Look, most of us have had hangovers. Some are worse than others. Some last a long time. Some last just until you get those greasy XXX biscuits and gravy in you (or a Drew Brees if you would rather). Purdue’s hangover lasted a week. They just never got it going today after beating Ohio State in spectacular fashion last weekend.
The Purdue offense, which had been clicking on all cylinders, could only manage 13 points against a Michigan State team with a great run defense and a middle of the road passing defense. In the third quarter it looked like things might finally be turning around when Purdue went down the field with hardly any problem to make it a 13-16 game. After that though a spate of bad luck hit the offense. First, Purdue found Brycen Hopkins on a great pass when suddenly MSU came up on him and (possibly led with the helmet) put the hammer down forcing Hopkins to drop the ball which then landed on his outstretched legs resulting in MSU grabbing it and one of the strangest interceptions you’ll ever see. After that the defense was able to get another stop and give Purdue the ball back with over 5:00 left in the fourth quarter still down just three. Purdue’s drive stalled in field goal range after Rondale Moore just couldn’t get the yardage needed. Purdue lined up for the game tying field goal but it was blocked and that was all she wrote.
Michigan State tacked on another touchdown in garbage time but it was of little consequence. Michigan State worked Purdue on both sides of the ball today. The Purdue defense, particularly the pass defense, looked lost against Rocky Lombardi (one of the greatest names in college football), and constantly gave 5-6 yard cushions off the wide receivers beyond the first down marker. Despite missing their best RB, their top WR, their starting QB, and at least two offensive lineman, Michigan State looked like the far superior unit when their offense was on the field.
On offense things just never clicked. Blough threw three interceptions, having only two coming into this game, but at least one of them wasn’t his fault. He overthrew receivers and made some bad choices. It wasn’t all on Blough though as the offensive line didn’t give him much time to make the plays he needed. Overall this was a failure on all fronts. D.J. Knox did get some nice runs in the second half but it just wasn’t enough.
Purdue falls to 4-4 on the season. With a couple tough games coming down the pike soon. Purdue’s just got to put this game behind them and be prepared for Iowa next week for another conference road game. Lots to learn from a loss like this and I expect Brohm and Holt will have lots of notes to improve for next week.