Coach Rock: "See, Curtis, a progression is what we call it when you look at multiple receivers instead of staring down one guy starting from the snap count until you fire it at him.
Curtis: "Hold on...pro-what-now?"
Sorry to use a hoary cliched line that ESPN would use (thanks, Dennis Green), but it's kind of appropriate here. The Boilers are, as we've said before, nothing if not predictable. Sure, sometimes they throw a little variety into the way they consistently lose to ranked opponents -- such as, you know, inspired defensive efforts and sudden impotence on offense -- but in the end, they're still our Boilermakers.
Random thought: I especially enjoyed the caption on this photograph -- Curtis Painter "throws for yardage." As opposed to, you know, throwing for cookies or throwing for a hamburger or something.
Anyway, I have to admit, I am less "down" on the team right now... not because I'm not still disgusted with the team and the coaching staff, but because for two weeks now, the defense has come to play. And they've come to play hard... despite everyone in the stadium knowing there was a loss coming. I think it says a lot that these guys are continuing to compete. Last week's defensive effort against Penn State looks even more significant now after seeing how badly Penn State dismantled Wisconsin, at Wisconsin this weekend.
But the frustration continues and, as I said, it's always in new ways!
Amazingly, Brock Spack has gotten good game plans together and, frankly, these game plans have been MORE than good enough. I hold Brock completely unaccountable and normally I think he's the problem. This offense, as Peyton says, is offensive.
What the hell? That's about all I can say. I watched, sadly, most of this game -- yes, I wasn't able to pull myself away as Boilerdowd and Travis were able to do. No, as I heard on my XM Radio that the Boilers defense was hanging tough, I had a shred of hope that maybe something could happen.... something like an interception, a fumble, a punt block. Oh, no, that's right, that's what OSU did.
But even if they hadn't gotten that blocked punt, we'd still have lost 9-3, thanks to our poor offense. And I don't know where to turn at this point. I just need one of you to hold me and tell me everything is going to be alright.
Where's the Joe Tiller of 1997? Where's a trick play or two? Where's a consistent offensive scheme? Or is it not the play-calling? I mean, I don't think the play-calling, honestly, was all that bad. It was the execution.... and as we've discussed, that goes back to preparation and practicing. And as commenter dozer pointed out in the comments of the below post, even Kory Sheets is now leaking comments about how practice is where it all starts.
I don't know where we go from here, but as some have pointed out, we might not have expected to win against PSU or OSU anyway, even if we were having a good season. But, again, the frustrating part is that if we had the offense we've had in recent years -- that is, if we could hit on a couple of deep balls per game -- we might well have not only been in those games... we could have -GASP- won those games. I know, it's crazy talk... but what can we possibly expect when we score 9 points combined in two games? And not only that, if someone had told you we'd allow 36 points combined to PSU and OSU, wouldn't you have thought to youself, "Self, we might go 1-1 in those games"? I think you might have thought that. I know I would have.
So where do we go from here? Well, we hope that the defensive unit continues their inspired play and perhaps creates a few turnovers in the coming games (yes, I'm asking for even more from them) and the offense returns from their midseason hibernation slumber. There are indeed winnable games coming up, with the next three @ Northwestern, vs. Minny, and vs. Michigan. No, I'm not saying we should be favored in any of those games. But if we can keep it close against some of the nation's elite, then we should be able to also hang with -- and, frankly, beat -- these teams.
Thanks for the comments in the post down below from during and after the game. You guys rule. It's making me consider doing a "live blog," as overdone as that has now become in the blogosphere. But I think you guys would make it fun.
Anyway, your thoughts are, as always, welcome.