The Boilers were pounding again today, this time by the worst team that’s pummeled them yet, as Indiana took the Boilers to the woodshed, 56-36 – nearly reversing the score from last year exactly.
Purdue was gashed immediately and often by IU’s Stephen Houston – who had something like 70 yards and two TDs on his first seven carries – and Tre Roberson, who rushed for 154 yards and passed for another 273 plus six touchdowns. Six. Mercy.
The Boilers end their worst football season of their 122 with a 1-11 (0-8) record. It’s difficult to even say “arguably” their worst season, too. This was their first season without a Big Ten win since 1993 and their first one-win season since that same year, two decades ago (when the rivers were pure and fully-coiffed Boilerdowd prowled the halls of Cary Quad as a freshman). And as we’ve noted, that 1993 team at least competed in many of their games. Even in this one, where Purdue scored by far their most points of the season, the Boilers were routed. Make no mistake about that.
It was 35-9 at halftime and I just have to say I hate missed extra points. There are few actions that are actually fairly small in the actual impact that have such a large impact on morale and “vibe.” Missing an extra point meant the Boilers were down 14-6 instead of 14-7 at the time. I know it means nothing in the overall scheme of things and the guys need to pick each other up, but it feels like it lets the air out of the balloon. I expect Griggs to get better and we did see him make some more sizable kicks, such as the 36 yarder later on… like other positions, consistency here would make a difference.
Purdue showed they were either lacking in confidence in Griggs, lacking respect for the IU defense, or simply tired of taking it on the chin all year, as they went for it on 4th and 12 early and converted, leading to that first TD that cut into the quick two TD lead for IU.
But things went south after that, as IU mercilessly sliced up a Purdue defense that had no answers. Boilerdowd and I have often discussed the linebacking corps at Purdue and just how lacking it is. It’s hard to criticize those guys, though, because they do appear to work hard and some of them, like Sean Robinson, are converted from other positions and simply doing everything they are asked. Hard to fault that. And we’re not faulting it – we’re simply saying Coach Hazell and Coach Hudson have their work cut out for them in that area and need to get recruiting. When you consider the football factories like OSU that Purdue shares a conference with, it’s kind of amazing that the Boilers have guys starting at LB that wouldn’t play there at any other Big Ten school, or probably any other BCS conference team in the nation.
The secondary, though, is only slightly better. Ricardo Allen picked off his fifth and sixth of the season in his final collegiate game – good for RA (seriously). Allen said last week that “Drew Brees was right – it’s an honor to be a Boilermaker.” That’s great to hear from the senior.
However, he’ll be gone next year, too, and the secondary is going to need to improve as well. The defense as a whole has a long way to go and a return to relevance will not truly happen without significant leaps forward here.
Tangentially, on the subject of rushing the ball, Purdue not only can’t stop it – they can’t actually do it, either! Not a good combo. Purdue was outrushed today by… are you ready for this? 370 yards (401-31). That is…legendarily bad. Yes, I know it gets out of hand when you’re behind and have to pass to catch up and all that, but still…wow.
Purdue had over 500 yards of offense for the first time all season (while also cracking 30 points for the first time) but also gave up nearly 700. Good gracious. I’m used to those numbers being on the good guys’ side of the ledger. I don’t like being Urkel in this rivalry.
In addition, Landon Feichter (who IU’s play-by-play radio team called “Landon Fletcher”) was tossed for “targeting” in a very questionable call (you can see Landon trying to lead with his shoulder) yet a very clear crown of the helmet to Etling’s face on the second-to-last Purdue snap of the contest went not only without an ejection, but without even a flag! Awesome officiating… and so even-handed! (Danny put it right back in their face with another TD pass, so good for him for getting up after the hard, dirty knock and delivering, despite the outcome already being decided.)
So did anything go well today? Not for quite a while, honestly. The score ballooned to 49-9 in the third quarter and we began worrying that we might see a lousy IU team hang 60 on our Boilers – and perhaps win by 50+, which would just be one more kick in the beans in a season that’s already tested the mettle of our cups.
