|Flexing their muscles|
After two weeks of some of the most dreadful football we've seen Purdue put forth in the Danny Hope era, the Boilers now travel to scenic, strip-clubby Columbus, Ohio to face the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Boilers and Buckeyes have defied logic and over the course of the past 12+ years have engaged in some pretty intense games, with more Boiler victories than they probably are entitled to. In fact, I might argue that this rivalry is a dark horse for one of the best in the conference over that span.
However, the wins for the Boilers in Columbus have just not happened. Yes, there have been some good showings there, but there have also been some painful ones. Put all this into the hopper and what comes out? Glad you asked.
I know there are people out there trying to buck themselves up by recalling the 1-5 Boilermakers in 2009 who beat a top ten Buckeye team. And, sure, we will agree that nobody thought the Boilers had a shot in that one. I might even wonder how much of the locker room thought it was possible. But they came out and Ryan Kerrigan put the Boilers on his back and made it happen. Is there a guy on this roster who is a no-brainer NFLer who might just go bananas this weekend? I don't know.
This is a game that most of us -- even the optimists -- felt was the proverbial "Sharpie Game" on the schedule. Those with dreams of a Purdue appearance in the Big Ten title game even wrote this one off as, well, let's just win against Michigan and Wisconsin. So if you're not feeling good about this one when you think you have a good team....and then you learn you might not have a good team....where does that leave you?
The Danny Hope calling card, of course, has often been to lower everyone's expectations and then, just when they've given up, win a game against all odds. The thing is, though, you can't reliably expect that to happen. If it happens on this day, though, it will surely be his best magic trick yet.
The Boilermakers are downtrodden, they've been crushed at home in back to back weeks and how have to face the best team of the three on the road. Sure, I also know IU put up 49 on the Bucks, but -- and I hate to be the bearer of bad news -- IU's offense is far more potent than Purdue's right now.
This game has the makings of one of those that nobody watches into the third quarter. The only thing standing in the way of the result I'm predicting here is pride.
I typically plan my Saturdays in the fall around when Purdue's kicking off...as of now, I'm not even sure what time that happens. What I do know, is this one kinda makes me sick at my stomach.
You've got an O$U team that has scored at will the last few weeks and seems to be getting better (at least offensively) as they get to know their new boss.
On the other hand, you've got a Purdue defense that can't stop anyone in any aspect of the game, and an offense that just put up yardage (with the exception of one play) that's comprable to that of a Pop Warner team. My apologies to all Pop Warner coaches reading this.
My blind and foolish optimism is gone. I hope the players still have some belief in their ability to play competitively in a game versus a team above mid-major quality. As Colvin said to many of them last week, only they can change their current situation. I'd love to see them change it.
an Ohio University 65