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The Day After: 5 Things We Learned

We have had 8 hours to sleep on it. What did we learn.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

What did we learn from last night? Probably more than 5 things, but, I saw 5 things that truly stuck out. Some bad, some good. It was a great night at Ross-Ade. The atmosphere was great, the pregame show on was excellent and while our Boilermakers struggled, they fought.

They fought hard, especially that young defense. We did all we could in the second half, but it just wasn’t enough. We are on to next week, but this loss does hurt, just like Coach Brohm said.

  1. Rondale Moore is a Dog - We all knew he would be explosive, but did we expect THAT?! Rondale broke the record for all purpose yards in his first collegiate game! He had 11 catches for over 100 yards and a touchdown, two carries for 79 yards and a touchdown and 125 yards on kick return. Rondale is going to be fun to watch the next 3 to 4 years, he is the most explosive athlete we have had since Dorien Bryant - who he may end up being better than.
  2. The pass rush will struggle - NW didn’t really impose their will on us with the pass game, but more so in the running game. But, when did they pass there was little pass rush on Thorson or Green. They had all the time in the world back there. Not only that, but we stayed pretty vanilla on the defensive play calls to help with the young defense. I do like the way Giovanni Reveire looks, but I expected more from Higgins at the LEO spot.
  3. Coach Brohm likes both Quarterbacks - Coach did not flinch when putting David Blough in after three interceptions with Sindelar, two which were really bad decisions and one where the defensive end made a great play. But, there was a noticeable difference. There was no vertical threat in the passing game with David Blough in. His yards per attempt was under 5 yards, which isn’t far at all. Sindelar was over 6 per attempt. I still have confidence in Elijah, but he has to make better decisions and not force things.
  4. Jared Sparks looked good, for not being 100% - Sparks looked like the outside receiver we need to compliment Rondale Moore in the slot. He had 7 catches for 70 plus yards, he used his big body to get yards after the catch and he was a nice possession receiver. Look for Sparks to have a big year on the outside for us.
  5. Safeties made a lot of tackles - This is good and bad. Mosley had 9 tackles and Jacob had 8. It is good they were making plays, but bad that the front 7 were not making tackles on Larkin, as he averaged nearly 6 yards per carry. These guys will make plays all year for us, but I prefer it to be on wide receivers than the running back.