Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wasted opportunities and talent… Purdue gives heartless performance against Northwestern

In Purdue’s 26-48 loss to Northwester on Saturday, fans of the Boilermakers are left shaking their heads at what could have been this year. Curtis Painter gives another performance that leaves the viewer sick to their stomach following Purdue’s fourth straight loss. Finally, we are realizing that Purdue is wasting the talents of Kory Sheets who gives another gutsy performance as he begins winding down his Boiler career.

The offense was again unimaginative as fans begin to look forward to the Danny Hope era at Purdue. Numerous balls were batted down at the line, predictable passing routes were being jumped by the secondary, and the coaching staff made questionable lineup changes midway through the game. I understand the point in pulling Curtis Painter, however, if you going to go to a backup, why not try developing your young talent? I was expecting to see freshman Justin Siller get placed into the lineup in the second quarter. However, Joe Tiller decided to go to senior Joey Elliot, who consequently turned the ball over with his first series, and then a three-and-out for his second series prior to getting injured.

The defense really struggled in the secondary, especially with the first half coming to an end. We gave tremendous cushions to the Wildcat receivers as Northwestern confidently marched down the field to score with a few seconds left on the clock. The defensive line did not get any pressure on C.J. Bacher at all on this day.

I do want to end this wrap up on a high note. We are witnessing some consistently impressive performances by Kory Sheets. Not only has he become Purdue’s all-time leader in touchdowns this year, he is week in and week out the spark plug for this stalling Boilermaker offensive unit. The more touches Kory gets, the better. He has the big play ability to take the pigskin to the house on every possession. He wrapped up the dismal offensive show this weekend with a brilliant 78-yard scamper long after the game was decided. What I like most, he didn’t celebrate at all. He dropped the ball and walked off the field. He knew there was little to celebrate about his team’s performance over the weekend.

The Purdue Boilermakers may win a couple more games this season; however, I doubt that this is the way they intended to send Joe Tiller off during his farewell tour.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Six Points? Again?...

First and foremost, let me tip my hat to the defense for playing one of their better performances on the field that I can remember. I don't want to detract from what they did out there yesterday.

However, this post is dedicated to the lack of ingenuity and execution of the offensive team.

Now I should refrain from heaping all blame onto Curtis Painter, but he will get what is due to him.

For two games, our offense has been unimaginative and predictable. Two of the countries best defenses have shut us down, and this has been a terrible trend over the past 5 years. Hopefully, no pun intended, when Danny Hope's regime takes over this issue can and will be addressed.

As for Curtis, hopefully the wave of expectations that flooded over him this preseason has not stalled his development. Maybe, he has hit his talent ceiling.

He continues to display a cunning inability to look off of one receiver and go through his receiver progressions. When tipped balls, interceptions, and broken passes occur with CP it's usually due to a "aware" defensive back or linebacker tracking his eyes. It happened several times yesterday. Its one of those things that you say about a true freshman quarterback and how a fifth year senior distinguishes themselves from their youthful counterparts. Not with Curtis.

To end on a silver lining, Carson Wiggs shows how important the kicker is too a team as an offensive weapon. Kudos to the coaching staff for recruiting him. I look forward to 3 more years of watching him kick the ball.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Purdue At The Ohio State

Let's be very honest about today's game, Purdue doesn't have the urgency, heart, or talent to go into Columbus today and compete. It will be very entertaining to watch Terelle Prior rip the Boiler defense apart. We could be watching a very special talent.

Time and time again, Curtis Painter proves that he cannot perform against an elite defense. We were shut down by Penn State. His decision making ability has been consistently exposed during this season. I have personally taken a multiple week hiatus from bloggin about purdue football recently. I just haven't had the heart to write about it.

It similar to the heart being displayed by the team this season. We just haven't had the drive to get us over the hump. Maybe next year.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bleacher Report

I have posted my editorial to the Bleacher Report.

You are all welcome to view it and critic it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Editorial for Bleecher Report

My posting this weekend will be a bit light because I am writing an editorial regarding Purdue's season year to date for the Bleecher Report.

I will still review the Central Michigan game this weekend

Monday, September 15, 2008

Are you kidding me…? Oregon 32, Purdue 26

I have taken a couple days of getting over the debacle of the loss to Oregon. I have spoken to several of my friends and colleagues regarding their perspective and feelings regarding what transpired this past Saturday.

The keenest observation is that everyone knew, even with Purdue up 17 at the half, that we were in serious trouble going into the second half. How many times have we seen this before?

On offense:
I really don’t intend to get real elementary or immature regarding this review, but can Curtis Painter hit a receiver? How many passes did he throw that were not even close? How many times did Bob Griese have to provide and excuse for receivers dropping the ball and/or Painter not being able to throw an accurate pass? A fifth year senior must be able to manage a game better than this.

On the other perspective, this is one of the better defenses that Curtis will see this year. Probably, THE best secondary he will ever until next year. However, during the fourth quarter when we were on offense, I had no confidence that our offensive unit was going to competently move the ball.

I don’t want to continue without highlighting one of the best football performances that we have seen in a long time from a boilermaker. Kory Sheets had 180 yards on 29 carries. Not to forget, his 2 touchdowns and the most important statistic, no fumbles. Kudos, Kory. Hopefully, you will continue to deliver results as the season goes.

