Sunday, October 07, 2007
Sadly, I was wrong...way off, in fact. I thought not only that Purdue would play competitively versus Ohio State, but that my Boilers would win. From the get-go, the Bucks were the better team. Painter did not recover from a poor showing versus UND, in fact he played pretty darned poorly. I counted AT LEAST 6 interceptions that hit Buckeye defenders in the numbers that were dropped. But, the offensive play-calling and preparation was laughable. The new wrinkles that I thought we would see were non-existent...In fact, it looked like Purdue had no clue what to do on the offensive side of the ball. The only bright spot, to me was Dustin Keller's play. He looked like the weapon that Purdue fans all know he is. Conversely, Purdue's big receivers didn't seem to break loose from OSU's DB's and Bryant dropped more than one ball that he should have caught.
To me, and granted, I have not watched tape, the defense was not the problem...when the crowd urged them to make a big, tough play, they seemed to do so...especially in the second and third quarters.
My biggest disappointment of the night, even bigger than that in the coaching staff was the fans. I really don't like OSU and its fans...but there were a lot of them in Ross Ade- too many. The John Purdue Section beneath the press box was littered with red shirts, both end zones were filled with Buck fans and there were pockets throughout. All of the negativity toward the Purdue fanbase seems to be warranted. We are soft. So soft, we sell 1/3 of our tickets to the visiting Buck fans...in a game in which we came in 5-0 and ranked in the top-25. Sad.
So the question is- Has the apathy of the fanbase softened Joe Tiller OR has Joe Tiller's even-keel "everything's fine" philosophy poisoned Purdue's faithful? Regardless, the Tiller teams that used to fight until the end and never stop playing until 0:00 seem to be nothing but a distant memory. This game was over in the second quarter.