Rants, ravings, and somewhat sensical opinions following Purdue’s 30-21 Victory over the Oregon State Beavers.
As three generations of my family sat on Slater Hill on Saturday, the rain gently fell upon us. What was once a deluge, let way to a sprinkle. The sprinkle yielded to mist. A rainstorm washed away 645 days worth of absent fanfare and fandom, and broke just in time for kickoff. As the doors opened Ross Ade, the smell of fresh rain and charcoal grills wafted over the droves of eager, excited fans, making their pilgrimage to their brick and concrete monument.
The speakers boomed from the new scoreboard, thumping bass into the chest of the quickly growing crowd. The bassline yielded to the sound of drumlines and brass instruments. The crowd roared and clapped along.
A fine mist filled the air. Not enough to even feel it. Just enough to make the stadium lights refract, allow them to shine a bit. The illumination looked as if the entire area were steaming. As if a boiler was lit, generating the power needed to fire up our home. The formerly slumbering giant which is our football stadium, is awakened. For the 500th time in Purdue’s history, the Boilermakers kick off in Ross Ade.
Some say it’s just a game. It isn’t that important. It’s just sports. Grow up.
I’ve been going to Purdue games for 35 years, and I refuse to grow up. Days like Saturday turn me into a kid again. Quite literally the earliest memory of my life is attending a Purdue football game, sitting on my Grandpa’s lap. On Slater, I literally bounced like a toddler when the All American Marching Band arrived. For four quarters my heart was on my sleeve. I rode that rollercoaster that my bloodline has for generations.
Saturday, I was a kid again. I forgot about life, work, my mortgage, and pandemics, for a few hours on a Saturday evening. I spent it with both my father and my son, and fifty-some-odd-thousand of my closest friends. My lord above, thank you for these opportunities.
QB Jack Plummer threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, both to Payne Durham, leading the way for the Boilermakers. The new look defense looked to be stout, forcing an interception and two turnovers on down.
The Boilermakers rode the hot crowd and stout defense to a 30-21 victory.
Break It Down:
As insane as it sounds, this is a game in which the Boilermakers easily could have lost, but probably could have won by three touchdowns, is what we have on our hands here.
Boilers ended up winning by two scores, in a game which they were favored by about 7 points. Boilers made multiple trips to the redzone, and settled for fieldgoals. Other missed opportunities, like dropped passes and turnovers, continued to keep Oregon State competitive.
In the end, however, Purdue gutted it out. The defense slowed OSU down just enough and made the right plays, to give the offense enough opportunity to take it over.
What Went Well:
- I mean, they’re not the ’85 Bears… but the defense did what they needed to do. An interception by Cam Allen, two turnovers on down, a clutch 4th down breakup by Deidrick Mackey, multiple disruptions from George Karlaftis and Jalen Graham, and holding Oregon State to 21 points is just what the doctor ordered.
- Dinner Bell: David Bell feasted on the Beavers’ secondary. 8 receptions, 134 yards. When the offense needed a boost, Bell was there with a big play. A human adrenaline shot.
- “Bring the” Payne Durnham: 7 receptions for 120 yards, and two TDs in the 4th quarter is one hell of a performance.
- The magic number is 28: If a college football team can score 28 points, they should be able to win the game. While Brohm may have relied too heavily on the run at times, his play calling put the Boilermakers in position to score. The good guys scored 30 points, but were in position to score much more. Various reasons (highlighted later) led to squandered opportunities, but the opportunities were there for the taking.
- Three for Three: Mitchell Fineran went 3 for 3 on field goals, including a 48 yarder, and 3 for 3 on extra points. Purdue struggled to seal the deal on some of their drives, and the Boilermakers would not have won without his efforts.
Opportunities for Improvement:
- Get it while its hot: You don’t get as big/round as me by letting your dinner turn cold. When food is presented to me, I eat. The same needs to be said about the Purdue offense. Boilers scored 30 points, but the team nearly lost because of the necessity to settle for field goals. By my count, Purdue left 14-21 points on the field. 14 for sure. Score should have been 44-21, had Purdue taken care of business when they should have.
