Worrisome Win

Thanks to the brilliance of ESPN's director of programming (they allocate 3 hrs. for every 3.5-4hr. game), our Boilers fourth contest of '07 was televised on ESPN Classic, for a quarter. In case you missed the first segment, you missed quite a bit.

On the first kickoff, a new face was set deep to aid Dorien Bryant (Sheets will no longer return kickoffs due to poor depth at RB)- Desmond Tardy. So, what did Purdue's #3 kick returner do when he got the opportunity to return a kickoff? Not much...he only ran that kickoff back for a 90 yd. (approx.) touchdown. The defense started strong, again and stopped the Gophers a few times and the Painter-led offense started sharp again.

Cliff Avril had one of the best defensive plays of the year by batting a pass up in the air, gathering it and getting to the end zone...It's great, for me, to see Avril come up big as I've heard quite a few Purdue fans express their disgruntlement with Cliff while comparing him to previous Boiler DEs. He showed on this play that he's pretty darned good.

Painter looked sharp most of the day, although he did throw his first interception of the season but threw 3 more touchdowns and over 300 yards, again. Dorien Bryant was a bright spot, with two TDs and Sheets rushed for over 100 yds. and had two TDs himself.

The most interesting, and possibly, most important play of the game occurred in the second quarter. Purdue tried to attempt a 45-yd. field goal which was blocked...A Minnesota DB picked up the ball and began pulling away from Jared Armstrong (who holds on field goals). For no apparent reason, the Minnesota player tried to change the ball over to his right hand and put it on the turf. Since Armstrong stayed with the play, he jumped on it and the Boilers got the ball back.

So, if Tardy doesn't run back the kickoff and 15 on Mini is able to secure the ball, it's a different game. But, "couldas" don't matter...and our Boilers are 4-0.

My main reason for worry is the fact that the 2006 defense showed up, yet again, for an entire half of football (much like last week). Hopefully, there's a reason for such lack-luster play...But, I believe the reason is the scheme and the scheme-r. I hope I'm wrong. If I'm not, the black and gold will get rolled by UM et al later in the season.

Heck, a very wise sage that I know says, "UND's offense looks horrible. Sadly, I believe the only cure for such poor play is a Spack-coached defense." We shall see.

4-0, and what do we know? Very little as our Boilers have still not played a respectable opponent. That said, I'm awfully happy that my alma mater is undefeated.

Big Week In South Bend (& other college football notes)

Gopher Toe

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