9/13/2021 Boilermaker Weekly Water Cooler Chat: Dog Days for the Huskies

Rants, ravings, and somewhat sensical opinions following Purdue’s 49-0 Victory over the UConn Huskies.

I’m a dog lover. I’ve had a dog in my life since I was 4 or so years old when my parents got Pluto from the local shelter in town. I loved that dog. My dog Reese, has me smitten like any other has in my life. Sometimes I wish I could text her when I was at work, just so see how her 20 hours of napping per day is going. I just love her so much. Check her out!

UConn’s mascot is a huskie. Wonderfully good looking dogs, with even temperament, and extreme athletic prowess. Huskies have been known to achieve tremendous physical achievements. When hooked as a team they can run the Iditarod, mushing through blizzards and mountains, running hundreds of miles across the frozen tundra in the arctic. Hell, there’s even a statue to famous Iditarod sled dog, and Siberian Husky, Balto, in New York’s Central Park. That is how good of athletes Huskies are. Lovely animals, really.

The current Husky product is anything but Balto like. They are clearly struggling, and have found themselves as one of, if not the worst teams in the NCAA. A far cry from the team that was going to bowl games as recently as 2015, having gone to 6 in the 2000s. What was once a solid, respected Husky program has performed more like a pug the last few years.

If there is a silver lining in this football season for UConn, its well documented that all dogs go to heaven. So at least they have that going for them.

The Game:

Purdue gave up 2 sacks in their first three plays from scrimmage, punting in their first possession.

Purdue then scored 7 unanswered touchdowns to win 49-0.

This was the Boilermaker’s first shutout vs. a Division 1 team since 2004 Syracuse, and their first road shutout vs. a Division 1 team since shutting out Northwestern in 1981. That’s 40 years, folks.

Break it Down:

Boilermakers needed three things from this game to UConn. 1) They needed to win easily. 2) They needed to get experience for their backups. 3) They needed to stay injury free.

Famed ballad singer Meatloaf tells us that two out of three ain’t bad. I’m going to have to disagree with him for the first time in my life. In this case starting RB Zander Horvath suffered what appears to be an ankle injury, and, according to Jeff Brohm, will be missing some time. He joins TE Garrett Miller, and CB Jamari Brown who also appeared to be injured during Saturday’s tilt.

The game itself was a laugher, in which most of the starters only played the first half. David Bell caught 6 passes for 121 yards, and 3 highlight reel touchdowns. Jack Plummer went 16/20 for 245 yards, throwing for 4 TDs and 0 picks. King Doerue and Dylan Downing rushed for 74 and 72 yards respectively, with Doerue scoring a TD.

The defense did exactly what they needed to do, holding UConn to 223 total yards, only 99 of which passing. Boilermakers had an interception from Zane Green, and forced 3 fumbles on the day.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

What Went Well:

  • Everything…: Offense, Defense, Special Teams. Well done. This was expected.
  • Experience matters: Any time you get 80+ players into a game, you’re doing something that benefits your football team. By getting younger players and backups some in game reps, you prepare them to take the reigns in case there is an injury or opening.
  • Spread it around: Four quarterbacks played. Twelve different players rushed the ball. Thirteen players caught a pass. Five different players kicked the ball at any given time.
  • Get down field!: While Purdue had some excellent individual players, none of that can happen without your teammates. Take a look at David Bell’s two winding touchdowns. What do you see, in addition to his physical prowess? You see his teammates, blocking down field. When you do the little things, such as blocking, your stars can shine.

Opportunities for Improvement:

  • The first drive…: Purdue looked asleep. They gave up two sacks, and didn’t move the ball, which led to a punt. Maybe they just needed some extra coffee in the morning, but if one drive is the only real problem here, then sleepwalking through 3 plays from scrimmage isn’t that bad.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Big Man on Campus:

You saw it. I saw it. The college football world saw it. David Bell had UConn players missing tackles in a phone booth. He glides around the field in what seems like slow motion… except he is flying past defenders and scoring touchdowns.

Whether he is cutting back a play to find a block, or walking the tightrope into the endzone, David Bell did everything that he needed to do in one half. That is all we needed to see.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Never Forget:

Saturday marked the 20th anniversary from the September 11th, 2001, terror attacks which permanently scarred New York City, Washington DC, and rural Pennsylvania.

While I have strong memories of this day, that is all they were, memories. While I watched that day unfold on television, others lived it.

To the victims, their families, the first responders, and the heroes who keep America safe, I send a prayer to the heavens. God Bless.

A Look Ahead:

Would you look at that, Notre Dame is back on the schedule! We’re back to hate week, folks. I grew up in a football world in which Notre Dame was more reviled to Purdue football than the Hoosiers were.

Couple that Irish loathing with the fact that I live in the IU/ND turncoat capital of the world, nestled between Chicago and South Bend, and this week couldn’t be more painful.

I am surrounded by those fans who didn’t attend Notre Dame, but feel it necessary to recklessly celebrate every time ND squeaks one out against Toledo. The bandwagon types who’s Uncle’s brother-in-law once drove the ND football team’s bus on one Saturday in 1976, so therefore it is now a family tradition to root for the Irish. The types who brag the most, and call others jealous. Those folk. I’ll be swimming in them all week.

I went to high school with a kid who would literally tear up when he reminisced about ND’s 1988 National Title. You don’t remember that season, Doug. You were 3 years old. Relax.

Those types of fans.

Anyways, Notre Dame starts the week as about a touchdown favorite over the Boilermakers. The Irish have actually fallen in the college football polls this week despite the victory, sitting at #12 in the nation.

Either way, Purdue doesn’t fare well in South Bend, so I don’t expect a victory. However, any given Saturday, right? Boilers are on house money! Let’s see what is in store!

Oregon State Recap Video by Corey Adams: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTvEIHrFvz-/?utm_medium=copy_link

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About Benjamin Kolodzinski 25 Articles
Blending the passion of a sports fan with years of media experience, Ben Kolodzinski is unique personality for ISC Purdue. Since the 2017-18 NCAA seasons, Ben has written weekly columns for ISC, with a style that can only be described as snarky, irreverent, and often times irrelevant. A 2008 graduate from Purdue West Lafayette, Kolodzinski has worked for several local and regional media outlets. Best known for his television and radio work at Lakeshore Public Media, Kolodzinski helped grow Northwest Indiana's only nightly news show Lakeshore News Tonight, along with The Region's only local sports shows Prep Sports Report, and Prep Football Report. Kolodzinski is known, locally, for having a fun loving and gregarious personality, and for attempting to inject humor into his reporting... sometimes successfully.

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