Wolverines Manhandle Boilers, 28-10
The first sellout crowd in Ross-Ade in nearly a decade braved the heat, but a solid crowd wasn't enough to make this one close.
It started of well- a gadget play, double pass from Anthrop to Blough...gain of 24...Good Guys across midfield. BUT unlike almost every time this season, a successful trick play didn't lead to any points. Overshadowing was upon us, but we didn't really know it.
After Blough struggled in the remainder of the the first quarter, and the defense played stout and knocked out UM's starting QB Speight, the game changed complexion in the second quarter. Purdue's seven point deficit became a three point lead thanks to a Sindelar-to-Hopkins TD and a FG. So Brohm's boys headed into the half of Homecoming 2017 leading the #8 team in America. It was fun...it was fleeting.
In the second half, UM ratcheted up the defensive intensity. The losses of both Jones and Fuller hurt the offense, making it one-dimensional...but I'm not sure either of their presences would have given Purdue enough of a lift.
As the offense struggled and floundered, the defense couldn't stop the back-up QB, O'Korn. Purdue's LBs and ends got to him, but couldn't tackle him. And when UM needed a big play, O'Korn's arm or legs would deliver. And generally, O'Korn's favorite targets were the TEs.
Did I mention targeting? I should have.
When Jr S Thienemann got ejected for a questionable targeting call, the momentum shifted a bit. When Bentley was ejected for a bone-headed targeting call on O'Korn by launching himself and hitting helmet first, the game was over.
As the overmanned Boilers got physically beaten up, and fatigued by the 90+ degree un-fall-like first day of autumn, Michigan's depth, talent and strength was evident. Purdue's forever-fun offense was incredibly flat and simply couldn't put together a drive. UM's defensive front was too much...at the same time, Purdue's linebackers, already struggling through injuries, couldn't afford any attrition...Bentley's ejection was the final nail in the coffin that they were already lying in.
Add in a bone-headed soft late hit by Robinson late in the game, and most Purdue fans were just wanting the game to end, so the good guys could get to the the bye week.
Bad news- Thienemann and Bentley are going to be out for the first half against Minny.
Good news- Minny is not UM...and I'm still stoked to watch this train re-establish itself on the tracks.
I'll admit it multiple times later this week, but I'll do it here too- I was wrong. I thought Brohm's Boys were ready to go toe-to-toe with an Blue Blood due to UM's offensive struggles. I was also wrong in that I thought Purdue wouldn't help UM find their way. Ironically, the best thing that might have happened to UM this season thus far was losing their starting QB. O'Korn's ability to extend a play seems advantageous to my untrained eye.
There will be better days this, fellow Boilers...and soon. Sadly, we have to with through a bye week. But I'd bet Coach Brohm and co. will use this shellacking to teach a thing or two.
We'll have more on this game and the next in the coming days. Purdue falls to 2-2 on the young season...Lots of happier Saturdays ahead.