- The blatant PI missed call for David Bell > delay of game > unsportsmanlike conduct penalty fiasco, could have been 7 point advantage if Bell caught the ball/the right call had been made, but lets call it 3 points.
- Milton Wright dropping an easy open touchdown pass which led to a fake field goal. That fake field goal was a brilliant play call, and was executed very well… but Payne Durham got stripped on the catch, turning the ball over. 7 points
- Boilermakers had 1st and goal on the 5 yard line. Three rush attempts led to the Boilermakers being stuffed, and settling for a field goal. 4 points
- It is safe to say that things were a bit chaotic…: Speaking of the David Bell blatant PI call which was missed, plus the immediate delay of game, plus the 15 yard penalty which in one swoop pulled a scoring opportunity out from under the legs of the Boilers… that is evidence of a phenomenon which needs to be nipped in the bud, and fast. Brohm needs to sort things out on the sideline. Things like this will get you beaten. In addition to that previously mentioned fiasco:
- Purdue got penalized for a delay of game following a kickoff, when they needed a first down to ice the game.
- Purdue had to burn a timeout due to a confusing scenario that had Jackson Anthrop in position to play defensive back when Oregon State was going for it on 4th down.
- The Boilermakers had no timeouts left with 3 minutes left in a 2 point game. Good thing they didn’t need them.
- Yes, we know, IU Sucks: but the post kickoff chant needs to go. As we all know, the chant has permeated the student section, but unfortunately, it has bled into, and stained, the general population as well. Now the adults in the room are saying it. Yes, we all know that IU does, indeed, suck. I was hoping that the lack of a 2020 season would’ve led to people forgetting that embarrassing chant. I guess not.
Big Man on Campus:
Payne Durham flexed his muscle in the 4th quarter of this game. Scoring his two TDs on late drives, without his gutty performance, Purdue could have been left scratching their heads.
One Last Thing:
There are a few things which are absolutely beyond reproach in my life. To give a few examples… My dog, a gyros platter from a local eatery in Valparaiso, Mackey Arena, the smell of a campfire in October, etc. You catch my drift. These are the things that I have never, and probably will never, criticize in my life.
The Purdue All American Marching Band was on that list until yesterday.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I still adore the AAMB. Without a doubt, this is the best marching band in the world. I was flooded with a surge of emotion when they took the field on Saturday. I love these young folks playing my favorite song on a football Saturday.
The halftime show, for this game, was… a ‘miscalculation’. You see, Boilermaker fans, the halftime show was a medley of every Big Ten school’s fight song.
Now, I am not a hate filled person. There are a spare few things that even encroach at the opportunity for me to hate them. I do, however, pretty much hate the other 13 teams in the B1G. I don’t want anything bad to happen to them, short of losing to Purdue, but the 13 other B1G teams, are the most hated/dastardly antagonists in my favorite past time. I also hate their fight song. Their colors too.
So needless to say, the halftime show received rigorous and boisterous boos throughout its entirety, from the majority of the stadium. It didn’t occur to anyone that the dozens of thousands of PURDUE fans in attendance could also, you know, hate the other 13 teams of the Big Ten? I mean, what do I know. I am not a marching band guy.
Love the marching band. Just thought this was a huge misstep.
A Look Ahead:
Week 2, Purdue takes on UConn. The Huskies are, with absolutely no exaggeration, the worst team in Division 1 football. Purdue opens as a 32 point favorite (thirty two) (!).
Things are so bad out there that their coach of 17 years, this week, decided to retire. Just up and said “Whelp.” It has been insinuated that the team no longer backs head coach Randy Edsall, and due to that, he will be done at the end of the season.
Lucky for Purdue, he will be coaching against the Boilermakers on Saturday! Lets just say, Purdue should win, going away.
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