The Boilers -- for the first time in a while -- were predictable in a good way on Saturday. We all expected them to control Eastern Michigan pretty thoroughly and they did it. The 54 points is a high for the Danny Hope era against FBS schools, and perhaps the only flaw to point out today is that the team took a while to get rolling, then scored in bunches.
In the first quarter -- and into the second -- I felt like this had some of those dreaded markings of the annual Danny Hope home snoozer against an inferior opponent. I've been saying for a while that I fully expect the Marshall game to be that game this season, but this one did show signs early. The Boilers had something like six yards on their first seven plays. Also, it was 0-0 three-quarters through the first quarter and only a 13-9 game halfway through the second.
EMU's ability to stop the run was, shall we say, less than strong. So after a 50 yard TD on a pass play to Akeem Hunt, Brandon Cottom got serious and broke off an 87 yard rumble for a score. The Boilers had three rushing TDs of 40 yards or more -- Shavers had a 40 yard scamper to start the scoring, and Hunt had a 56 yard dash in the third quarter (which the Boilers won, 7-0; baby steps, I guess).
As mentioned, this one essentially went as expected, though I will admit I didn't foresee the Boilers rolling up 54 points. It would have been 56, but McCartney had some trouble on a couple of PATs. Something to be concerned about? I think it's worth keeping an eye on, as the kicking game is a lot more likely to be the difference if Purdue hopes to pull out wins over the cream of the Big Ten next month.
Caleb TerBush got the bulk of the work and wound up 16/24 for 158 and two TDs (plus one rushing) and an INT. While those are not exactly eye-popping numbers, Caleb continues to throw for a reasonable completion percentage, and we'll take three TDs out of our quarterback against the one pick. Not sexy, but we'll take unsexy 38-point wins anytime.
Rob Henry was unspectacular -- likely due in no small part to continued rust -- in going 2/6 for 26 yards and Hope and Nord continued their strange insistence on using three QBs, getting Austin Parker in there for a single pass as well.
The Boilers looked solid after the slow start and what they're doing to you, dear reader, is upping the expectations around Boilerland....and also beyond. Boilerdowd got a text today from an IU fan friend of his who stated flatly, "Purdue is winning their division this year." We're also hearing those murmurs elsewhere, as Wisconsin has not looked good at all to this point.
While we're not quite ready to go that far, as you know, winning the games you're supposed to win was something we've railed about many times. In addition to that, we've also discussed that good teams -- or teams that aspire to be good -- have to crush bad teams, not just sneak by them. Purdue did that today, taking care of business against a MAC team.
The Boilers get a bye next weekend and then welcome the Thundering Herd to town in a game I'm very concerned about but B-dowd feels the Purdue lines will have a significant positive impact in. Time will tell, as always, but if Purdue pummels Marshall as well and heads to Big Ten play 3-1 with only the three-point loss at ND on the ledger, the excitement will only be that much more pronounced.
Is the train coming? I just might be. Choo choo, muthas.