But then Danny Etling went to work and perhaps most importantly, refused to quit playing hard. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know they’re supposed to always play hard. I get it. But continuing to prepare, practice and play with heart and focus when the season has long since slipped away is not as easy as it sounds. I was proud of the effort put forth by the offense and I would say to people who imply Purdue players don’t care that you’re not right, in my opinion. Clearly, you’re more than entitled to yours, but I believe Coach Hazell has the guys whose attitudes aren’t where they belong firmly planted on the bench.
Etling began leading Purdue on drives – three consecutive TD drives, to bring the score from 49-9 to 49-30 and suddenly at least a little more respectable, culminating with this thing of beauty to Danny Anthrop:
A 21 point comeback would have been enough for some wins this season – unfortunately it came with the team already down forty.
Tre Roberson sealed the game with his sixth TD pass late, but Danny Etling continued to chuck it, repeatedly hooking up with Danny Anthrop and DeAngelo Yancey. Anthrop had five catches for 151 yards and a TD and Yancey had 11 grabs for 125 and a TD. Mr. Etling wound up having by far his best game of the season, going 33 of 49 for 485 yards and four TDs (against zero picks). Many of you will cynically point out that it was against IU’s defense – and you’d be correct – but he also got to play PSU’s defense, Nebraska’s defense and – mercy – Illinois’ defense and he didn’t come close to these kinds of numbers. Nor did he look as confident in those games, though there were flashes.
I enjoyed seeing Danny grow up a bit in front of us and I liked seeing him continue to command the offense, patting guys on the back, taking control, barking orders, etc. Never forget this is a true freshman thrown into the shark-infested waters of one of the toughest schedules in the nation with a suspect line “protecting” him. Danny Etling is not this team’s problem right now. His ability to zing the ball down the field warms the cockles of my cold, dark heart. Brighter days are ahead.
I know there are some who have already lost patience with Coach Hazell. I’m nowhere near that yet and I feel he deserves time to implement his guys and his system. Danny Hope got four years to figure it out and never did. Now, granted, Darrell Hazell won’t get that long because he’s making big boy money and you absolutely must produce results. I look for next year to be a transitional year and for 2015 to be very good. Many key components on offense are back and I expect them to get a lot better. Whether John Shoop is part of that or not remains to be seen, obviously.
I’ll end our final game post of the season by thanking you all for tuning in to witness our slow, sad decline down the icy slope towards insanity. I’ll also say that we appreciate any and all Purdue athletes who choose to put on the old gold and black (or black and white today) and represent our beloved alma mater. As Ricardo said when he quoted Drew, it’s something to be proud of.
Now it’s time to begin to climb back from the bottom.
Ever grateful, ever true.
Don't know about most folks but I've been following Purdue football for about 27 years and I've never been as disappointed as I was this past year. After a bitter loss to Ohio State in the last seconds of the game 2 years ago that had even Ohio States coach saying " We won that game didn't we ? " we went in the cellar once again in the Big Ten. Yes, first year coach, yes, different plays, yes, yes, yes to all the excuses.. Gee... wonder why Urban Meyer didn't share the same fate as Hazell ? And Morgan Burke gets a raise ?
One final thought. I really like the uniforms and the helmets are OK, but the train track thing has to go. I hate to see cosmetic changes. We have a good tradition, we don't need to reinvent a whole new "look" for Purdue.
Biggest need is linebackers and O line for sure. Brandon Cottom I think has a lot of potential if we can develop him. Had a great pass play. Does anyone know what happened to Dolapo McCarthy? Is he redshirting or something? He made plays last year the few times he was on the field. I also scratch my head why Anthrop is just now seeing substantial minutes. They should have been playing him every down. Our secondary got beat on deep routes which is nothing unusual, but I will say for the first time in a long time they were actually looking back for the ball. The IU receiver usually made the play (esp. Lattimer) but that tells me someone is coaching them correctly
I have been negative all season, but I have to say I did see some bright spots. After it was 49 to 9, I figured we were going to see the guys roll over and die, but they came out and fought. I hope Hazell sees we are not a physical run offense never have, never will be. Even with Mike Alstott we couldn't win. We are a pass oriented scheme that is the cradle of quarterbacks. Tiller himself was not the only reason we did well. I am not saying go back to bball on grass, but we need a high octane attack. We are not going to be a Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan or Penn State. Those guys have the benefit of monstrous offensive lines and 4 and 5 star running backs. Won't happen here. We need to focus on Brock Spack like defenses and a pass oriented system.
