Sparty Predicto: Make It Stop, Boilers
Hey, everyone, the second half of the season is upon us! Yes, that's right, you're only halfway through. The good news? The first basketball game of the season is just three weeks from today.
Oh, I'm sorry, is that harsh?
We frankly don't care at this point. Why don't we care if it's too harsh? Because we do care about Purdue football. We, like you if you're reading this, still care about the Boilermakers and the program. We still are hungry for some tiny measure of success. So yes, we're being a bit cranky. But this season is turning into something, as Boilerdowd pointed out, that we haven't seen in perhaps our lifetimes. That's something.
Now along comes a road game against the Spartans. On the one hand, it's probably good that this game isn't at home, because at this point it's hard to imagine the turnout being good. Plus there will be zero expectations for Purdue so maybe that's a good thing...? Maybe MSU overlooks them? If it sounds like we're reaching, it's because we are.
Read on...if you dare.
Another drubbing is in the near future. All of the young players have just been thrown into the fire, and not just any fire either; this is a raging inferno that you're fighting with a squirt gun. Any that make it out will be better for it, but in the meantime it's just consuming the team and the fan base. It's hard to watch these games, looking for any positive to take away. I don't see a single victory remaining this season if the team continues to play the way it has. Apathy is in full force here and it doesn't matter who the opponent is. This week they're 27.5 point underdogs. It's a practical repeat of Jacksonville and Denver last week, except these dogs won't hang in there.
I think think Hazell is the right coach for this team. He has a disciplinary mechanism in place that the previous regime didn't have. People ask why Cottom isn't playing. It's not because he can't help the team, because he obviously can. It's for one of two reasons or maybe even both. He doesn't have the grades or he hasn't bought into the system. Because of that he's not playing and I'm ok with it. This rebuilding process isn't a one year stint. It's going to take some time to get back to respectability. It's going to take a long time to get back to competing for B1G championships.
MSU 38, Purdue 10
Strange as it may seem, there was a time not too long ago when there wasn't too much of a difference between the on-field product in East Lansing and the Good Guys in West Lafayette. (There has always been a significant difference off the field under Mark Dantonio; his players certainly know the meaning of carte blanche even if some of them don't know how to pronounce it.) As recently as 2009, Sparty was an unimpressive 6-7, and Michigan State's defense was far from the better side of the team. In fact, Pat Narduzzi was given the same treatment any coordinator with a struggling unit (heh heh) gets: the nicer fans hoped he would leave town, and the less-nice ones offered to take care of it for him.
This year, if there's one problem MSU does not have, it's defense. In fact, the defense outscored the offense in Michigan State's first two games, although that did include a game against South Florida that resembled football the way that I resemble Tony Stark. The problem at the beginning of the season was that the offense seemed to be as bad as the defense was good - Jim Bollman has proved to be just as effective at MSU as Ohio State fans warned he would be, and Dan Roushar seems just as determined to run the ball up the middle as he always has been, regardless of the level of RB he has; fortunately, Sparty's passing game was even worse, so it didn't really matter what kind of play he wanted to call.
That all "changed" against Indiana, as MSU showed they can actually move the ball if their opponent's defense is bad enough. Indiana did a pretty good job moving the ball against Sparty, but then their offense has been pretty good for a couple of years. Purdue ... does not have that advantage.
A best-case scenario for the Boilers is that Sparty is able to establish the run early so that they keep the clock moving and shorten the game. A worst-case scenario is that Purdue makes MSU's offense look like Nebraska's. I think we're at the point where it's OK to ignore the results and focus on growth for next year: setting good examples, expecting players to conform to your expectations, and finding guys who can help the team in '14 and '15 and '16. With that in mind, this will definitely be a result we will want to ignore.
Purdue 0 0 0 0 - 0
Michigan State 10 7 13 7 - 37
WARNING! Objects in mirror are.....actually not that close to you.
There isn't much to say, rebuilding is a hope, I am just hoping for under 40. This season has been a disappointment to say the least, but with the shambles this program was left in following Hope, a winning season was a pipe dream. Get Etling some experience and hope the Boilers come out with some fight. Either way MSU is too good for Purdue in this one.
Purdue 14 MSU 45
Are we having fun yet?
The biggest coach speak that's annoyed me about Hazell in the press is how he's looking for improvement. That's kinda like saying I'm looking for proof of a growth spurt (I'm 38 and 5'4" for the record).
There's been no improvement in any area. Maybe in the next few weeks as the Freshman see more PT we'll see some, but it won't be this week. I like that the Freshman are playing (for next year's sake)...I hate that 15 Freshman are playing for my family's sake...Each Saturday, I get angry and mouthy, and my three year old daughter ends up knocking me out to try to get some sort of peace back. It's happened three weeks in a row; you'd think I'd learn. But she's got fast hands...and fights dirty; don't judge me.
Everything will be better when Knauf returns...right?
MSU in a squeaker...
MSU 42 Purdue 6
What's with all the negativity? Did nobody see Yancey's awesome TD catch to wrap up the Nebraska game? He and Etling were just getting loose! With another 4-8 quarters in that game, the Boilers would have been right there. Let's have some faith, people! They're about the break through!
All that's needed are two or three kick return TDs, two to three pick 6s by the D and then let Etling and Yancey just go to work, bay-bee!
Purdue 55, MSU 13