Damn you, COVID.
In recent years Mackey Arena has been a fortress. It has been a dungeon of noise and pain for opposing teams, where the crowd makes them wilt under the pressure. Last season when Purdue lost the second game of the year to Texas there was almost an audible sound off horror as the buzzer sounded, as if crowd said “wait a minute, we’re not supposed to lose in Mackey!” Later on Illinois, Michigan, Penn State (!?!?!) and Rutgers (!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!) would solve Mackey, giving Purdue five home losses when it had four in the previous four seasons combined.
Now we took he biggest L, as the ongoing pandemic means no fans at least for the start of the year:
Even with the unexpected home struggles last season Purdue still dominated excellent teams in Virginia, Michigan State, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Wisconsin and Michigan State tied for the Big Ten title, but lost in Mackey by a combined 48 points. Now our greatest asset is silenced in a year where the Big Ten will be the toughest it has ever been top to bottom and we have a young team looking to prove itself.
The new is not all bad, however. Even though we’re now nine days from the first game we got a little more scheduling news as the Crossroads Classic, perhaps the final edition of it, will be played December 19th in Indianapolis:
So our non-conference slate is as follows:
November 25 vs. Liberty (Melbourne, FL)
November 26 vs. Mississippi State or Clemson (Melbourne, FL)
December 1 vs. Oakland
December 4 vs. Valparaiso
December 8 at Miami (FL) (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
December 12 vs. Indiana State
December 19 vs. Notre Dame (Indianapolis, IN)