I know the season is over and we don't want to dwell on Football, but I was thinking about our running game. Obviously it was non existent. I realized that we didn't see Dawkins ever again after the Nebraska game, if I recall correctly, after the targetting ejection and the next play he fumbled?
I am just curious about what you guys think of the RB situation for next year. We bring back all of them. Hunt, Cottom, Dawkins, Mostert, and then there are the guys we never say Gregory, Byars III, and wasn't there another Yancey?
I am just curious anyones take on those guys that didn't play and what anyone thinks of how they will be next year?
I am a hardcore Purdue fan and always will be, I also understand what some of you are saying about expecting much more from our team and coaches. My comments about supporting our team and this coaching staff still stands. I will continue to buy my tickets and tailgate and hope to watch this staff and team grow and becoming competitive at the top level.
Now, with that said..... IF Purdue would have not fired Hope after last season I do not know if I would have upped my tickets, and I damn well would've moved seats and not paid the legacy fee. That would have been because Morgan Burke and Purdue would have made a statement that they don't give a shit and why should we as fans/Alumni. That is a completely different situation though. We had watched Hope and his coaching staff stay mediocre and not get any improvement out of the players from year to year. We made the same mistakes, same bad play calls, and it was just the same disappointments over and over. 6 wins and a bowl game was not a success for those teams, and shouldn't be a job saver for an established coaching staff.
This was Hazell's first year here, with a completely new coaching staff, with many different personalities. It will take more than one year to determine what we have and it will take more than one year to see who is a good fit. He says that there will be no firings/changes, but don't be surprised if some move on. Regardless, if this is the situation after the next 2-3 years and nothing is changed then we have an issue.
I expect to see a completely different team next season in terms of size, toughness, and discipline. Do I think we will be back bowling next year??? Who knows, but there should be major improvements made with how young we are. In year three we better be solid and at least compete with every single team we face.
Leaving and not supporting the program if Hope wouldn't have been fired is acceptable, hell his last season or two would've been worth bailing on. Giving up on Hazell, his coaching staff, and this young team after 1 year I do not feel is acceptable. Obviously it is your money, your time, and your everything else. But don't spout that everything is wrong with this coaching hire, this team, this coaching staff, and everything else after 1 season. Purdue just put an assload of money into this program and it is a huge change that will take some time.
Now as stated in a 2-3 years if its the same story with no change everyone better be gone, or mass changes better take place. Hopefully Burke too.
There occurs to be a recurring theme to these posts...alot of fans are sick of the continuous " we know what we are doing" attitude by the AD...show me some B10 championships and we will pipe down...and...the "if you don't support your team without question then you are less than a Boilermaker fan" BS. Given the choice this year of dropping $2k to travel from Michigan to Pittsburgh or coming to my hometown , the choice was clear...We chose to see a slobberknocker between my Steelers and the Lions. I've spent plenty a Saturday afternoon in my childhood watching a substandard product. That doesn't make me any less of a Boilermaker... that kind of thinking is crap!
Top 3 things that MUST happen for both MBB and FB programs:
#1 Morgan Burke must be fired.
#2 See #1.
#3 See #2.
He has Zero marketing skills. Zero leadership skills. Zero hiring skills. Zero vision. He is an MBA in the worst sense of that title...a bean counter who has no grasp on reality. Unfortunately, our nation is full of this crappy way of thinking.
good points @pub76 We don't have that only show in town thing going like Iowa, Nebraska, aO$U, or IU basketball where people not affiliated with the university like them. We are primarily an alum-based fanbase, but we should still have enough of them out there to fill the seats. I made a few trips this year but I admit there comes a point when it gets very hard to take time and money to watch a product that is worst in the major conferences. There's basketball and football programs out there with less advantages than us who find ways to win games. As for basketball this year, who the hell knows. It would be nice to beat a BCS team sometime.
And don't hand me the whole....put a good product on the field and I will come. Either you are a fan of your alma mater or you are the equivalent of the Indiana University basketball/Notre Dame football fan. I want my alma maters athletics to succeed so I take my lumps in the down years and enjoy the good years. However I show up to the games whether they are getting pummeled or not.
