Rants, ravings, and somewhat sensical opinions following the wild, wacky, and wide-wide world of Purdue sports.
Growing up, I loved turtles. They always fascinated me.
It all probably started with Super Mario Brothers, honestly. The goal of that game is to save a Princess from an andromorphic turtle king. The means of doing so involves smashing his trooper turtles, throwing their shells at walking mushrooms and other turtle based bad guys, while eating flowers that make you shoot fire from your hands.
Now that I have written that out, Mario is kind of wild.
Anyways, for your enjoyment, here are some other turtles that have influenced the world, that that have some redeeming quality;
- The Ninja Turtles are radical party dudes. They’re fun!
- Crush from Finding Nemo? Hilarious!
- Franklin the turtle? Wholesome!
- Heck, I’ve even heard stories about a tortoise defeating an arrogant hare in a foot race. Inspirational!
According to the Yahoo Search Engine, a Terrapin is a, “small edible turtle with lozenge-shaped markings on its shell, found in costal marshes of the Eastern US.”
We’ve finally found a turtle that I don’t like, and it goes by the name of a terrapin.
I do like the idea that the previously provided terrapin definition highlights the “edible” aspect of this turtle species. Lets make turtle soup! I know someone who can boil the water.
The Game: Purdue 31; Maryland 29
Another mercurial performance by the Boilermakers led to a stressful, but ultimately satisfying finish out east. Boilermakers committed three turnovers, only rushed for 13 yards, and still had opportunities to blow the game wide open.
Aidan O’Connell passed for 360 yards and two touchdowns, but added an interception and a costly fumble. The results, however, led to completions to 10 different receivers. The team was led by Payne Durham’s 7 receptions for 109 yards and a TD. One of those catches was a rumbling, opponent carrying catch reminiscent of his Music City Bowl’s performance. Mershawn Rice also scored a TD, tapping his toes in the corner of the end zone following a beautiful AOC pass. Despite the slow night, Devin Mockobee scored the game winning touchdown with just over a minute to go in the game.
Defensively, on the whole, Purdue played a tremendous game against a powerful Maryland offense. Purdue had 6 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. Returning star Jalen Graham was all over the field, tallying 9 tackles. Corey Trice had an early interception which stalled Maryland early.
The biggest frustration on the night, however, was the defensive performance in the final minute of each half. Maryland was successful in scoring crucial touchdowns in the final seconds, keeping what could have been a fairly comfortable Purdue victory as a two point barn burner.
Break It Down:
Some of you believe that I am way to positive, and my constant cheerleading is irksome. This week, some have complained that I am much too negative, and something something yadda yadda-whatever.
Me being called negative is a new one for me! I guess we call that character arc, or something. So what do I need to do? Do I listen to the folks that want me to be sugary-sweet? Do I listen to the folks who want me to be all mopey? Or, now hear me out, do I ignore what people say because I have been doing this for the greater part of two decades? Yin. Yang. Balance. Just like Purdue football.
This week, the answer to this question is forced upon us. The Purdue football performance gives us no choice but highlight both the positive and negative. Our Boilermakers were blessed to come out with a win, but Purdue did plenty that should have led to a loss.
The offense did what it needed to to, but turned the ball over in three straight possessions. Without those turnovers, this game could have been a laugher. The defense played really well for 58 minutes, but horrifically bad in the other two. Without those two minutes, this game could have been a laugher. That just goes to show how razor thin the margin of success is on the road in the Big Ten.
The win is the most important part, lest we forget. So sorry if you want me to be Positive-Potato or if you’d prefer that I be Negative-Neptune, I am just going to be Ben. Big-Ben. Big-Big-Big-Ben.
What Went Well:
- Spread It Out: Ten different receivers caught a pass, seven of which caught multiple. Everyone who caught a ball had a fairly significant impact at the game. Early in the season Purdue relied heavily on Charlie Jones. The national talking head-folks harped that the Boilermakers would need to establish more receivers. It appears that they have done that.
- Healing: Aidan O’Connell is continuing to heal, and it is showing in his performance. 360 yards, on the road, while playing with lingering injuries bodes well for the Boilermakers.
- Who’s House?: No really, who’s house? Watching the game on TV, you could hear a very strong Boilermaker contingent for this game. Traveling is difficult in general, however, traveling to the East Coast makes things even harder. Tip of the cap for the Purdue faithful who made it to the game on Saturday.
Opportunities for Improvement:
- Not One: Not two… but THREE turnovers for the Boilermakers. I am not a great statistician, but losing the turnover battle by two will get you beaten more likely than not. Needs to be tightened up.
- For Crying Out Loud: Purdue’s defense in the final minutes of the half and/or game is nearly automatic. By automatic, I don’t mean it in a good way. Automatic TD. Against Penn State, Syracuse, and now Maryland, multiple last-second, prayers answered, beaten deep late, gut-busting touchdowns have been given up. What has there been… 5 last minute touchdowns in those 6 halves of football? Purdue’s defense has been OUTSTANDING this season, with the exception of the last minutes of halves and games.
Big Man on Campus:
Payne Durham woke up and took this game over. His 7 receptions for 109 yards were both game highs. His gutty performance demoralized the Terps as this game was ticking down.
One Last Thing:
This may have happened on accident, but Cam Allen got a freakish jump on the PAT that he blocked. In fact, the jump was so good, that it appeared Allen was far offsides. Alas, the flag was not thrown.
The announcers were flabbergasted. #Maryland Twitter went ape-poopy. Big Ten media folk trumpeted the horrific no call. Maryland got screwed! They said while beating their chest in unison. Why wasn’t a flag thrown?
No flag was thrown, because if you watch it frame by frame, Cam Allen had incredible timing, and crossed the line at the exact moment that the ball was lifted to be snapped. It was a one in a million shot to time it out that way. It was more than likely a complete accident, and just worked out in favor.
I, for once, will actually commend a Big Ten officiating crew for not calling it. I feel so dirty for commending a Big Ten officiating crew.
A Look Ahead:
Purdue has now won two games in a row, on the road, as the underdog. This game, the Boilermakers return home to an already sold out, and presumed to be rocking Ross Ade Stadium. As of the writing of this article, Purdue is an 11.5 point favorite.
The Big Ten West division is there for the taking, if Purdue continues to win. This week is the next step to that goal!
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