November 24, 2008
Well, Purdue finished their season with a 62-10 drubbing of the hated Indiana
Loosiers Hoosiers. For once, the offense and defense showed up at the same time, and Purdue put together a nice send-off for retiring Coach Joe Tiller and the graduating seniors.
Sadly, that was the highlight of the weekend. We were down at Joanna’s family’s house at the beach. Joanna’s father wasn’t feeling too well on Friday, but we thought nothing of it. Then, at about 3:30 in the morning on Saturday morning, I hit the bathroom for some extraoral evacuation of my stomach contents. Not pretty.
I went back to sleep, and then earlier than usual, Wyatt woke up. He started spitting up everything he tried to eat. I was lethargic and couldn’t eat all day Saturday; he seemed to act normal (and ate normally) but couldn’t keep anything down.
By Sunday, I was almost 100%, and Wyatt was able to eat but had a case of Montezuma’s Revenge. That afternoon, though, Joanna started to catch the bug, and it’s been downhill from there.
Today, now, is one of the more trying days of my parenting experience. Joanna is still sick, Wyatt’s case of Montezuma’s Revenge has turned into the diaper rash from hell, and I’m sitting at home helping out just wishing I could be at work!
Here’s hoping we have a better day tomorrow, because my sister and her husband are coming in for Thanksgiving, and I don’t want them to come into this house full of sick.
September 27, 2008
I can’t take it any more. Purdue Football has done nothing since “The Fumble” in 2004 but make me angry and disappointed.
I’m done. I’m not watching another game this year. I just can’t bear it when Notre Dame’s pathetic offense nearly doubles their average yardage and scoring totals against what was supposed to be an “improved” Purdue defense. How did we let both QB Jesus Clausen and RB Armando Allen have career days against us? Oh, I know how… We didn’t blitz all day long.
Purdue will be lucky to win 3 more games this year, and I highly doubt they’ll make a bowl at all. If they somehow make it to the Rose Bowl, someone let me know. Otherwise, I just can’t bear to watch.
September 13, 2008
So, Purdue lost another heart-breaker today to the Oregon Ducks. But hey, when you have a kid like this, it’s tough to be too upset.
Wyatt won’t remember the loss, I’m sure. And by the time he’s speaking, he’s going to be singing “Hail Purdue”!
November 3, 2007
Well, Purdue didn’t win today, but unlike the OSU and Michigan games, we actually made a game of it. And I can always blame the officiating, which was horrific.
But when I think about the ugliness of the men in stripes, I can look at the below sight and feel a whole lot better
He must be a Selwyn Lymon fan
Of course, many thanks need to go to frequent commenter and former Purdue roommate Nick M, who sent Wyatt the jersey (along with a copy of “Radicals For Capitalism” for me).
(In other news, a much higher quality camera was ordered last night– early Christmas gift from Joanna and I to each other– so within a week we can avoid the weak poor-quality pictures like the above).
September 15, 2007
Purdue sits at 2-0, after a 52-24 blowout over Toledo, and a 52-6 blowout over FCS-division Eastern Illinois. While they’ve looked good in both of those games, it’s clear that they haven’t yet been tested. Today may, or may not, be that test.
Central Michigan started their season at Kansas, and got absolutely destroyed 52-7, following that up with a trip to Toledo, where they beat the Rockets by a score of 52-31.
So if one thing is clear today, it’s that one of these teams is scoring 52 points.
Central Michigan is a talented team, led by a very capable quarterback, and can both run and throw the ball quite well. That QB, Dan LeFevour, wanted to come to Purdue, but didn’t get a scholarship offer, so he has a bit to prove. This is quite clearly the best offense that Purdue has faced all year long. They laid an offensive egg against Kansas, but it’s possible that Kansas is a pretty good defense, based on their second game of the season.
