Spring Game Highlights

In the case you don't have the BTN or don't go over there regularly just to look around, We've decided to take it upon ourselves to show you their highlights of the Black & Gold game from last weekend.

While these highlights are devoid of Ralph Bolden, who was the most-noteworthy on the day, they do show quite a bit.

First, they show how the defense swarmed to the ball. The tackling was better than all of last season and the hitting seemed to have a bit more pop. I think this will be a theme next season- especially in the middle of the field. I don't think you'll see a lot of missed tackles by safeties and LBs...something that plagued the '08 team.

You also see a couple examples of quarterbacks keeping plays alive. Specifically, around the 1:20 mark, Elliott scrambles- first left, then right and Keith Smith follows his signals in the back of the endzone where Joey finds Smith. While Curtis Painter began his career as an option quarterback, he ended it as nearly a statue of a quarterback. Regardless of whom is starting in the fall, that QB will use his legs a bit more to keep plays going.

Another thing you see is the offensive line, at times, creating very clear lanes for running backs. As this unit has matured, they've become a quite-respectable group of BT linemen. And hope has stressed to them the importance of good footwork and technique. It seems many Tiller lineman, especially in the last 4 seasons, were large to a fault. They seemed to sacrafice speed for needless bulk and because of it, they couldn't pull effectively or adjust to the speed rush. I don't think that will be a problem for the '09 team.

Another thing you see is tight coverage- even during completed passes, DBs did a very good job at staying on receivers. Now, if a quarterback is accurate and can hit a small target, and his receivers are strong and go get the ball, they'll still find success as I doubt Purdue's coaches will request that these guys to become ball hawks. But, their coverage, even in nickel and dime packages will be better than what we've seen the last few seasons.

The Joey Elliott Experiment

A Lot to learn