#WEWANTBAMA: Purdue beats a real football team!
Swamy’s Internal Monologue: Hmmm…the guys asked me to take this post-game. Should I talk about how mediocre we looked? Should I remain realistic, and talk about how shaky Etling looked in his second year starting? Should I be concerned that our entire strategy revolves around the extraordinary abilities of Mostert and Hunt, while no other aspect of the team looks even average? That, outside Frankie Williams and Ryan Russell, our defense was virtually non-existant?
NOPE. WE WON. F&%K IT.
644 DAYS SINCE THE LAST FBS WIN.
UNDEFEATED SINCE DECEMBER 1, 2013.
THE ROAD TO THE ROSE BOWL STARTS IN ROSS-ADE.
Listen, there were plenty of reasons to fret. But, for the first time in longer than I can remember, Purdue put up an effort that looked like a real-life FBS team. As predicted, the running game built around Raheem Mostert and Akeem Hunt was really fun to watch and lived up to the hype this summer. Mostert kick-started the offense on Purdue’s second drive, spinning and stiff-arming his way to a 34 yard run to set up the first touchdown of the year: a Justin Sinz 11 yard reception in the middle of the field.
By this point, I was convinced our Boilermakers were going to run the table. They sucked me in again, and I wasn’t even drunk yet.
Thankfully, the defense was there to knock me back to earth. I vowed to remain positive in this post, so I’m not going to harp on the wide-open middle of the field we consistently left for WMU to take advantage of…only they lacked the playmaking to do so. Instead, I’ll mention how beautiful the grass looked in Ross Ade, and how the giant racing P on the field gets me hyped for Mostert’s Heisman campaign.
Akeem Hunt wasn’t half bad either, with his 38 yard fourth quarter touchdown run sealing the victory for the good guys. I haven’t been able to say this about anyone on Purdue for a couple of years: any team in the country would be lucky to have the running attack Purdue has with Mostert and Hunt.
I’m not talking about how the “defense” made Jarvion Franklin look like an all-world back…instead, I’ll talk about Frankie Williams, whose second quarter interception return to the 4 yard line set up a beautiful Etling touchdown run. Williams’ play gives Purdue at least one reliable defensive player, and that’s without considering his very good play in special teams.
I’m not talking about how this game give me no confidence in Danny Etling’s arm, or how one drive looked awful and the next would look decent...instead, I’ll highlight his chemistry with Justin Sinz. Sinz has seemingly emerged as a very good safety valve for whoever lines up under center. Alongside Gabe Holmes, it looks like Purdue has two very solid targets in the slot.
It was a very watchable game, if you enjoy offensive football. Which is bizarre, considering both teams were borderline human-rights violation bad offensively last year. But two entertaining running games (propped up by two awful defenses) resulted in the Big Ten team eeking out a victory. All of these statements are huge improvements over last year, which is simultaneously encouraging and depressing.
Hell with it. You know what? It was ugly and somewhat nerve-racking, but I’ll take the win ten times out of ten. If last year taught me anything, it’s that I’ll never take a win for granted again.
BTFU. I’ll never stop (trying to) love you, Purdue football.
Side note: Donald Celiscar collapsed after a fourth-quarter hit on Raheem Mostert. I know it’s a risk when you play football, and us viewers should be ‘numb’ to concussion-related collapses…but I can’t ignore injuries like that. I know I speak for everyone on the BS staff when I say I hope Celiscar doesn’t suffer any long-term issues and the staff at WMU takes care of him well.