Thankfully, though, I think it’s quite possible that this is the worst defense that Purdue has faced all season. They’re currently giving up over 500 yards per game, and gave up more passing yards to Toledo than Purdue gave up total yards. Purdue’s offense will shred CMU’s secondary, and should have a choice to beat them on the ground or in the air.
This game can go two ways. If Purdue jumps out to an early lead like they did against EIU, this game will be very ugly. CMU has a pretty solid offense, but if we can force them due to game situations to become a one-dimensional passing team, I think we can shut them down. On the flip side, though, if Purdue makes a few mistakes early, or CMU keeps it close, CMU’s balanced offense can keep them in the game all the way down to the wire.
There is one intangible here as well. CMU’s poor showing was AT Kansas, and their win against Toledo was at HOME. They come to Ross-Ade stadium in West Lafayette today, so it’s possible they may be out of their element.
Purdue will dominate this game, it’s just a matter of how early they put the Chippewas out of commission. Barring turnovers, I think it’s decided early. If Curtis Painter has his first interception or two of the season, or Purdue puts the ball on the ground, I think it might remain in contention early into the second half. I’ll call this one in the middle, and it gets decided early in the second quarter. I’m thinking 21-10 at the half, and then Purdue runs away with it.
Central Michigan 20, Purdue 48
Hopefully we see more downfield blocking like this:
Atlas Blogged linked with Facetime with some Bloggers...
September 8, 2007
Normally, I’d say that since EIU is an FCS (formerly I-AA) team, this isn’t worth previewing… After all, a I-AA team can’t hope to compete with a team like Purdue, right? Well, after last Saturday, that’s no longer the case…
But, EIU isn’t App State. They shouldn’t keep this game close, except for two factors:
Distractions: On Thursday night, charges were filed against 3 Purdue players for an incident that occurred back in March. This includes one of our starting receivers and one of the team captains on defense. At the moment, the stories are full of holes, and coach Joe Tiller has decided to wait until the legal system passes judgement before he disciplines the players. I don’t think I agree with his decision, but right now I’m most concerned with what it might mean to the team. Purdue’s got the talent to blow EIU off the field, but as we saw with Michigan, if your team doesn’t have their head or heart in the game, anything can happen.
EIU’s Passing Game: The last two years have been ugly for Purdue’s defense, particularly their ability to defend the pass. EIU has a very talented, accurate QB, and one very talented receiver. Which sounds similar to what App State brought to the game last Saturday.
However, Purdue has a few major advantages. First, they saw the App State / UM score last Saturday, and they know that they can’t take EIU lightly. Second, EIU is starting 4 completely fresh players in their defensive backfield this year, and Purdue’s deep and talented WR corps should be able to get open at will. Third, Purdue should be able to line up and run the ball straight at EIU without EIU stopping them. And last, EIU’s rushing attack is not anywhere near the threat of their passing game, so Purdue should be able to force them into being one-dimensional.
If Purdue is ready to play today, this game will be ugly. If not, this game should still be a win, but the first half might be rather close, but Purdue has too many weapons on the field to let the game finish close.
Eastern Illinois 13, Purdue 51
And if all goes well, we’ll see Dustin Keller throwing out more stiff-arms like this… This is the kid whose own mother [lovingly] refers to him as a “freak of nature”…
September 3, 2007
This is history, folks… Enough said.
The Unrepentant Individual linked with Eastern Illinois @ Purdue — Preview
September 1, 2007
Well, I’m still planning to do a Big Ten preview, but considering how Wyatt has affected my “plans”, we’ll see how well that works out. Either way, he’s sleeping and there’s still 4 1/2 hours to kickoff, so let’s break down Purdue @ Toledo.
First, one has to give Toledo their respect. They’re 38-4 at home since 1999, and have a history of knocking off Big Ten teams opening their season in the Glass Bowl (3 in the last decade, including Purdue in 1997). They had a rough season last year, but they’ve got a strong defense, an excellent running back, and the attitude of a players in the MAC, that they should be playing in the Big Ten.
