Following the UND game, our Boilers were a bit emotionally drained and physically beaten up. The Irish beat Purdue in ever phase of the game and nothing cures teams that are ailing and lacking confidence like playing this Gopher squad.
After playing a full scoreless game v. UM (58-0), Minny picked up where they left off allowing Purdue to move the ball with ease and at the same time turning the ball over with great regularity (2 fumbles and an INT).
Last week, Ricardo Allen looked overmanned and out of his league against a big time system and a big time receiver. This week, as Gray telegraphed his passes and Minny's receivers didn't give Purdue DBs much to respect, Allen jumped a route an turned yet another interception into a TD (that's his third of his career).
Minnesota couldn't stop Purdue's running game, and it didn't really matter who was carrying the ball. Shavers, Bolden, Edison, Hunt, Pegram and Mostert all combined for over 200 yards. Pegram, Mostert and Hunt averaged over 8 yards/carry. Hunt, Mostert, Shavers and Pegram all had runs of 17 or more.
The playcalling was pretty vanilla, but didn't need to be anything more than that as Purdue controlled the trenches (on both sides, really). The defensive scheme still had me scratching my head a few times, but Purdue's front four (the tackles specifically) and cornerbacks helped gloss over any schematic issues that might have proven to be costly.
The Purdue QB comparison isn't a fair one after this game- TerBush looked better and his numbers backed that up. He finished 14/21 for 139yds and a TD. Marve finished 4/6 for 15yds and a TD. The play calling went something like this- draw, sweep, pass to the flat...and you'd better believe #9 stuck to the script after the last few weeks. Spencer Dawson played a bit, but as he did v. SEMO, didn't register in the box score.
My bright spot of the game was Shavers' running- he had more pop in his step than anybody on the field- hit the holes faster and ran the ball very hard. If Bolden is still a bit banged up, it shows because Shavers played at a notably higher-gear (which isn't the norm, to me).
Wiggs had a 53 yard FG (missed a short one too), and with that, he now has the 5 longest Purdue field goals in the books.
Purdue was up by 24 at the end of the first quarter, and that was really the story...and with a 31-0 lead at the half, the second was little more than a formality. Hope (correctly) took his foot off the gas and Purdue won easily for the second time in two years at Ross-Ade v. Minnesota, and in doing so, improved to 3-2 on the season. Plus, unlike last year, there was no bad news about Hummel's knee before or during this one...so there's that.
Purdue looked faster, strong and better-prepared...the inverse discrepancy looked pretty similar to last week to me. I know Minny is rebuilding, and my Boilers are no worldbeater...but they looked like one today. Fellow Boiler fans, savor these games, I don't know if we'll get anymore like this in '11.
Next up, the good guys head to Happy Valley to play the weaker-than-usual Nittany Lions...don't expect anything like we saw this week on the field at RA though. Plus, today was kinda like a spring game with the attendance in the mid-upper 30K range...so outside of Bloomington, that'll be the last of that for the season as well.