If you didn't watch the game today you missed one that was at least entertaining...and you missed a nearly-fun game. Purdue had a long TD pass on their first offensive play from TerBush to Shavers, a 100 yard kickoff return for TD by Hunt, a few sustained drives and some solid defense versus an offense that was scoring like J when a Sade CD is playing...at least before today.
Antavian Edison had big catches and YAC when Purdue needed them. Josh Johnson played large along with Frankie Williams as Allen was unavailable for play. Dolapo Macarthy continued his emergence as a capable and clutch receiver. Purdue's front made noise and big stops and was in Braxton Miller's face all day...until his day ended as a Josh Johnson tackle sent the Heisman contender to the hospital with head/neck injuries (which is horrible to see, obviously). Purdue's defense caused four turnovers while the offense only gave the ball up once...Purdue seemed to be hitting and playing harder than the Bucknuts all day as aOSU players leaving the field all day due to injury.
We wanted to see the Boilers fight...we wanted to see them compete...and they did that today. The players did their job for 58 minutes this afternoon as they went toe-to-toe with one of the better teams in the nation. The problem of course is after two weeks of getting their arses handed to them, a moral victory is worth nothing...especially the way this one played out.
Key moments in the game:
-After Purdue's first touchdown the PAT was blocked...score 6-0. (one point left on the field)
-2nd quarter, with Purdue up 13-7 on the 2 yard line, Purdue comes away with zero points as TerBush tries to force a pass into double coverage. The possession resulted in an interception, and aOSU ball. (at least three points left on the field)
-20-14 2:58 left in the 3rd qtr Purdue gets the ball on the aOSU 37.
Purdue could have all but put the game away. After a big runt by Akeem Hunt Purdue was inside the 20 with a fresh set of downs. After conservative play calling and a busted play, Purdue attempted and a field goal...and it was blocked. (three more points left on the field)
-With Miller out of the game, Guyton took over for the entire fourth quarter and really couldn't move the aOSU offense.
-20-14 11:50 remaining
Purdue just in aOSU territory with a fresh set of downs. after two busted plays, Purdue is forced to punt.
-20-14 10:51 remaining
Webster's pooch pins aOSU on the one yard line. After a hold on aOSU in the end zone on second down, aOSU gave Purdue two points in the form of a safety.
-22-14 2:40 remaining
Feichter's interception of Guyton gave Purdue the ball. Purdue's offense promptly went three-and-out after a possession that took just 47 seconds off of the clock. The possession included a false start, a befuddled-looking Purdue offense and a hair-brained scheme that included Purdue calling two time outs...in order to save the clock. This strategery of course allowed aOSU to avoid using their timeouts. Yeah, the rest of the football world doesn't get it either...but Hope is that much of a revolutionary.
After this mess, Purdue's defense joined the lying down party and allowed a previously-inept offense led by a green QB to find life versus a prevent-to-win defense. After scoring a TD to put them down by two, Guyton once again looked like a veteran, as a broken-down play led to Gaston being forced to guarda TE...it didn't end well for Gaston (shockingly), as aOSU tied the game.
With the wind out of their sails, Purdue's defense allowed aOSU to go up by seven in OT...and the offense responded by not moving the ball and being forced to throw a desperation heave that ended the game.
I felt like if Purdue had won, it would have changed the trajectory of the season. A win today and a few more wins this season and this season might have been universally viewed as a success. So in a way, Hope was coaching for his job today.
So how did he and his assistants coach as they looked to make a statement and a mark on the program's direction? They coached scared. The defense lost its teeth, the offense lost its lower-intestinal fortitude, and of course, Purdue left Columbus with a loss.
I'm proud of the players for fighting and playing in the way they're capable of playing for much of the contest...but this game still crashes down loudly and painfully in the right hand column. Plus, the coaches seemingly wiped away all momentum created in 58 minutes by throwing this one away.
Purdue stole a game last year versus aOSU in Ross Ade as two mediocre teams battled into bonus football...Today, our Boilers gave one away that they had all but wrapped-up. If nothing else, balance remains in the universe.