That’s coupled with a Purdue team that’s coming off a tough (but winning) year, with a porous defense and an inconsistent offense. Against a tough team in a road opener, this game smells of a trap.
Purdue Offense vs. Toledo Defense:
As mentioned, Toledo’s got a pretty stout defense for a MAC team. Purdue, though, returns an offense that finished in the top ten in yardage last year, and looks to be even stronger this year. Senior receiver Dorien Bryant used to be the only game-breaker Purdue had, but now with Dustin Keller at tight end, and bookend 6′4″ 200+ lb burners Greg Orton and Selwyn Lymon on the outside, Purdue can stretch the field against anyone. Last year, there were consistency issues regarding receivers running incorrect routes, but another year of experience should halt that, and Curtis Painter has another year of work with these guys, so the only thing that can stop Purdue’s passing game is Purdue. On the ground, Purdue has two very capable backs in Kory Sheets and Jaycen Taylor, and 2nd year OC Bill Legg is implementing something Purdue hasn’t seen in many years: a fullback. I was a big fan of the spread option, but it really hasn’t panned out. The addition of a true power running game may bring the Boilers the ground threat and unpredictability of offense that they’ve been lacking.
All that said, Purdue definitely has the edge here. They have more talent and more experience all over their offense, and should be able to control the game. Purdue can only be beaten by their own mistakes.
Purdue Defense vs. Toledo Offense:
The Purdue defense is widely considered weak, if you pay attention to the pundits. I don’t agree, but we’ll get to that in a later post. The real question is whether Toledo has the horsepower to exploit them. Toledo is starting an untested QB against a veteran Purdue secondary, so I doubt they’ll be putting up a lot of yards in the air. Trying to force a ball into coverage is a mistake with cornerbacks like Terrell Vinson, who has an excellent nose for the football and will be quick to get a pick. Where Toledo may have an edge is in the running game. Purdue last year fielded a few defensive tackles who were simply not physically ready for the game. The word is that they’ve bulked up and gotten there physically, but it’s impossible to know. With the loss of 1st-round pick Anthony Spencer at defensive end, the line may suffer. The linebackers are another question mark, due mostly to the fact that nobody knows whether they’ll be any good as a unit. There’s talent there, but both 1st and 2nd string MLB’s have had injury issues, and the only proven player is Stanford Keglar (who is a strong run-stopper, but not great in pass coverage). Toledo will need to establish a ground game against the Boilers, and their starting RB is capable enough to do it.
Defensively, if Purdue can handle Toledo on the ground, this will be ugly for the Rockets. The secondary should be able to contain them in the air, so if the defensive tackles can stuff the middle, and the linebackers plug the holes, Toledo will be in trouble. To do that, Purdue’s tackles and linebackers needs to be mean, nasty, and swarm the ballcarrier. Again, the word from practice is that these guys are playing with an enormous chip on their shoulder after the last two years, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
When it comes to kickoff coverage, Purdue is solid. The same goes for punt coverage. Purdue’s returners (Bryant for kickoffs and punts, and Sheets for kickoffs) have the ability to break a long return at any time. However, Toledo also look solid on their coverage teams. I’ll give Purdue a slight edge there.
Where Purdue has an enormous question mark is their field goal kicker. Chris Summers, as a freshman last year, went 8 for 20, and that’s simply unacceptable. Purdue was forced into going for it on 4th and long in opponents’ territory, because we couldn’t trust the kicker to make anything. Summers was always great in practice and choked in games, so I’m not believing anything I’ve heard about his abilities in practice over the off-season. Toledo, to my knowledge, has no FG woes, so I’ve got to give Toledo a big edge in that department.
