We're Back! (to the Akers era)
The hits just keep on coming, my friends. Hazell's Boilers are now averaging a losing margin of 25.5/game...and that includes the win in that stat. Purdue lost today in historical fashion- 56-0. This score/deficit matches the same feat accomplished two other times in the program's long history.
And what might hurt most- Urban Meyer was kind today, my friends. Purdue was down 14-0 before the game had really started. Etling threw an awful pick six on the second or third play of the game...then after a three and shanked punt, aOSU scored on a pretty routine pass to the tight end in which Purdue's safety had to pick up a receiver left WIDE OPEN by the LBs simply not covering an RB underneath. Breakdowns were a-plenty as aOSU's vanilla playcalling led to large chunks of yards. The Buckeyes starting TE had over 115 yards receiving on just 5 catches and many of those catches there was simply no one clad in black near him.
It was 28-0 at the end of the first...42-0 at the end of the second...and the manchildren in scarlet and gray were on cruise control. Three aOSU QBs played...all looked better than Etling. In 5's defense, he had no time...but any confidence he once had must surely must have evaporated; he's running for his life nearly every play, and his OC seems to think the best thing to teach him is how to take a hit as he keeps calling slow-developing plays. This is beyond tough to watch and surely physically-painful to endure for the true Freshman. aOSU had 5 RBs and their three QBs all run the ball...all averaged over 7 yards/carry individually...and 8.4 as a group (Hyde led the group with 13.9/carry).
This was big-time, wide-spread failure for our Boilers. When that type of thing happens, you can't simply blame a coordinator (sorry Shoop haters) or a single player (Rob Henry's girlfriend warned us on Twitter). Coming off of their second bye in one month, Purdue looked ill-prepared and resembled a fawn in the gentle headlight glow of an oncoming Mack truck. From the Seniors to Freshman, our Boilers have been blended up by this coaching staff...and the end result is a non-descript gray blob...a losing machine that really does nothing well but fail.
We blamed Danny Hope last year when the failure was spread out among all of the three teams (O, D, ST)...so out of fairness, I am all but forced to lay blame at the feet of Darrell Hazell. Nothing's working right now for the coach- Redshirts have been reduced to carbon in an effort to make strides forward, offensive formations and play-calling have been shaken-up, and defensive formations have been changed...But after a half step in the right direction in the form of a 14-0 loss, the momentum has been killed. The change to black helmets smacks of desperation, in my opinion...and it might have been. Whether or not you blame Hazell for what's happening, you can't be mad at him for not trying to solve the problem in a number of ways; with one exception. Appleby stays benched...and that I don't get at all. No. 12 playing wouldn't have made a difference though, this undermanned O-Line is in desperate need of experience and size; two things that can't be rushed. And on the other side of the ball, the DEs simply apply no pressure on QBs while LBs are out of position on nearly every play.
Today cemented my thought that this is the worst Purdue team I've ever watched...and I watched a 2-win Akers team in person and a 1-win Colletto team. This is depressing football...Purdue students have been reduced to what J and I talked about a few weeks ago- the feeling that you go to games just to hang out with your friends and without a realistic hope for your squad to leave with a win. That stinks.
Bad news Boilers circa 1990
Same-ole, new-look Boilers circa earlier today