To me the whole men's athletic program is a freaking joke. Basketball and football. I am willing to give Hazel sometime however history is not in his favor. We aren't like Iowa or Nebraska where we are the only show in the state. Even in mediocre years Iowa and Nebraska sells their stadium out. We had a hard time selling the stadium out when we were going to bowls pretty frequently. That takes a serious toll on recruiting. That to me is the hardest thing to convince Purdue fans of. If you want to get good recruits go to the freaking games. Otherwise what in the world does the coach have to sell? Because let's face it, our academic reputation doesn't hit home runs with four and five star recruits.
The basketball issue is a complete joke. Painter isn't and never was a top notch coach. Burke should have let him leave and went after someone else. The one sport Purdue should not have a problem selling is Men's basketball. We got our arse's handed to us by Oklahoma State who by the way barely won against Butler. Then we get dusted by Washington State??????????? Are you freaking kidding me?
Maybe someone with a better pulse on University politics could set me straight on something... at what point does President Daniels take a look at the situation and step in? I mean, a failing program situation puts a damper on the Purdue product as a whole and can effect revenues/ donations, etc. Past Purdue presidents have appeared to be hands off but will Mitch put up with the poor product that the football program is putting out ? Or I am oversimplifying the situation...anyway, I think the final report card for coach H will be 2015. Glad this nightmare of a season is over and to answer my own question: loosing the Bucket is hitting bottom...nowhere to go but up from the bottom of this outhouse of a season.
Rough year and always rough losing to IU.
BUT... If people can't get their damn minds wrapped around the fact that Hazell had to play the young guys and the guys that have bought into the system, then they can go on being pissed off and not get tickets or follow the Boilers in the future.
I feel that regardless of us winning 1 or 3 wins who cares??? So you play all the seniors that were probably being assholes and not giving the effort needed for a couple more wins and then next year we do the same thing over, except maybe you lose the rest of the team because the cancer spreads...
I will buy my tickets (legacy fee included) and tailgate and sit in the stands for the entire game (Unless our tents blow and knock my best friends back window out and dent in my new cards roof). I don't care... I am a Purdue Boilermaker and always will be. I feel that Hazell IS the RIGHT guy for the job, but it is going to take some time.
Now with that said, in 3 years if there is not massive improvement from this season he will need to have swapped out coaches for a change, or he needs to be gone. I felt that Hope could have even benefitted heavily from bringing in different position coaches and O/D coordinators.
Well I am being patient and can't wait for the future of this team, because I can guarantee that they will NEVER want to feel like this again!
EVER GRATEFUL EVER TRUE!
I'm probably in the minority here, but I agree - next season we'll see mild improvement and greater improvement in 2015. Is that enough to keep the fanbase in it?? I don't know. Hazell & Co. need to go balls out this offseason with recruiting - especially getting defensive talent. That MUST be an emphasis for this staff.
I'm glad this season is over but at the same time, very disheartened by how the season transpired. I expected more from this team & staff.
Purdue is almost forced to go the JuCo route for defensive help. The team needs help now! Shoop is a lost cause. I expect him to be fired next week. The guys will hit the weights next week and the coaches will hit the road. And what do you think will happen to Austin Appleby?
@Gbork Unless something changes drastically in the next month or two, will definitely be in the bottom tier of big 10. Some 3 star guys and 1 4 star guy, oddly enough is Glenn Robinson's "other" son. His older brother is a stud bball player for Michigan as I am sure you know, but Gelen is a stud LB that has committed to Purde. Unless he signs with someone else (you never know), he will be the jewel of the class. The QB they have is supposed to be good. We had one committment switch (Tranquil) from us to Notre Dame after they offered. Sucks, but I can't say I blame him.
@CASagamore I agree, though I've never been a fan of the stripe down the middle on the previous helmets. Make it basic and simple. Keep it classy...
Hopefully next year we'll get more buy-in from the players who remain or come in, and actually compete. Perhaps we'll see the team look like they're actually happy to be playing next year. I'm so glad we're done though. This was a bad bad year.
@CASagamore I love the helmets, and I have had more people comment positively on them than anything I can ever remember. It even made top headlines on some Uniform pages and Instagram photos. I know that the younger generation have been very impressed with the changes.
