You Can't Go Homecoming Again: Hawkeyes Run Over Boilers
If you wanted to encapsulate the game - and maybe the season - in four plays, here they are:
1st and 10 at IOW25 11-D.Blough complete to 89-B.Hopkins. 89-B.Hopkins runs 25 yards for a touchdown. 85-J.Dellinger extra point is good. 85-J.Dellinger kicks 65 yards from PUR 35 to IOW End Zone. touchback. 1st and 10 at IOW25 25-A.Wadley runs 75 yards for a touchdown. 3-K.Duncan extra point is good. 16-R.Coluzzi kicks 64 yards from IOW 35. 9-M.Kimbrough to PUR 1 for no gain.
Blough scrambles, buys time, sees Hopkins drifting toward the end zone behind the linebacking corps that terrorized the Boilers all day, and hits him for a TD. Yeah, it cut the lead to 28-7, but it was a score.
Next play from scrimmage: Wadley goes up the middle for 75 and a TD, answering the Boilers' first score.
Ensuing kickoff: confusion, miscommunication, Kimbrough attempts to down the ball but is at the 1, which actually is good, because the momentum of the kick didn't take the ball into the end zone so it probably would have been a safety.
After three and a half seasons, Darrell Hazell has made a bowl-eligible team into a team that can, at its best, play evenly with the next-worst team in the division, a similarly poorly-coached team that's provided Hazell with two of the only three conference wins he is ever likely to get. (If someone can explain the Nebraska win last year, I'd appreciate it.) Against a team that beat a terrible Rutgers team by 7 and lost to a bad Northwestern team, Hazell's Boilers gave up 269 rushing yards and 397 yards of total offense.
In the first half.
Sure, it was a two-touchdown final margin, but Kirk Ferentz, not exactly the best game coach in the conference, got his backups nearly a full half of playing time and repeatedly punted in Purdue territory so that the Good Guys would have more chances to score on his second-team defense. Give Blough and the offense credit for playing hard the whole way, but make no mistake, this game was out of reach in the second quarter.
This is the legacy of Mitch Daniels and Morgan Burke, two men who lack the slightest understanding of college football and did not care to enlighten themselves. Bobinski may well be an upgrade over Burke - from a football perspective, he could hardly be worse - but as long as he reports to a man with the kind of thought process* captured here by one of BS' own:
there is no reason to expect anything better. If Bobinski can turn this mess into something watchable, it won't be because he's been asked to.
I respect the effort of the young men on the field and the people who work with them every week. My organized sports career ended with Little League, so when I found myself playing on a team that was hopelessly outmatched in a way that was clear to everyone involved, it was in rec-level sports, so it sucked, but no one else really knew. I can't imagine what it must be like to be put in a position where you are hopelessly outmatched in a sport that requires significant physical effort on every single play in a conference where every single game is on TV.
Hang in there, Boilers. In closing, I present you with a Purdue TD.
*Yes, the Big Tenteen's media contract brings in a ton of money, but it's the same amount for everyone in the conference who gets a full share. Given the revenue that football programs bring in, within the conference, the number of football seats Purdue sells has never been more important, financially.