Purdue dropped today’s game at Wisconsin 35-24 and it wasn’t as close as the score indicates. Everything was fine until the opening kick, but it went downhill precipitously after that unfortunate event. I’m not sure what else to say about this game. The offense was putrid, the defense was pitiful, and special teams may have been the best unit for the Boilermakers, coming in at below average.
The ideal ratio for praise to criticism ratio is 5 positives for each negative and I’m going to make an attempt.
- Payne Durham played well.
- Jeff Brohm looked taller than Jim Leonhard.
- AOC threw 2 touchdowns (granted, one was to the wrong team).
- The safeties avoided all contact, ensuring that they remain healthy heading into the off week.
- The Charlie Jones catch (you know the one).
- Everything Else
For the first time in a while, I saw give-up in this Purdue team, starting with the head coach, and trickling down to every unit. The offense was uninspired. AOC threw 3 picks, and looked more comfortable throwing it to Wisconsin’s secondary than anyone not named Payne Durham or Charlie Jones. Brohm opted for a head scratching surrender punt on 4th and 1 down 21 and in need of a spark and then went for it (and got stuffed) on 4th and 1 in easy (for most) field goal range. I never got a feel for the game plan. It seemed like Purdue was both overly aggressive and overly cautious...and I’m not sure how to explain that. It felt like the Boilermakers spent the entire game responding to Wisconsin instead of playing their game.
The Boilermakers weren’t going to win this game with the offense blowing giant holes in their feet, but the defense didn’t cover themselves in glory either. The line didn’t get pressure, the linebackers refused to tackle, and the secondary...well...I’m going to refrain from giving y’all my true thoughts on the efforts of safety combination Cam Allen and Sanoussi Kane. It’s one thing to get beat, and it’s another thing altogether to quit on the field, and I saw give-up from the Purdue defense in the second half on a few plays.
Special teams provided nothing of note other than Mitchell Fineran missing a 24 yard field goal when Purdue was still interested in trying to win the game. Charlie Jones came in with the reputation as one of the best kick returners in the nation, but has yet to get an opportunity to return a kick because Purdue’s kick return unit refuses to block anyone.
The good news is Purdue still holds their Big 10 West destiny in their hands. They had a game to burn, and they doused that sucker with gasoline and lit it on fire today in Madison. They have an off week next Saturday and will hopefully spend that time getting healthy and extricating their craniums from their posteriors. As bad as this game was (and it was that bad) Purdue still has all of their (reasonable) goals on the board. Win against an offensively horrific Iowa team, and they play Illinois in Champaign for the Big10 West on November 12th.
Purdue needs to flush this game and focus on the stretch run. Brohm teams tend to finish strong, and a strong finish this season means a trip to Indianapolis and a shot at either Ohio State of Michigan (laughs nervously).