Rants, ravings, and somewhat sensical opinions following the wild, wacky, and wide-wide world of Purdue sports
Orlando, Florida, is one of my favorite places on earth. You’re surrounded by some of the best amusement parks in the world. The sun shines, the birds chirp, and in many ways it truly is the happiest place on earth. Palm trees. Alligators. Seafood. Love it.
I mean, unless Purdue is playing in a bowl game, with a depleted roster.
If that’s the case, then Orlando is a place filled with manmade horrors beyond all Boilermaker comprehension, bound to affect the entire Purdue zeitgeist.
If a butterfly flaps its wings in Orlando, does it set off a series of winds which create a hurricane in West Lafayette?
Just saying… Monday, January 2, 2023 is one of the worst days in Purdue sports history.
The Game: #17 LSU 63, Purdue 7
A depleted Boilermaker roster, with an interim coach, and a skeleton crew, played exactly how we expected them to.
Without their starting QB, WR, TE, and an OL, on offense, Purdue couldn’t muster anything. Without multiple DL, LB, and Secondary talent missing on defense, Purdue couldn’t stop LSU.
Austin Burton struggled garnering 74 yards on 12/24 attempts. Mike Alaimo came in for Burton late in the game and looked better, completing 4 passes for 38 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Devin Mockobee rushed for 48 yards on 13 carries.
LSU treated this game like it was the superbowl. Celebrating every success with choreographed spectacle numbers, the likes of which Broadway would be jealous of. One player did a multi-stage interpretive dance sequence while a Purdue player was seriously injured on the ground… celebrating a ‘fumble recovery’ which was overturned. Every play involved trash talk, and echo of the whistle hits. Double-reverse passes, and Philly-specials were thrown around up 35 points against 4 & 5th string Purdue defenders. Other players barked at Purdue athletes which needed to be stretchered off the field. Multiple unsportsmanlike penalties against the Tigers didn’t matter, they were up by a trillion points. It was too easy. I didn’t expect LSU to be much of the ‘sportsman’ type. They say a team is a reflection of their coach, and well…. Brian Kelly.
Purdue was outmatched this game. The intentional rubbing of salt in the already wounded Purdue football program was irksome to me, but not unexpected.
Break it Down:
I am not going to lie, I expected something like this to happen. LSU is a better program, and it is not really debatable. I didn’t do my normal hootn’ nor hollarin’ at my television set, as nothing surprised me about this game. This contest was gravy, in a very strange circumstance, with nothing for the Boilermakers to lose.
Some would say that the best 8-10 Purdue players opted out or entered the transfer portal prior to game time. Pretty accurate. If those players make a business decision, that is their prerogative.
I just hope those who opted out watched the game. I’m sure they did. As a team you depend on the man next to you, and this is what happens when the depth gets further gutted. Oh, and also, the head coach left. He turned his back on the program. I get his decision to leave, so I am not blaming him. Hopefully Jeff Brohm watched the game too. I’m sure he did.
One game does not change or tarnish the reputation of a coach like Jeff Brohm, or the players who decided not to play this game. Brohm’s story, however, is not complete without acknowledging the state in which this program is lying in, as he walked away. With all the good that he did for this program, of which I am grateful for, today’s performance is a part of the story. It doesn’t destroy his legacy. It is a post script. It is part of the whole. Remember that.
While the ending of the game left much to be desired, I am proud of the players who stuck this out. Salute to every individual who gave their all for their love, pride, and devotion to the Purdue football team. Others did not have that devotion, to which I commend everyone who strapped the helmet on today.
All is not lost. Another month of practice is great for this program, even if dozens of Boilermaker players opted out. Going out there making sure they see what needs to be done in order to reach the level of play that is necessary to succeed in January bowl games is important for this program. Under Brohm the program took the first steps. Now they take the next step.
One More Thing:
Late in the 4th quarter, with the game well in hand, Deion Burks dove for an incomplete pass on the sideline. It was immediately apparent that something was seriously wrong. Burks was attended to by medical personnel, who kept his head and neck immobilized.
Folks, this is a nightmare scenario for anybody, let alone a young athlete. You never want to see anyone being carted off the field on a spineboard/stretcher.
My prayers are with Burks, hoping that this injury is not as bad as it appears to be. Hang in there!
Purdue Basketball Wets Themselves in Their Own Arena:
FAMU 49, #1 Purdue 82: Brandon Newman led the way with 18 points, 5 blocks, and 4 rebounds as Purdue cruises against an overmatched opponent. Caleb Furst, Trey Kauffman-Renn, and Zach Edey also scored in double figures as Purdue wins in a laugher.
Rutgers 65, #1 Purdue 64:
For 20 minutes, the #1 team in the land played like they were afraid. They played like they forgot the very basics of basketball. They turned the ball over, they struggled in all facets of the game, and they were down 13 early in the second half.
Despite a strong comeback, and holding the lead with just a few seconds left, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights took down the previously undefeated Boilermakers. Second year in a row that the Boilermakers went wee-wee in their big boy panties against Rutgers. Purdue “F’ed” around, and Purdue found out. This time, at home!
Zach Edey went for 19 & 10. Brandon Newman scored 11, and Loyer added 10. It wasn’t enough. I am glad that this team learned the lesson of “you can’t sleepwalk through an entire half of basketball and expect to win” this early in the season.
Either way, this Purdue team has regressed from their peak in November. Is this the same trajectory as last season? Could be. The past few games give me no reason to presume that this team can continue its impressive nature.
The only good thing that came from today, Purdue’s basketball team would’ve beaten LSU’s football team… by 1 point.
Break It Down:
F-Around. Find out. Rutgers. At home.
Boilers need to figure it out. Boilers will likely fall in the rankings. Who knows where they land. I firmly believe that they will not achieve #1 for the remainder of the season, due to the meat grinder which is the Big Ten.
That being said, I still firmly believe that this team is better than last year’s team. However, this team is still learning how to… Team. Yes, that is awful grammar, but it makes sense if you think abstractly. This team is still learning how to figure out where in the world they are seated. Where they are on the food chain. Where they can position themselves in the world. If it clicks, this Purdue team can be a special one. Unless they decide to “F” around, of course.
Big Man on Campus:
Due to popular demand, the BMOC recognition will not be rewarded this week. Football nor basketball. Coffee is for closers.
A Look Ahead:
Purdue Athletics will more than likely be the butt of a few jokes over the next handful of days. They’ve earned every single one of them. My goal for the 2022-2023 athletic season was for my Boilermakers to not be a national punchline. Well, here we are!
This is the end for the Boilermaker football season. Ryan Walters takes the reigns in the 2023-24 season, and looks to inject some excitement into the program.
Following the loss, Purdue basketball will travel to take on #24 Ohio State on Thursday, in what appears to be the first major road test of 2023. After that, Purdue will play Penn State on Sunday at the historic Palestra in Philadelphia. This two game stretch will produce some trying moments & set the stage if Purdue is a Big Ten Conference contender or pretender.
Happy New Year, fine readers, for what its worth! Hopefully 2023 is the Year of the Boilermaker!
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