Whelp, another week and another heartbreaking loss by single digits for our beloved Boilermakers. The strange thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever felt this optimistic about an 0-3 team’s future. Strange isn’t it? I can’t be the only one. Regardless, the Coach stepped up to the mic today to talk about Saturday’s game as well as look ahead to Boston College.
I think our guys are starting to learn a little bit more and understand what we’re going to have to do in order to especially win but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.
I think this week will be an important week for us. Got to come out, work hard, try to improve upon our weaknesses, push ourselves to do all the small things right and give ourselves a chance to win but we’ve got a another big, tough football team coming in here that’s playing very well. Very strong running game on offense, controls the ball on the clock and on defense, solid on defense, challenge you, challenges people. Gets after you and we’re going to have to do all the small things and play well in order to have a chance to win.
But I do think that you know, our crowd at the game was outstanding. They were into it. They helped us. They gave us all the support we needed and we do appreciate everybody that came out.
On the Purdue defense:
We’ve got a long ways to go. We’re not where we need to be, not even close. I do think, you know, traditionally, historically, you know, we have a little bit better against run teams but we’re not where we need to be doing that.
So we have to work hard improving to stop the run and make sure we put our guys in the right position to get it done and get our guys to play hard and come out with the ball and play with great effort and finish, and when it is time to pass, we have to defend the pass much better.
Without question, I think that the passing game, the other team’s quarterback has had way too much time to throw every game and when that happens, any quarterback is comfortable, you know that you’re in for a long day on defense.
On Zico and Wright:
Both young men have worked hard. They have improved every week. They have to help us win. They were ready to step in and make some plays, and I think because they have developed better working habits, they continue to improve. So they are always going to have to be a factor for us and make plays and I think when they are lining up correctly and coming off the ball and doing the small things right, they have a very good chance.
Which needs to happen first a better pass rush or secondary improvement?
Well, both need to happen, right now. When you don’t get much of a pass rush, the quarterback is throwing way too long and anybody can get open -- we’ve had multiple plays where you -- more than you want anyone to stand back there, that has to improve first and foremost. Because some of the time and elements, guys lose their confidence and get scared to play and get aggressive because they are getting beat.
We have to get back to trying to create more of a pass rush and challenging routes more and making them turn, and if the guy is able to buy extra time and earn it, we’ll give it to him but I do think some of our guys have lost a little bit of confidence, but all those things tie together, and as coaches, we have to figure out ways to take what we have on defense and put the pieces together and create that so that it happens.
On the reshuffled offensive line:
They worked extremely hard. It’s not easy to pass protect for that many plays throughout the course of the game and the other team gets the sense that we might be throwing the ball quite a bit.
But I think they hung in there and did as good as they could do and gave us great effort and made good plays and created a few ways to get some help at times which helped us to take shots, and I think the overall play was a very good game by the offensive line.
On the QB going forward:
Well, you guys saw the game. I think we feel very confident with the progress David made. Played a very good game. You know, he hung in there and made throws and sometimes he hung in there longer than he has in the past and made throws, which was huge progress.
So that was great to see. Very proud of his effort, proud of his toughness, proud of his ability to continue to just fight hard and make plays.
So yes, we were happy with his performance. You know, obviously I’d rather not have him throw that many times a game, but I think that he took his shots, he threw with conviction. There was a few series in there where I was extremely happy with, but he bounced back, gave our receivers a chance to get open and bought some plays on some plays, a few times found the checkdown and other times hung in there and found the route he needed to throw that sometimes doesn’t come open right away and you have to hold it a little bit and maybe hang in the pocket just a little bit longer.
So yes, I think David played a very good game and very proud of his performance and we feel good with him.
Update on Sindelar:
We’re still working hard to get him healthy. You know, yesterday, he did not throw, so we’ll see Tuesday where he’s at.
What’s the key to slowing down BC?
Well, this team is going to be different. They are going to try to run the football first and they have a great rubbing attack, rushing attack and that’s what they are going to feed off, so that’s what we have to stop.
The last game, the quarterback played probably his best game to date and because of the numerous one-on-one matchups, he made throws. So you know, yes, he played well. Makes it a little scarier, but at the same time, stopping the run and making them throw more than they want is what we have to do, and yeah, of course we have to defend the pass, but the quarterback did have a very good game last week.
On the final Mizzou possession:
Well, you know, I don’t know how you could have played it any different, other than, you know, we did talk about allowing them to score and that’s probably the only thing we could have done. I mean, when they are down there at field goal range, you know and then they continue to get first downs, we used them all. We used all of our time outs.
I’ve been on a team where we’ve actually had a lead by two. We allowed the team to score; they did, and then we actually got the ball and went down and scored and won the game.
It was talked about. At the time, we had blocked I field goal earlier and we did not make the decision. So that’s probably the only one I would really look back on after looking at it and say, maybe, you know, you do something unconventional and you allow them to score. But not many people do that, but that would be something that we would consider maybe a little stronger if it happened again.
On Blough throwing down the field:
I think he knew that we were going to be aggressive and wanting to take shots and standing there and make throws. I have all the confident in the world in David, and whether he gets pulled or not, has nothing to do with that. Have all the confidence in the world he’ll play a good game. Started hot and had a little lull there that some of you didn’t recognize but I did but he finished strong. Like I said I was very proud of his performance and I thought he did an outstanding job of competing and playing to the very end.
On the Sparks
Well, from what I understand in the rule, it has to be conclusive, and I did not see it was conclusive. So in my opinion, it shouldn’t have been overturned but I’m not the referee. We’ll go with whatever the call is and live by it but that’s my opinion.