Purdue 31, Toledo 13
I think Purdue’s offense SHOULD put up more than 40 points, but I really think they might get off to a slow start, and have at least one drive end in no points due to a missed FG. But I’m going to go out on a limb and believe the press clippings about Purdue’s defense. I expect to see them come out with an attitude. I expect to see swarms of Boilers making tackles, and a blitzing-attacking style of defense that we’ve lacked the last two years (as our LB’s had to play pass coverage to make up for injuries to the DB’s).
I’m guessing Purdue will lead 10-3 at the half, with 1 missed field goal and a defense that bottles up Toledo. In the second half, Purdue scores a few offensive TD’s, and the defense contributes either it’s own score, or gets a big turnover in good field position to give the offense an easy score. As the game progresses, Toledo puts up a fight, but can’t hang with the Boilers for 60 minutes.
June 19, 2007
In the Big Ten football family, some coaches have become legends. Coaches like Woody, Bo, and Joe Pa have been fixtures in college football folklore. At the lower tiers of the Big Ten, there aren’t very many legends, but there are some class acts, like Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin, Joe Tiller at Purdue, etc. Unfortunately, last year we lost another class act, Randy Walker, the head coach at Northwestern, to a heart attack. Randy was a coach battling the struggles of a small school in a difficult recruiting area, but was able to field some competitive and well-respected teams even with those difficulties.
Unfortunately, today brings more bad news, as IU coach Terry Hoeppner has finally lost his battle with brain cancer. Coach Hep had only been with the team a few years, but from the beginning he was bringing a buzz to IU football that hasn’t existed for at least a decade or two. Fans and students alike were beginning to even become excited about the team. As a Purdue fan, I never want to see us get beaten by IU, but it seemed like a positive thing for both teams if our rivalry might decide which team gets a 3rd- or 4th-place finish in the Big Ten, instead of the last-place finishes we were battling for 15 years ago. In barely more than two years of coaching, it seemed like Coach Hep was reminding the state of Indiana that there’s something beyond basketball, even for teams not named Notre Dame.
Unlike Walker, this wasn’t unexpected news. Last year, Hep underwent two surgeries due to his cancer. Despite a tough mentality (he missed very little work after each brain surgery) and a positive outlook, the reports have been trickling out all year, revealing a worsening condition. This morning, he died in the hospital with his family around him, a premature end to a story that we all wanted to see continue. I wish his family the best, and– although it pains me to say it– the same wishes extend to the IU community. Today is a sad day for all football fans, regardless of whether they wear Cream and Crimson, or the Old Gold and Black.
April 24, 2007
I have no other explanation for how a four-year-old child could have survived this:
The child survived with no broken bones, just some cuts that required stitches, and probably some monstrous bruises.
The parents survived unharmed, but if anyone knows who they are, they deserve a serious beating for letting a four-year-old onto the sideline like that.
And if that autographed football ends up on eBay, it’s time to send in DCFS.
April 2, 2007
Of course, it was a high school team. And they beat them with a team of lawyers, not athletes. But when you’re Notre Dame, you need to relish your wins. You’re not going to beat the big boys, you might as well enjoy beating the little guys…
Now some of you may think I am losing my mind. I am, but that is beside the point. I am here to talk about the Irish winning huge. LET’S TALK SOME IRISH SMACK, SHALL WE?
True, they are riding that proud streak of 0-for-9 in NCAA bowl games in football. Then their highly touted basketball team faltered against the Mighty Winthrop what’s-their-names in March Madness’ round one, no less. Think that kept them down? Nope.
They searched high and low to find a school they can beat. FAITH BEGORA!!!!!!!! They found the one school they can lay the cheese on hard, dammit and, drumroll please…..it’s……………a high school, to be exact. Notre Dame 1, Indianapolis Cathedral High School 0. Count it. It’s a win for the Irish.
For the last two years, the University of Notre Dame has fought Cathedral High School’s use of it’s fighting leprechaun logo. This school, by the way, is almost 100 years old. Founded in 1918, Cathedral High was started by the SAME religious order that founded Notre Dame. It’s like family, isn’t it? Uh no, it isn’t, according to Don Wycliff, Notre Dame’s VP for news and information. The logo is a “symbol of the University”, and the school is protecting it’s trademark rights.
