The Yearly BS Summit was a smashing success with the exception of the centerpiece of the meeting...but you already knew that. Our Boilers continue to underwhelm when faced with any opposition that is noteworthy. One of our readers continually reminds us that PSU was favored. I really don't give a damn about Vegas' line; but clearly Joe does...his teams simply don't beat teams they're not favored to beat. A horrible Hawaii team beat a respectable Fresno State team this weekend, aOSU beat an angry, cornered Wisky team at home, a fast-rising UNC team beat the ranked UConn squad pretty handily...all of these games have something in common- their systems trained and then allowed the players to make plays.
Unlike many of Purdue's faithful, I don't lay blame at the obvious targets following the game. Do you honestly believe Painter can no longer throw an accurate pass or that Summers has forgotten how to kick fieldgoals? I don't. But, I do believe both of these guys have been effectively neutered. Outside pressures have clearly crushed them...mentally, they seem to be out of the game. So, of course, Painter will get the start in Columbus Saturday...huh?
Look at the losses of importance over the last 5 seasons...you'll see a ton of them. It's not one player not making a play, it's a potpourri of poor execution and lack of mental toughness. From defenders missing tackles and dropping interceptions, to quarterbacks disappearing, to running backs fumbling, to kickers pushing or hooking key kicks, to wide receivers not being able to create space...the mediocrity that's woven into this program has been a team effort. If Brock Spack's defense shows up (like Saturday), SURPRISE, the offense and/or Special Teams are no-shows...if the offense starts to make noise (i.e. UND '08), the defense will wet the bed. Are you guys getting the point yet? All of these players and the units they're a part of are trained with the same mentality by the same mastermind.
It's not all negative though...I was happy to see Bolden playing. But wondered as I saw it, "Self, if Tiller says Siller is going to be one of the greatest RBs at Purdue by the time he leaves, shouldn't he at least play a few downs every game?" Tardy looked very good at times, when given the opportunity, as did Orton. Smith, to me, seems to be underutilized and would do well as a passing down tight end. Sheets also had some nifty runs, but seemed to shy away from contact...especially when the draw left/right was called and the PSU line seemed to know exactly when it was coming...freaky.
I was also impressed with the play of Ryan Kerrigan & DeVarro Greaves...they looked they the were "running downhill" unlike a few of the defensive linemen.
With the Colts down by 17 and 8:00 left on the clock, I was pretty sure the game was over. Plus, I was very tired...So I decided to take a nap with the game in the background. I awaken to the announcers talking about Reggie Wayne's miraculous grab...I looked at the score and dismissed it as a half-sleeping mind trick...But as the cobwebs were knocked loose, I noticed that I had slept through an amazing comeback fueled by Gary Brackett and the defense's amazing effort.
These Colts are still not right...the offense looks lackluster and Manning is not sharp. But, unlike my favorite college team, when one part of the team falls off, often, another rises to the occasion to seal victory. Refreshing. Conversely, the lowly Texans made sure someone was giving the game away. Bad teams make bad plays at key moments.
Best regular-season team in baseball.
I was very impressed with Terrell Pryor in the closing minutes of the Wisky game. After Wisconsin went ahead, he had a bit of a grin on his face as he put his helmet on...almost like he wanted to be in this position...Pretty remarkable, especially for a Freshman. And his final run, the option that seemed to have no space due to the sideline, looked smooth and effortless. He's a killer.