I’ll admit it I drank the Darrell Hazell Kool-Aid. This isn’t to say I won’t be right in the long term but I certainly overestimated the time it would take for Hazell to put his stamp on this team. Perhaps it was all the sugar in that Kool-Aid that went to my head and made me forget just how many issues this team would have. Cincinnati exposed those issues in a 42-7 butt whooping of Purdue.
For any of those who have paid attention in the off-season you know that were were supposed to see a more disciplined Purdue football team and one that was more efficient and more ready to attack on both offense and defense. We saw none of that today. Purdue committed multiple silly penalties including at least 2 delay of games, a couple of false starts, and even an illegal substitution. In addition to those silly penalties Rob Henry threw two interceptions and Purdue fumbled the ball an incredible 5 times losing two of them. That’s a recipe for disaster. To make matters even worse Purdue looked disjointed on both sides of the ball. Personnel groupings were constantly changing and it didn’t seem everyone knew exactly where they were supposed to be. Tackles were missed, assignments were blown, passes were overthrown, passes were underthrown, routes were cut off, blocks were missed, a field goal was missed, snaps were mishandled. It was that kind of day for Purdue.
It wasn’t all bad though. One unit for Purdue shone bright like a diamond. I’d love to be able to say it was the offensive line or the linebackers but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. It was the punt team. Cody Webster continues to show that he might possibly have a future in this football thing. He punted the ball three times for 169 yards for a 56 yard average. Included in that is an incredible 73 yard punt that contributed to Purdue’s only points of the game. That 73 yard boomer occurred in the second quarter with Webster punting out of his own endzone. The ball was muffed by the Cincinnati return man and then kicked around by a few players before the snapper Jesse Schmitt recovered it. Way to never give up on the play fellas!
Other than that I’m grasping at straws. Purdue was outmanned in every aspect today. Perhaps the other bit of good news was that Dalyn Dawkins looks like he could be a player for Purdue. He was both Purdue’s leading receiver and their leading running back. I’m not sure you want the same guy to lead in both categories unless he’s a phenom but for now I’ll take it as a positive. He ended the game with 70 yards total. Not great numbers by any means but it’s what I’ve got for ya at the moment.
- Cody Webster and the punt team.
- Dalyn Dawkins
- Purdue grabbing two interceptions.
- Everything about Nippert Stadium (more on that in a separate post).
- The penalties. It was a bit loud in there but that doesn’t excuse all the delay of games and false starts.
- The missed tackles. Sure some of them happened in the 3rd or 4th quarters but that’s when you need to be dialed in the most. That’s when game are won and lost.
- The missed field goal. We read all camp and practice long that both kickers were missing a lot of kicks and that field goals would be an issue. Today made that readily apparent. Paul Griggs badly missed his only attempt.
- The reaction of some fans. Yeah it’s frustrating to lose but remember this is the team that was dominated in their bowl game last year. The difference is that they lost their number one running back, number one defensive tackle, number one quarterback, and a couple pretty good lineman. Just because a new coach is brought in doesn’t mean the team suddenly gets better. It will take time. Losing sucks but it’s worse for the coaches and players than it is for us I assure you.
- Rob Henry’s play. I don’t like to pick on individual players but this has to be pointed out. Henry hasn’t really been showcased as a player in this offense since the terrible year when his finger was mangled. He missed open receivers with throws, failed to see open receivers, passed when he should have run, threw it away on 4th down when he should’ve tried anything, fumbled snaps, threw two picks and generally failed to do anything well. Obviously not all of this is his fault. You and I don’t know if the receiver ran the wrong route on those picks. We do know that the offensive line played poorly which didn’t help his cause. Kudos to Hazell for sticking with him though. He needs the reps and he needs the confidence if he’s going to be the leader.
- The line play of Purdue was awful. There was absolutely no push up front on either side. The defensive line that was supposed to be a strength of the defense failed to get any sort of pressure.
- Where was Dolapo McCarthy? He didn’t see a single snap as a WR today. In my opinion he’s the best wide receiver this team has. I’m not sure if he was being punished for some reason or if it was simply a coaching matter that I don’t understand. He needs to get on the field. He’s a big strong receiver. Purdue needs that.
Purdue’s got a lot to work on before they face Indiana State. The level of competition drops off significantly next week. Indiana State’s number one running back and quite frankly their best player is out for the game due to injury (as far as we know at this moment). Matt Painter is a fan of saying that things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as they seem either. Right now things seem hopeless (they aren’t), next week things will seem great (they won’t be). The truth is somewhere in the middle. Purdue needs patience right now and I hope the fans will give it to them.