Cathedral finally relented to the University’s demands this week and agreed with the University’s latest request to remove the logo from it’s website. It notified parents that teams and clubs can no longer use the image of the fighting leprechaun. I am stunned. (As a Celtic fan, I am also a little worried here.)
Mary Boyle, president of the Cathedral Alumni Association said, “you’ve got to be kidding. It’s a little disheartening. It’s kind of like being disowned by your own family.”
Disowned by your own family? That’s funny, every time my wife decides to pry underneath my fingernails and suggest our son will go to Notre Dame, I tell her I’d disown him. Lots of disownership going on around that school huh?
January 8, 2007
#2 Florida (12-1) @ #1 Ohio State (12-0)
Vegas Says: Ohio State -7.5
Well, my predictions of the bowl games that so far have been pretty weak. I knew I should have picked the LSU/ND game, even though I was traveling that day, because that one was pretty much a lock. ND was (again) overrated, and they got what was coming to them. I hate to say it, but they weren’t a bad football team. Yet they were never as good as advertised.
So with my bad record, I’m going opposite what I originally thought. With a 7.5 point line, I normally would look at two teams like this and say Ohio State would win, but not cover, much the same way they did against Michigan. But I don’t think that’s the case. I’m picking OSU to cover tonight.
Against Michigan, Ohio State had 3 mistakes (two fumbled snaps and an interception), while Michigan has basically no offensive mistakes. That was an oddity in a game of this magnitude that I doubt will be repeated tonight, and even with those mistakes, Ohio State managed to ride Cool Hand Troy to victory.
For Michigan, mistake free, power offense is the name of the game, and they play it to perfection. Florida isn’t quite the same. They’re a big-play offense, and they’re lead by a QB, Chris Leak, who isn’t known for his coolness under pressure. They’re showing up against a defense as good as any they’ve seen all year, and an offense better than they’ve seen all year.
For Ohio State to Cover: Don’t have the mistakes you had against Michigan. You can move the ball and score on this Florida defense. Play a solid game, but if you are -3 in the turnover ratio, all hell may break loose. As Kirk Herbstreit said on ESPN last night, keep Florida in front of you. They can make it happen with the big play, but the more chances you get to force them into 3rd down, the more you force them to earn their points rather than beating you big over the top.
For Florida to beat the spread: Reggie Nelson has to watch Cool Hand Troy, and disrupt his passing game (hopefully getting a couple interceptions in the process). You need to pressure Troy without blitzing too heavily, and even then you can’t expect to sack him. But you need to pressure him into throwing the ball while keeping good coverage. I know, easier said than done. And Chris Leak has to have the game of his career. Chris Leak has all the talent he needs, and can make all the throws. But Florida’s been intercepted 14 times this season, and they need to win the turnover battle to beat the spread.
Prediction: Ohio State covers
Predicted Final Score: OSU 38, Florida 27
January 1, 2007
Purdue (Big Ten #2, 11-1) @ USC (Pac-10 #1, 10-2)
Vegas Says: Michigan -2
It seems to me that Vegas seems to know something that us bettors don’t. The line opened as a Pick’Em, and has slowly moved towards Michigan. It’s now ranging from Michigan -1.5 to -2.5, but most bettors think Michigan will take this one away.
And I’m among that crowd. For the USC/UCLA game, I said that the key for UCLA would be harassing John David Booty, but that I didn’t think they’d be able to get it done. Well, they did so, they stuffed the run, and they got to the QB. Michigan’s front seven is much better than UCLA’s, so I expect them to do so even more. USC hasn’t been able to run against strong defenses, and while they’ve got two incredible receivers, I don’t think they’ll have quite the passing success on Michigan that Ohio State was able to have.
