It's hard to beat any team twice in a year, harder still to beat that same squad a third time...But Purdue beat CMU 32-25 this afternoon; a win is a win, is a win...but it was difficult.
I haven't watched highlights, so my review is based solely on the view from 119, but here goes:
-Painter tends to lock in on receivers waaaaaay too often. It's long past getting old, it's sad. CMU's corners watched Painter's eyes and picked off a pass to the left that should have never been thrown...Keep in mind that Tiller himself said the Chips defensive backfield was one of the weaker parts of their team- a good team will punish Painter. His completion percentage was good, would have been even better had Kory Sheets not dropped two passes in the flat in the first half...but Painter's game was far from good. A costly fumble nearly gave CMU the game (not sure if it was legit or not), and his checks just weren't smart. It seems to me that he doesn't have the grasp of the system that I was hopeful he'd have at this time.
-Tackling...Awful. Purdue's defense kept LeFevour and co. in the game by missing the first or second tackles regularly. Fundamentally, the front four and linebackers tackled poorly...Duong, McClean and McKinley have been forced to make way to many tackles.
-This larger, stronger receiving corps doesn't seem to hold their blocks well. Specifically, Orton missed a few that would have freed Sheets and Tardy (on separate plays) for noteworthy gains.
-Playcalling. Tiller complained that Painter should have passed fifteen to twenty more times during the contest...yet no offensive adjustments seemed to have been made during the half. The formations show Purdue's hand time and time again and the playcalling is uninventive and continues to be bland OR even worse moronic. The sweep to the short side of the field has NEVER worked...yet it has stayed in the playbook. And, when Sheets was getting a rest in the second quarter, the coaching staff seemed to call plays for Frank Halliburton that would only work with Sheets in the game. Almost like Z didn't know Sheets wasn't playing.
-Painter's percentage went up greatly in large part because Whittington, Whitest and Valentin caught what was thrown their way. The whole receiving corps looked solid today, but the loss of Adams is still felt as there's simply no tight end involved in pass-catching.
Greg Orton made a difficult catch look easy on the two point conversion as Painter sailed the ball, even to the wide-open 6'4" Ohioan.
-Sheets is a special running back and has answered the bell over and over during this young season. He ran well between the tackles, he bounced runs outside well and made some very nifty moves to win the game on his last run of the contest. Kind of an interesting thought- If Jaycen Taylor had been healthy, we would have never seen Sheets last run because his early injury probably would have led to Taylor playing the rest of the game.
-Frank Duong is a good football player...he makes nearly every tackle that he has the opportunity to make and he was given a gift that nearly won the game. He along with McClean have been very solid so far. I'm actually very pleased with Pender and King as well.
-Gooden, Kerrigan, Brown, Baker, Guynn, Magee and even Mondek all played well at times today. Despite their problems tackling, they we put a lot of pressure on LeFevour for much of the day. That improvement's noteworthy as it seems Purdue's front four simply allowed opposing QBs to get way too comfortable last season.
-Tardy had two good kick returns and the second was very good, especially since he broke a tackle being attempted by his facemask. From far away, it seemed that he was simply "willing" the play upfield.
-Keith Smith didn't really get involved in the game that early because Painter didn't find him...but he made the best catch of the day on a pass that Painter simply rifled very high and Smith skillfully snagged it. Orton also continues to play well and seems to use his body well to create space when in traffic.
I'll be honest- I didn't enjoy today's game all that much...I thought coming in, and still do this evening that Purdue should be a couple touchdowns better than ANY MAC team, especially at home with a Senior quarterback. But, this Purdue team, if something doesn't change, will struggle to become bowl eligible. Hey, it wasn't pretty or inspired...in fact, it looked like the players and coaches alike were suffering long-term effects from last weeks heartbreaker, but the players' effort looked good for most of the day and the black "W" is flying tonight above the South end zone. Onto God's least favorite program...
Upon Further Review
Looks like Oregon doesn't belong in the top-15...or maybe even the top-25 after all. I can't say that their performance today makes me think Purdue is anything more than a lower-middle-BT team...again.
I Love Weekends Like These
UND gets handled by MSU while Pickles throws a pair of interceptions and makes a bevy of bad decisions...IU gets railroaded by BSU (I told you this was coming, Hoosier fan)...and Purdue wins. Delicious. By the way, IU deserves to lose every game as long as they continue the super-gay "March" after every first down. I thought it looked bad in person...it looks worse on TV.
Sheets runs himself (all-time Purdue TD leader) and Tiller (all-time Purdue winningest coach) into the record books with a beauty