|In a search for Minn football, this came up. Fine with us.|
Our Boilers take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in their nice and still new stadium up in the great white North tomorrow at 3:30 PM, ET, on the Big Ten Network.
I can only assume the 3:30 start was given to the Boilers and Gophers because of how supremely awesome these two teams are, at a combined 0-6 in Big Ten play.
We've been sort of quiet this week, as we're not sure what else to say about 2012 Purdue football at this point. But it's time to dive into our thoughts on the game versus the Gophers. So away we go.
I had the Boilers at 0-3 after their first three Big Ten games, but I guess there was a part of me hoping for something more, since I kept hearing how this was Danny Hope's best team in West Lafayette. So his best team can't muster more fight than this?
I also think that it's uncanny how Purdue finds a way to punch you in the stomach even when you're expecting 0-3. So, let's see, how could it be worse? How about two embarrassing no-shows at home followed by a rip-your-heart-out collapse in the final 45 seconds on the road against Ohio State? Perfect!
Minnesota is on a similar slide, having not scored more than 13 points in a game in Big Ten play. However, before you view that as a good thing for Purdue, the Boilers haven't exactly lit it up in Big Ten play, either. I do agree with the thinking that Purdue is the more talented team and should win this game, but two factors push me in the other direction: 1) the Boilers are on the road and 2) the letdown factor.
Purdue is 0-2 on the road this year, though they were two close losses that both could have been wins....and should have been, one could argue. But the record is what it is. The bigger issue is the second one I mentioned -- Danny Hope teams are highly emotional and have crazy ups and downs. Just when you think they'll show up for something (for example, last year at home vs Iowa with a chance to clinch a bowl), they come out flatter than an Indiana cornfield. And when you expect them to get crushed (i.e., at Ohio State, for example), they come out with more heart than you knew they had in 'em. So yes, I'm trying to find some semblance of logic or predictability in a Danny Hope team, which is an exercise in futility, I realize. But hey, I gotta come to my decision somehow, right?
In the end, I'm not confident in the guys right now, especially in light of how crushing that collapse was last Saturday. I hope they recover and, obviously, if they come out as focused as they did against the Buckeyes, this could actually be a blowout in the black and gold's favor. But right now, my gut says they don't.
With each of the last few weeks, I've become more tired of reading Hope's postgame comments. This past Saturday, I gave up on readin them all-together. But, at J's suggestion, I read up a bit, and here's what I found out: A loss is good-enough for Hope.
Let's not forget the lofty platitudes that Hope drilled way back in August- this was/is a special team, it can have a great season and many players on the team are ready for breakout seasons in which they'd become household names.
Well, not much of what the coach has told us has come true. But, if history means anything, the post aOSU comments are not good news for his squad.
When Hope is happy with the team, they typically come out and play awful the next week...this goes back to his first season on campus- I think that will be the case again this week.
The good news is Minnesota is bad. This Purdue team feasts on bad teams...or used to anyway. And I still believe Purdue has a few players that, when in the position to do big things, are as good as about anyone in the nation.
Like Purdue, Minnesota has played a bunch of QBs this season...but now, it sounds like Hope thinks it's a good idea to only play one- Minnesota, conversely might still show more than one. Sure, Hope's big idea of going with just one guy is about 7 weeks late, but what it might yield this week is TerBush getting sacked 3 times as Minny has a pretty solid front...and TerBush struggles with pressure decisions. I also think though, one of Purdue's utility men (Henry, Hunt or Edison) will have a big day...and I think that will be enough for Purdue to eek out a win.
This is a game that much of the B1G cares little about...and based on what I've heard from many Purdue fans, neither do we. That said, I believe the Boilers get a W this weekend.