Boilers bumble against Bowling Green, 35-28
Bowling Green beat Purdue 35-28. Sigh. https://twitter.com/carminjc/status/647800900388581378
It was a football game played at Ross-Ade Stadium during the Darrell Hazell/John Shoop/Greg Hudson era in West Lafayette, so a few of the old standard goodies were dusted off.
- Complete lack of consistency on the defensive end.
- Uneven offensive playcalling.
- Tons of ill-timed penalties against a dangerous offense.
- Disaster on special teams.
- Gut-punch loss in the gut-punchiest fashion, against a MAC team at home.
Now, there were a few changes that are worth writing about, mainly…
David Blough’s debut was pretty fun. 29/39, 340 yards, 2 TDs and 1 garbage time INT, along with 12 carries for 11 yards and 1 TD. His poise in the pocket is really great (especially for a freshman), and his mobility is most evident by his footwork avoiding a collapsing pocket. When he was decisive about running, he was great…but that decision-making needs to be a lot quicker. The first half featured too many chicken-with-his-head-cut-off scrambles, where it looked like he was terrified to take a sack. But that’s expected in his first start, and it definitely improved as the game went on. His accuracy needs a good amount of work, and he doesn’t seem to have the cannon-arm that Appleby sports, but his overall performance left a great impression.
Remember, though, that Austin Appleby started 15/20 for 202 yards, 1TD, and 0 INTs, along with 7 carries for 76 yards and 2 TDs, and looked pretty damn good doing it. So all I can do is hope that the Purdue coaching staff, along with the offensive line, give Blough a chance to succeed like they did at times today.
But there’s no getting past it. Purdue just went 1-3 through the 2015 nonconference slate, when many of us thought 3-1 was fairly attainable. It doesn’t matter that many thought Purdue was “the better team” against Marshall and Bowling Green, three years is plenty of time to teach a team how to finish.
The biggest question coming out of this game, for me: Did the Danny Hope era get a boost because he had a few Joe Tiller players, and likewise is the Darrell Hazell era getting dragged down because he has Hope players?
Was Danny Hope just flat out a better head football coach than Darrell Hazell?
There’s no question that Hazell is much more composed on the sidelines, and speaks in intelligent sentences, and has an even-keeled personality that everyone seems to love. But there's a disconnect between that harmony in the locker room and the product on the field. Hope got the undying loyalty from all of his players, but was often combative with the higher-ups in the athletic department, and didn't make great in-game decisions (to say the least). But the wins were there, and they helped us as fans deal with some of the obvious pitfalls of the program.
We can talk about the specifics of the uneven pass rush, and the defense giving BGSU’s receivers a 20 yard cushion for the entire first half, or the arm tackling, and the uneven offensive line play, and the lack of a single power run play, and the sudden disappearance of pretty-decent-kicker Paul Griggs another day.
We can also talk about another good Replogle performance (outside of a few penalties), Frankie Williams’ enjoyable day, and Joe Schopper the Super Punter, and the fact that Purdue is building around two outstanding freshman running backs, and the bright spots at receiver provided by DeAngelo Yancey and Greg Phillips another day.
I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to write those stories, both positive and negative. But it feels like we’ve written the same damn football postgame for three years now: Purdue might have been the better team, but they lost, and it made for a lousy Saturday. Two missed field goals, from 19 and 32 yards, could have changed that, but creativity while stabbing fans in the stomach is our specialty.
I just want to see a coaching staff put forward an entertaining product, win the games it’s supposed to, steal one every now and then from a national power, make a bowl game, and not be an embarrassment on the sidelines. On that scale, Danny Hope had 3/5, while Darrell Hazell only has 1/5.
I’m pretty sick of this, and I have no idea how to end, so let’s just go to Twitter.
Feature image from IndyStar.com.