If you’ve listened to the Hammer and Rails Podcast or read my prediction for the Northwestern game you’ll know that I have been of the opinion that playing a football game at a baseball stadium is a terribly stupid idea. For one, football fields are specially designed for football while baseball stadiums are, surprisingly, not. That was on full display today as players were slip sliding all over the field during this football game. In fact Purdue was the beneficiary of an unintended onside kick to start the second half of the game. There’s no way that happens on any other field in this country.
Purdue continued to have struggles not only on kickoffs but also on a badly missed field goal and in every aspect of the game. The numbers of players who made cuts that wound up on their ass was probably in the triple digits and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. Thankfully, Purdue’s offense found its footing thanks to some great passes from AOC and a gem of a game from Milton Wright. The game was ultimately sealed late in the fourth quarter when Dedrick Mackey grabbed a late interception.
It’s worth it to dwell on the performance of Milton Wright for just a moment. This is a guy who most of us expected to be a surefire number 2 receiver this season but struggled out of the gate with some drops and some up and down play. Over the last month plus of football though Wright has put any questions about his performance to bed. Final numbers for him today included 213 yards on 8 receptions and 3 touchdowns. It was an incredible performance that was up there with anything from Rondale Moore or David Bell these past few seasons.
The defense saw great performances from George Karlaftis and the rest of the defensive line as they stopped Northwestern on at least two crucial fourth down plays. This team now sits at 7 wins in the regular season for the first time since 2007 and now have a chance to reach 8 regular season wins for the first time since 2006. I don’t think this is a season that many of us saw coming but damn has it been fun. Purdue is still alive in the Big Ten West race but it will need help today and next week. Much more to come on this later today. Now it’s time to turn to the basketball game vs. North Carolina.