-24 victory for Purdue. Gotta admit, that’s pretty good.
I don’t know what else to say. I’m thrilled, beyond thrilled. I thought Purdue would be better this year, and I predicted a victory tonight, but nothing like this. I may have said Purdue would lead from start to finish on the podcast yesterday but I’m not sure I fully believed it. Bluster is one thing, seeing it is another thing entirely. Purdue isn’t close to the team of 2004 when I was in college but the way to get back there is one game at a time. Tonight, Purdue got one step closer, one brick higher. Next week, we continue to build. After all, the only way to lay a foundation is one brick at a time. (YES I KNOW THAT’S NOT WHAT A FOUNDATION IS, CUT ME SOME SLACK WITH MY FORCED METAPHOR!)