Rants, ravings, and somewhat sensical opinions following the wild, wacky, and wide-wide world of Purdue sports.
A beautiful Saturday in God’s Country blessed me with the opportunity to mosey down to campus to watch our beloved Boilermakers. I tend to not sleep well before going to a Purdue game. Too anxious, I suppose. Life is good, however, as my wife and I packed up early, excited to visit our daughter on campus, and see some good friends at a tailgate.
The buzz of fans at Slayter Hill, the marching band in the distance, I was back in my element. It was a beautiful day, albeit a bit hot for my liking, but everything was absolutely perfect. I was blessed to be alive for my 36th year of Purdue football fandom.
We as fans need to be a tad introspective. For those who are reading this, the thousands of us who could be in attendance, the millions who watched on TV or listened on radio… we all need to realize how truly blessed we all are.
Some of us don’t have the opportunity to experience a day like we did on Saturday.
Purdue’s opponent, Indiana State, suffered tragedy just a short time ago. Three Sycamore students, two of which were football players, were killed during an off campus car wreck three weeks ago. Christian Eubanks, a freshman linebacker, Caleb VanHooser, a freshman defensive back, and their friend Jaden Musili all lost their life. I will freely speak for myself, and for those of us at Indiana Sports Coverage, when I whole heartedly offer our sincerest condolences to the friends and family of these students. I offer my thoughts, prayers, and heartbreak as a father to the Indiana State community, and all those affected.
In the grand scheme of things, this football game doesn’t matter. While these students were undoubtedly looking forward to this Saturday, we were blessed enough to enjoy it. Football isn’t life. Life is life. Football is a side quest, on our journey.
So when we get frustrated with a play call, a fumble, a game that didn’t go our way… Just keep the bigger picture in mind.
The Game: Indiana State 0, Purdue 56
From the first play of scrimmage, this game was all Boilermakers. In fairness, this was expected.
Aidan O’Connell only played 2 quarters, but he completed 17 of 19 passes for 211 yards and 4 TD. All four QBs played, totaling 289 yards passing.
The passes were spread around with 12 players hauling in receptions. Charlie Jones led the way with 9 receptions for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tyrone Tracy had 4 receptions, and Paul Pfieri scored a TD on his only catch.
Purdue rushed for 232 yards behind 78 yards of Devin Mockobee, who also scored a TD. 7 players carried the ball, with touchdowns from Mockobee, Dylan Downing, and King Doerue.
Defensively, the Boilermakers flexed their muscle, tallying their first shut out since 2011. Sanoussi Kane led the onslaught with 7 tackles, with 14 other players tallying multiple stops. The Boilers had 4 sacks and 8 tackles for loss, while only giving up 145 total yards.
The Purdue secondary flexed their muscle with two interceptions, one each from Cam Allen and Jamari Brown. Cam Allen’s interception was particularly impressive, as he returned the pick 65 yards, cutting back for an electrifying touchdown.
Break It Down:
What more can be said? Indiana State is an overmatched opponent, and Purdue was playing passionate following a heartbreaking loss. Much of football is simply taking care of business, which the Boilermakers did quite easily.
What Went Well:
- Spread the Wealth: We’ve already mentioned the outstanding players, but when you have dozens of individuals on a team standing out, you’ve had a good Saturday.
- Experience Matters: Depth is the key to Purdue teams. Boilermakers have experienced a litany of injuries over the past few seasons, so any opportunity to allow the deep-bench get reps, will help your team as the season goes on.
- Zero, Nada, Zilch: Shutouts don’t happen frequently. Yes, we get it, it was against a heavily overmatched foe, but it has been over a decade since the last one. Hopefully this defense can continue the momentum, and keep up the good work.
Opportunities for Improvement:
- You know what…?: There are always opportunities for improvement. There were some fumbles, there were some mishaps. Whatever. This game was a dismantling, and I don’t feel like splitting hairs here.
Big Man On Campus:
Charlie Jones is balling out so far this season. On Saturday, Jones had 9 receptions for 133 yards, and 3 touchdowns. For the season he has 21 catches for 286 yards, and 4 touchdowns. This is essentially in 1.5 games. Charlie is feasting since transferring from Iowa. I think that he has made the right move so far.
For reference, Iowa’s ENTIRE offense through two full games has… 316 total yards, and 1 TD. Of those 316 total yards, only 201 of them have been from the air, on 23 total completions, and 0 TDs.
Photo Credit: Mark Elsner
One Last Thing:
I just wanted to wish my beautiful, wonderful, and exceptionally intelligent mother Sue a happy birthday! The combination of her multi-generational Purdue alumni family, as well as her marrying my father, a Purdue football player, pretty much left no doubt as to who I was going to be a fan of.
Through the years, my mom has poured her passion into raising 3 children, teaching thousands of students, and supplying many, many decibels in Ross Ade, Mackey Arena, and living rooms around the state of Indiana.
So, my fair readers, if there is any question as to why I am how I am… blame her. My mom made me this way!
Happy birthday, Mom! Love ya! Boiler up!
A Look Ahead:
Purdue will take this show on the road, heading to the state of New York, to take on Syracuse in the
Carrier Dome JMA Wireless Dome.
Syracuse is undefeated so far this season, with two lopsided victories against Louisville and UConn. As of the writing of this article, Purdue looks to be a slight favorite, as they are favored by 1 point. Who knows, though? Playing at Syracuse is always a strange deal, giving the
Orangemen Orange a decent homefield advantage.
Should be a good one! Although Boilermakers have one loss, it was to a now ranked Penn State (#22) team. Syracuse has two strong wins against sub-par programs. We will see!
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Indiana State Photo Gallery: https://snapsbyme.smugmug.com/PurdueFootball/2022/IndianaState
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