Purdue's football team continued Spring football practice last week by having the annual Steak 'n Beans Scrimmage. This format pits the offense versus the defense and the winning squad gets a steak dinner while the loser feasts on beans. We've spoken about this a few times- I can't cheer for either the defense nor offense to be doing well during practices and scrimmages because if domination is happening with regularity, it means one unit just isn't ready for primetime.
This contest came down to the last play that had the #1 offense in the redzone in a position to win with one more score. Marve (who's been splitting snaps with the 1s with TerBush) tried to find Bush for the score, but the pass was broken up by Ricardo Allen.
After the game, Allen said he felt disrespected that Marve would have the gall come his way with the game on the line. The problems with this thinking is multifold, I believe. First, and most obviously, Allen is insinuating that his counterparts, Johnson and Harris should be the ones that should be tested in the situation...and he's simply better than them. I like Allen...I like corners with swagger that make big plays. But, after last season, I'm not too sure if Allen's cockiness has legs here. He was tested a lot last season...and failed a lot; by his own admission. Why wouldn't Marve go at him?
Second, Josh Johnson is a physical corner with a few inches of height on Allen. In short yardage, bigger corners have an advantage, generally. And if Harris was defending a receiver on that down, he's four inches taller than Allen. Logic says go at the smallest DB and make him make the play- Good for Allen that he made it. Good for Marve for testing him.
Sure, I'm over-analyzing this...but what the hell else is there to do during this time of year???
According to Hope, Marve and TerBush both continue to look sharp- Marve is making better decisions, TerBush making quicker decisions. I'm still rooting for Marve to get the nod as I think a healthy #9 can do more than TerBush behind the center.
Blooming Coaching Tree
Former Painter assistant, Rick Ray was hired as Mississippi State's Head Coach over the weekend. If you don't follow the coaching staff moves too closely, you might know Ray as the coach who looked like Cuonzo Martin from 50 feet away. Ray left Purdue to be the Assistant HC for Clemson a few years ago. When it happened, many Purdue fans didn't understand the move. Right about now, the move looks pretty damned smart- he made more money at Clemson...and got a head coaching gig within two years.
Not too shabby.
For those of you keeping score at home, here are the former Painter assistants who now have head coaching positions: Paul Lusk at Missouri State, Cuonzo Martin at Tennessee and Rick Ray at Mississippi State. Sure, you could argue that Martin belongs in the direct tree of Keady...but all of these guys are really in Keady's tree when it comes down to it.
And speaking of former Keady assistants getting richer, Bruce Weber landed in Manhattan...no, not to coach with Keady and Lavin at St. John's, but Kansas State. Former KSU player and beard aficionado, Jacob Pullen tweeted his displeasure about the hire from Europe (where he currently plays). Pullen wasn't offered by then Illinois HC, Weber...and Pullen is still sore about that. But, Weber's connection to Chicago and ability to attract high-level talent to his programs will probably soothe the wounds that any KSU fans might have. Plus, shouldn't they be angry at Frank Martin more than anyone for making the odd move to South Carolina?
I haven't done this in a while, but here are my thoughts on the IndyCar circuit (for the five of you who care). The new chassis and engines seem to be doing pretty well in spite of many thinking they were rushed into service. Granted, the Lotus engine seems to be having more growing pains than the Chevy or Honda packages...but no one is surprised at this since Lotus simply wasn't ready for testing as early as the other two manufacturers.
|Bringing sexy back?|
The looks of the new chassis grow on me every time I see it...and if nothing else, it doesn't look old or like any other series' chassis. I think next year as the new aero packages are implemented, the cars will get back to being sexier...which we really haven't seen in the series in a decade or more.
The race in Alabama was much better to watch than the previous week in St. Pete. Perhaps the drivers and teams are getting more comfortable...and the race course has a lot to do with the amount of passing. But changes in the blocking rule have helped the racing immensely...and removing Brian Barnhart from the raceday operations helped out a lot as well.
All-in-all, the first two races of the season are a good start...the cars won't be racing again until April 15. Next up, they'll be testing the oval Aero package in Indy on Wednesday...I'm hoping to head to the track with LBD to watch a few laps.