On the opposite side of the ball, USC has a pretty decent defense, but I don’t know if they’ve faced an offense as complete as Michigan’s. Michigan is likely to ride the back of Mike Hart to control the game, and then go up top to Manningham once USC is focusing on stopping Hart. It’s worked all year, it worked against OSU, and it can work against USC.
I don’t think Michigan will have quite the lopsided success they had against ND, but I don’t see USC being able to keep this competitive. I see the game going roughly the same as what I had predicted for the Purdue/Maryland game, and I’ll be highly, highly surprised if I’m equally wrong.
Prediction: Michigan covers
Predicted Final Score: Michigan 31, USC 17
Final Score: USC 32, Michigan 18
December 29, 2006
Purdue (Big Ten #4, 8-5) @ Maryland (ACC #4, 8-4)
Vegas Says: Pick’Em
This is a tough one. Purdue has enough offensive firepower to roll right over Maryland, and Maryland doesn’t have enough offense to keep up. But then, when you look at Purdue’s season, we haven’t seen a defense stop Purdue all year long, despite the fact that Purdue has laid a few offensive eggs this year. Most games where the Boilers sputtered on offense came down to bad execution by Purdue, not overwhelming defense. Even Purdue’s two worst offensive performances, scoring 3 points against Wisconsin and being shut out by Penn State, those defenses were aided by 25-mph gusting winds that completely disrupted Purdue’s passing attack.
But when Purdue’s offense is rolling, anything on the tracks ahead of them is destined for obliteration. Purdue may only be averaging 27 points per game this year, but they’re 6th in the nation in passing ypg, and 12th in total offensive ypg (including Div I-AA schools). Due to offensive miscues, Purdue didn’t score in the first half at Hawaii. When they hit a rhythm in the second half, though, they racked up 35 points in a hurry. With a stable of incredible offensive receivers, and enough of a rushing attack to keep a defense on their toes, the only enemy of Purdue’s offense is Purdue’s offense; Maryland’s defense is a non-factor.
So it all comes down to the first half. If Purdue can hit an offensive rhythm and get out to an early lead, they can play loose and confident, and can blow the doors off this game. Purdue’s defense isn’t exactly “stout”; in fact it’s atrocious. But the same label can be applied to Maryland’s offense. The bad against the bad will result in some Maryland points, but if Purdue’s offense can keep the pressure on, they can force Maryland into mistakes.
Ahh, but there’s the question. If Purdue’s offense sputters, Maryland has a history of winning close games all year long (thankfully, so does Purdue). If Purdue doesn’t get out to an early lead, this could easily be an ugly 17-15 game like the Purdue/MSU game earlier this year. Maryland has experience and confidence in close games, and that may be too much for Purdue to overcome.
And then there’s the preparation. Maryland’s coach has prepared his teams the last two years for bowl game routs, while Joe Tiller has— in the past— treated bowl games like a vacation for his players. Tiller has stated publicly that he’s not going to do that this year, and the team traveled down to Orlando before Christmas to get ready for business. Preparation will determine a lot of how the first quarter goes, and thus may determine the whole tempo of the game. Maryland is going to want to keep this a low-scoring affair, while Purdue wants a shootout.
Personally, I think Purdue got a bit of an advantage with the Hawaii game. That is a bit of a bowl game, with distant travel and a different climate. They started slow, but they got rolling in the second half. If they can carry that offensive success into the early stages of the bowl game, this one isn’t close. If they don’t, though, all bets are off.
Prediction: NO OFFICIAL PREDICTION (but as a Boiler Fan, I’m personally picking them to win)
Predicted Final Score: Purdue 31, Maryland 17
December 23, 2006
I’m headed to CA for Christmas in about 5 hours, and likely will be shuffled around different places without high-speed internet access until I get back here on Jan 4. I may get some posting in, and I’ll try to get posts related to the Purdue/Maryland game, and a few BCS bowl predictions in, but don’t expect there to be much going on…
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