Rants, ravings, and somewhat sensical opinions following the wild, wacky, and wide-wide world of Purdue sports, following the Boilermakers’ 20-14 road loss.
Have you ever played the game Monopoly? The entire premise of the game is to slowly, drag your opponents down, while simultaneously draining their bank account, and their will to live.
The thing about Monopoly is that you don’t really have to be very good at the game to win. You just need to have a couple of the right pieces of property, with a few hotels placed properly, and BOOM, your Aunt Myrtle is forking over her last few fake dollars. You laugh. Feelings are hurt. Thanksgiving dinner is ruined.
Hell, you don’t even have to be actively playing Monopoly to win. You could literally be in JAIL and the pieces will move around the board. If you’ve planned your investments correctly, you could inflict so much damage on your opponent without doing a thing.
The board game of Monopoly is the Iowa Football of board games. Iowa technically plays football, like Monopoly is technically a game. Neither is fun. You don’t have to be very good at the game in order to win it. You can just be good at a few different things, and impose your will. Each takes 4 hours of suffering. There are hurt feelings following both. Both ruin Saturday afternoons.
Purdue may own Reading Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad, B&O Railroad, and the Short line, but Iowa is perfectly fine hanging out in their hotels on Boardwalk and Parkplace to even care that railroads exist. Maybe there was a scandal or something and the Hawkeyes end up in Jail. Doesn’t Matter. Every drive, right before reaching “GO” Purdue is paying rent on Boardwalk. Iowa is laughing all the way to the Bank.
Purdue miserably saw their bank account dwindle, despite circling the board more frequently than Iowa. Purdue’s chance cards were always “Holding, Do Not Pass Go”, or “You’ve Been Tackled Behind the Line of Scrimmage, Opportunity Lost”.
So this game ended the same way every Monopoly game ends. A team shrugging, out of money, and lots of miserable people. This time its the Boilermakers who went bankrupt.
Purdue out gained, out passed, controlled the clock, controlled 3rd downs, and limited Iowa to only 3 scores, but could only muster two. The Boilermakers had multiple promising drives in the first half, multiple that were in field goal range, in which an awful sack or a penalty pushed Purdue out of field goal range. Drive killers, they’re called. They’re the “Community Chest” cards in Monopoly.
Hudson Card played injured this week. When he looked good, he looked really good. When he looked bad, oh boy, did he look bad. He was sacked 6 times, which is twice the total of sacks that Iowa had coming into the game, for the entire season. He still managed to throw for a respectful 247 yards, and a TD. Devin Mockobee looked like his old self, rushing for 89 yards and a TD.
Defensively, Purdue did exactly what you’d want them to do, except for one play. If it wasn’t for a Kaleb Johnson 67 yard TD in the first quarter, in which nobody was near the runner, the defense did exactly what you could ask for. They picked off Deacon Hill, and held the Hawkeyes to 291 yards.
Break It Down:
Purdue kept shooting themselves in the foot, and it is 100% the reason why this game was lost. Yes, the play calling was stale, yes the defense gave up a few dumb plays against an awful Iowa offense. The bottom line is that Purdue Boilermakers squandered multiple drives which should have resulted in points due to mistakes.
Whether it be a sack that Hudson Card took while staying in the pocket for too long, whether it be a holding call, whether it be a dropped pass or a missed field goal, Purdue was in positive territory 4-5 times in the first half without a point scored. The Boilermakers lost by 1 score.
I said a few articles back that Purdue needs to play to their strengths, and limit the dumb mistakes in order to see the post season. Purdue has run out of feet to shoot themselves in.
All that being said, Purdue had the ball with a chance to win at the end of the game. They continued to fight, they continued to work. They played through injuries. They played through the friction. They played through these mistakes that were self inflicted. They were right there, despite all of that.
You can’t acknowledge the bad without the good. This team didn’t quit.
What Went Well:
- Devin Mockobee: Ran hard and looked elusive against the tough Iowa Defense.
- TJ Sheffield: Was a stud out there today. With Burks being blanketed, Sheffield flexed his muscle.
- Dillon Thieneman: Had himself a game today. 8 tackles and an INT, he continues to be the alpha on the defense.
Opportunities for Improvement:
- I could have played: … an entire game of Monopoly during the time Hudson Card sat in the pocket. 6 sacks is a lot, but there were multiple instances in which Card spent an eternity in the pocket. Yes, its understandable that the receivers are covered, throw the ball away, and keep the field position.
- Stale: Is one way to describe the play calling. I will say this much, this Iowa defense can only really be attacked by nickles and dimes. Dinks. Dunks. Field position battles. I know that Purdue fans want go-routes and double reverse passes, but this is not the defense in which that is successful. That being said, more creativity is needed especially when the offense is struggling like it did on Saturday.
- 45: Yards in penalties isn’t the worst total. The problem with these 6 penalties is when they happened. Drive killing penalties, in a one score loss, when every yard counts, will change the outcome every time.
One More Thing:
Yep, the play was called dead. The play was called dead incorrectly. The incorrect call could not be reviewed. I understand the semantics. Its the principle.
If you’re reading this, I presume that you know what play I am talking about. Hudson Card was simultaneously falling and throwing the ball away. He threw the ball away without being tackled. The officials blew their whistle, ending the play, ruling him down.
Nope. Can’t review that, for some reason.
Why have replay if you cannot review an obviously incorrect circumstance? There should be no problem reviewing a play in which it is debatable whether or not an individual is down or not. Football is a game which is predicated on being “down” or not.
Anyways, it was an 11 yard loss. Too far for a field goal. Yadda yadda. One score loss.
A Look Ahead:
Purdue has a Nooner, hosting Ohio State on Saturday. Boilers don’t exactly have momentum behind them right now, but Purdue has made a habit as an unranked team beating top 5 ranked teams. Just saying. We’ve seen crazier things happen recently for the Boilers.
#3 Ohio State comes into West Lafayette as a 20 point favorite this Saturday. ESPN Matchup Predictor gives the Buckeyes a 96% chance of victory.
Ah hell, why not?! Boiler Up! Big one on Saturday!
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