Yes. Ever since I started posting here a month ago - I've been saying that the major reason we were so bad was because of the defensive front 7 and the o-line. Coaching & scheme played into that as well, but we were totally outclassed by every team we played...save ISU...but barely. Our d-line got pushed around and linebackers were bulldozed into submission. The secondary carries some of the burden, but it starts up front. I'm not even going to address the o-line because I get so pissed off thinking about them.
I think the staff develops the young guys and gets some much needed help at those groups...and I honestly think we'll see some improvements next year - due in part to a 'softer' schedule the first 4 weeks.
@CASagamore I have had many discussions with a lot of people about McCarthy and the same talks about Cottom at the beginning of the season. Both were MIA. Our only guess was grades/attitude/effort.
During the IU game the announcers really hit on Gary Bush also. He was a main target last year and it's been said that he was very close with Coach Hope. I would guess that the "buy in" by alot of those players that we figured we'd see has a lot to do with play time.
I could be completely off on my thinking, but it is the only thing that makes sense to me.
During the post game interview Hazell specifically mentioned the need for a running back. I took his comments to mean this; not necessarily for one from the current stable to emerge - but to GET one during the offseason. You can find the summation and direct quotes over at GBI. You're interpretation might be different - but judging by the way our RB Corps performed - I'm not surprised by his comments.
I'm guessing we get a JUCO RB (like Shavers) that gets the majority of the carries next season - with Hunt & Cottom blended in as well.
I don't see a lot of fire Coach H posts here. It just seems idiotic to spend the limited resources our program has acting like a "big dawg". Put a generic helmet on our men and be smart about it. Is there a reason to drop big money putting in box seats and overpay for incompetent staff over and over again. I have had many good memories growing up around Purdue sports. I saw Larry Bird, John Elway,and Joe Montana play in West Lafayette. With the exception of Brees and some fine basketball in past years ,most of the quality play was by that of our opponents. Either we as a university accept that we are inherently an inferior sports school or use are smarts and pay to play with the big boys...don't hold your breath.
@pub76 that mentality is as silly as the "support your country NO MATTER WHAT!!" line of thinking. If you think the product stinks, it is your duty as a fan/citizen to voice your displeasure (and many administrators are thick headed enough that they won't care what you, the fan, think unless it starts hurting their wallet). Otherwise you end up with a Cubs "lovable loser" situation where the misery continues indefinitely.
@cutbackmd I believe Mitch has stated that since the Football program is self sustaining he will not step in. We are one of like 4 Div 1 schools that take no additional funding. Anyone can give exact details on that stuff, but i remember very clearly that Mitch stated something along those lines when he came in.
I think that one of the reasons so many young guys saw action this year was that in Hazell's mind - much of the outcome of the season was predicated on the upperclassmen buying into his system and that clearly didn't happen. Now, you have a few seniors like Rico & Henry who probably "got it" and gave everything - but it's clear to me that aside from a select few, the upperclassmen en-masse didn't give one shit.
I'm betting that you'll see a number of players - most likely current juniors - transfer out this year.
@jerrycruncher Appleby said he is staying.
@MichiganBoiler Ya i took it that way also. Go find a "New" player, but I have to admit that I still feel that there is huge potential with the backs that we have. The biggest issue is that our OLine couldn't open a hole for Mighty Mouse. It had no push, no gaps, no positives in the running game. I think if we can fix our Oline and Dline this team has some things going for it.
That's a tall order considering how bad it was.
I talked with a certain Junior Defensive player, that starts and is definitely a leader on the team about the young guys playing. He said that he sees a lot of potential and likes them playing because of the situation we are in and it will be great for the seasons to come, but then I asked him about the Oline being replaced by other players..... His comment was.... "Ya... we need help there badly"
It starts and ends in the trenches, and ours is more of a shallow ditch.
@JoshCrain @pub76 Unfortunately this isn't MLB, the NFL, or the NBA. We don't draft our players. They have to want to come to West Lafayette and play. Why in the world would any kid want to come and play for a school where its fan base doesn't support the program 100%. You can't have it both ways. So if you want to make a stand do it by going to the games and screaming your displeasure at the expense of the other team. Then maybe we would stop losing what few four and five star recruits we actually have a chance of getting on the team