Perspective is a funny thing. I think most Purdue fans thought a loss was nearly-inevitable coming into today's game in Columbus...furthermore, most expected a drubbing. Well we got it. But for me as a fan, it didn't sting too bad. Well, not until I saw Henry's hands dripping from blood and later heard the description of the injury- a crushed index finger. Then the loss hurt badly. I still haven't heard a medical explanation of what a crushed index finger means (in this case)...but what it probably means is something, maybe multiple-somethings are broken in his throwing hand. But even if he didn't break anything, he had a significant laceration to the finger that controls where the ball is going. While he could still run the ball, he probably can't throw it with any accuracy. So I expect to see Sean Robinson starting next week in Champaign.
So we've gone from the ridiculous to the ludicrous...Let's review:
1. Robert Marve
Out for season-torn ACL
2. Caleb TerBush
Unavailable for season- Academically Ineligible
3. Rob Henry
???- Crushed index finger
And there you have it.
After Robinson, Skyler Titus, a walk-on, is next in line.
So I'll do...I'll make a prediction: Justin Siller will start at quarterback this season. Currently, Siller is an injured wide receiver whose condition is improving rapidly (according to the pre-game radio broadcast this morning)...but not for long, in my opinion.
Hope has tried to avoid putting Siller back at QB, but it's nearly-inevitable at this point. One very good thing about Siller at the position, is he is a big, strong guy...but, he's a big, strong guy who hasn't taken snaps at the position in nearly two years.
I like Sean Robinson's potential, but he's looked pretty nervous back there- both today and last week. Maybe he'll look better after a week with the ones...but who knows how much better. Plus, if he's coached at all like Henry was this week, he might be forced into something that he's not made for.
Versus the Buckeyes, Henry wasn't running the ball a whole bunch. The coaches were probably trying to protect him. Another indicator that they were trying to keep 15 healthy was he seemed to have a quick trigger to throw the ball away...and man, when he threw it away, there was no doubt! His throw-aways are often in the stands.
I joked with my brother coming into this game about an idea- what if a coach decided coming into a game like this to use it like a bye for the starters. Rest everybody, get them healthy and just accept the loss. Couldn't have been any worse, could it? aOSU was pretty merciful in the second half. Not only did their second string QB see action, but their third...same in many positions on both sides of the ball. At the same time, we saw Reggie Pegram and Normando Harris both burn their redshirt eligibility. Both seem to be the result of attrition as Dierking was unavailable and McBurse seems ineffective when he plays. And at safety, with Evans out, additional depth is needed.
And while the loss was predictable, the nearly-50 point deficit was not...and was almost laughable...almost. The defense could not stop the run, and worse, DBs didn't seem to be even close to receivers on passing downs. After reading BS, it seems coach Landholm was so worried about the deep ball that he left everything under 20 yards wide open as the corners and safeties seemingly sprinted back to the goal line on each play. There's really nothing positive to take out of today, except for Cody Webster's play. And the old adage stands here- bad teams usually have good punters. Hooray, the punter controversy is clearly solved and put to bed. But, my Boilers looked awful every place else.
Without Henry's injury, today wouldn't have bothered me too much. A big loss can get a team humbled and focused...but a team with no offensive identity will have a difficult time beating anybody. A team that can't stop their opponent in any facet of the game will never win.
Everyone on the message boards and here in the comment section calling for Hope to be fired is foolish. I'm not addressing whether there should or shouldn't be a coaching change...But it's not happening.
If you're a Freshman, and this is your first fall on campus, you get a pass because you simply don't understand the culture at Purdue...after that, everyone else knows better.But if you do and you're still making noise, you're simply yelling into a deep chasm to hear your own echo. By the way, I don't agree with much of the culture in the athletic department...but it is what it is. And sadly, I'm not in the position to give enough money or buy enough tickets to change much of anything.
Danny Hope has a get out of jail free card for the remainder of the season- not with me, but with those who make decisions and sign his checks. It would take legal troubles, academic troubles and/or another off-field embarrassment to run Hope out of town right now. Purdue's athletic department has always been slow to move on firing coaches. Even so, his second season is not even completed...and he is now down to a 4th string QB, 3rd and 4th string receivers & 4th and 5th string running backs. Even if you're not a fan of the guy, you have to see that.
I'll go the other way- if Purdue makes a bowl, Hope needs to be considered as Big Ten coach of the year...seriously. Hearing of Henry's injury makes me feel like I did after the Toledo game- that it's going to be hard to win one more game, let-alone two.
Heading the other way?
Illinois played an awful-looking IU team today. They whipped the Hoosiers by 30...which made me feel a bit better in the wake of the bloodbath in Columbus. Illinois' Frosh QB played OK, but didn't need to be great as Chappell handed the game to Illinois time and time again. Every game on Illinois' remaining schedule looks winnable. Next week's game is pivotal for both teams.
It's official: Notre Dame is no longer a private institution...because a state entity, the Navy, now owns the Irish. My favorite part of the day was reading UND's rivals site review of the game- they gave Kelly and his staff an "F". This is pretty fun to watch- much like when the Manatee stood around on their sidelines, the Irish can't stop the run...but now, their offense is mediocre too.