Black/Gold Game Wrap-Up
Photo Credit: BS Staff Photographer
Earlier this afternoon, I got to put last week’s basketball heartbreak on the backburner with a look to the future in God’s Country. Today’s wrap-up to Purdue Football’s Spring football practice sessions was sun-drenched and flat-out beautiful. 70 degree temps, a solid crowd of die-hards, and a platoon of injured starters gave all of us a bit of a glimpse of the future and left me with a few things of note…not all of them were on the field of play.
With Sindelar out with a tweaked knee, and Sipe a bit nicked up as well, Plummer, O’Connell and Piferi led the QBs. Plummer looked solid and throws a softer, more-catchable deep ball than Sindelar. He’s put some good weight on since last season and is beginning to look a bit more like a B1G QB. He was good on the move too…kept his eyes down the field well, as did O’Connell. BUT, neither had the threat of a hard hit as they were down by contact. O’Connell both looked good at times…all three made some mistakes that led to defensive points in the weird Spring Game Offense v Defense system.
Amad Anderson looked solid at WR until he was injured (relatively early in the game). Looked like a separated shoulder. Anthrop had some nifty inside moves after catch. Bonner was sure-handed; he’s a bit more stout in the number 21 than Mahoungu was. And Pittman had a few catches at TE that got my attention. Both Horvath and Armstrong carried the ball, and their vision looked good. Much of the contact between tackles wasn’t at full speed, so it was kinda difficult to judge the RBs.
Hopkins and Moore played limited plays and weren’t subjected to full contact.
Defensively, Marks, Reviere and McWilliams seemed to be active on the DLine. Mackey had two big plays, both led to defensive points; The best one was probably the pick 6 in which he somersaulted into the endzone to celebrate. But the most noteworthy takeaways for me on the defensive side of the ball were the presence of Trice and Graham. Trice is a mammoth strong safety who moves as fluid as a cornerback. He is almost a head taller than most of his defensive counterparts. Graham is a ballhawk who had at least a few knockdowns and passes defended. I cannot see these two not starting in the fall. Did I mention Trice’s size??? Mercy. He looks like an NFL body…both are Freshmen.
Also notworthy, Karlaftis looks like he’s going to be a mother to handle…his teammates are already sick of trying to stay in front of him. As you probably know, he was with the ones for most of the Spring…and not just because of injury. He already seems to belong.
Purdue was down at least seven starters (by my count) on both sides of the ball. Fuller was in a gray sweatshirt, Worship, who has still not recovered from his knee injury was wearing gold and they both just kind of hung out on the bench during the game. Sindelar was on the field near other QBs behind the line of scrimmage. I didn’t see Bailey.
I didn’t read any observations or box scores from this one…if you want more of that, our pals at GBI and the Journal and Courier gotcha covered. What I do know, is the defense was triumphant (yay!), but the offense lost (boooo!). What it looked like is the defense was aggressive and the rules of down my contact for some, tackle-touch during other parts kinda left the offense at a disadvantage. Also, did I mention the injuries???
Greg Brohm presented awards from last season at halftime…this is a relatively new tradition (started last year during the Spring Game). He was super-enthusiastic during the presentation…he had a microphone, but yelled as if he didn’t. It was fun to watch/hear the energy.
Rondale Moore took home a ton of hardware, to no one’s surprise, but Coach Greg made a funny slip up as he said we'll have two more seasons, then corrected himself to say three, when giving Moore one of the awards. (insert crying emoji)
I got to talk to Neal a bit during the autograph session as I walked through the lines with LBD. He said he had just gotten the all-clear from docs to begin running…he was in really good spirits as he usually is off of the field.
My son was asked by Danny Carollo what his favorite play of the game was…seemed like he was testing LBD to see if he was paying attention. He’s kind of a wonk, so he had an honest answer right away, “The pick 6 was probably my favorite.”
Without missing a beat, Carollo said, “You should tell number 13 that you liked that play.”
We were at the autograph table of the QBs…a lil’ sugar-coating by LBD might have been the wiser play, at that point.
Rondale Moore’s autograph line was at least 100 yards long…Coach Brohm’s was about 70 yards long. We didn’t even attempt to talk to these two popular guys.
BUT, LBD got to meet David Bell, who was sitting by himself in front of us, and he got to meet a few of the Freshmen Boiler Ballers…they all repped the basketball program well.
I talked to Tre Williams for a few minutes, and asked him if he could muster up any interest in the Final Four games after last week’s events. He said, “Nah…I’m not watching.” I’m with him.
As I type, my daughter and wife are watching an old movie, and LBD is playing video games next to me on the ipad.
Basketball season ended late last Saturday night.