On Defense:
I was very impressed for 3 quarters how the Boilermaker defense withstood the vaunted Duck offense with all the speed in the world. Brock Spack’s defense came in with a solid scheme that applied decent pressure on the Duck quarterback, Roper. For 3 quarters I was rubbing my eyes wondering what defense was on the field completely limiting the Ducks rushing attack to insignificant production. However, it appeared that the gas tank ran empty as the big burly backs from Oregon began to pound out large chunks of yardage at a time.

As the Oregon rushing attack began to breathe with new life, Purdue again demonstrated that it has no idea how to cover an athletic tight-end. Play after play, Dickson, the big TE from Oregon found the open part of the field and sat down until Roper was able to lob him the ball.

Special Teams:
Dan Dierking’s recovery of the botched kick-off for Oregon was an outstanding, athletic play. However, that play will be forever dismissed as boiler fans will only remember that Chris Summers missed two consecutive field goals, one which was to win the game.

How many times during the Tiller era can we remember the Boiler teams not being able to close out games? My heart is still on the ground when Kyle Orton fumbled against Wisconsin. I have never been the same. Since that game, I no longer feel comfortable with any lead, knowing that we will always have to stop a star Tight-end, or that we are about to punt/kick-off to the opposing team.

Until the Boilers develop a killer instinct where we can finish off our opponents when our foot is on their necks, the fan base will never be able to rest easy until the clock runs 0:00.

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 20th, 2008: Hosting the Central Michigan Chippewas

The primary source of my preview is

The Central Michigan Chippewas will meet Purdue again in what is budding into a very entertaining relationship between these two teams. I am getting the impression that CMU will be very happy when Curtis Painter moves on to Sunday football.

CMU is looking to become the first MAC program to win their conference championship 3 years in a row. This, on any level, is an impressive feat. A total of 44 lettermen including 16 starters return from 2007, but just 12 seniors appear on the preseason roster.

Eight starters return to an offense that ranked among the best in the nation last season. MAC Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Dan LeFevour returns seven of his top nine targets from 2007 and four starters are back on the offensive line.

This is an offense that proved last year can put points on the board and move the ball all over the field. Fortunately for Purdue, we were able to win the footrace through Curtis Painters 500+ yard performance for the record books.

Junior Dan LeFevour has developed into one of the top signal-callers in the country. He accounted for 47 touchdowns a year ago (27 passing, 19 rushing, one receiving) while becoming just the second player in Bowl Subdivision history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.

The two-time All-Mid-American Conference first team selection already holds CMU career records for passing yards, completions, touchdown passes and total offense. Among Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks who return in 2008, LeFevour ranked second in total offense (341.0 ypg) and scoring (8.7 ppg), fourth in rushing (80.1 ypg) and 13th in passing yards (260.1 ypg) in 2007.

Running Back
The most competitive position on either side of the ball is running back. Seniors Ontario Sneed and Justin Hoskins, junior Marcel Archer and sophomore Carl Volny comprise a foursome that combined to rush for 1,364 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007. The group also combined to catch 56 passes a year ago.

Hoskins, a starter in nine games last season, ran for 664 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first season in the Chippewas’ backfield. Sneed started five times and accounted for 514 yards and six touchdowns after leading CMU in rushing in 2005 and 2006.

Wide Receiver
Dan LeFevour’s top two targets—All-MAC second team receivers junior Bryan Anderson and sophomore Antonio Brown—return after record-setting campaigns in 2007. In all, seven players who caught at least 10 passes a year ago are back.
Anderson (90 receptions, 1,132 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Brown (102 receptions, 1,003 yards, six touchdowns) were the most prolific pass-catching combination in school history in 2007, totaling 192 receptions for 2,135 yards and 16 touchdowns. Anderson set a single-season school record for touchdown receptions, while Brown set a new standard for receptions.

Offensive Line
The Chippewas must replace three-year starter Eric Tunney, but four other starters return to the offensive front.

Left tackle Andrew Hartline is the leader of the group, having started all 39 games over the past three seasons. He started all 14 games at left tackle last season after spending the 2005 and 2006 seasons at right tackle.

Tight End
Redshirt freshman Rocky Weaver is the favorite to take over the starting role at tight end. He caught a 39-yard touchdown pass in the Chippewas’ spring game, a play that saw him make a catch in the middle of the field, absorb a hit and out-run the secondary to the end zone. Weaver will be challenged by classmate Brandin Friske and senior Andre Moore.


Defensive Line

Four players with starting experience return to fill three spots on the Chippewas’ defensive line. CMU must replace All-MAC third team pick Steven Friend at tackle, but senior nose guard Casey Droscha and junior ends Frank Zombo, Sam Williams and Larry Knight all return.

Zombo tied for third in the MAC with 7.5 sacks last season and led the Chippewas’ defensive linemen with 62 total tackles. Droscha was in on 52 stops, including a team-high tying 11 tackles for loss. A former walk-on, Droscha is one of just three seniors in the defensive two-deep entering the season and will be looked upon to fill a leadership role.

The biggest holes CMU needs to fill are at linebacker. Sophomore Nick Bellore returns after starting all 14 games and registering a CMU freshman-record 102 tackles last season, but All-MAC first team selections Red Keith and Ike Brown are both gone.

A number of candidates will vie to replace Keith and Brown, including sophomore Matt Berning, junior Tim Brazzel, seniors Jonathan Lapsley and David Lawrence and redshirt freshman Mike Petrucci. Junior Calvin Hissong also will compete for playing time after moving from the secondary during spring practice.

Nine different players started at least one game in a secondary that was decimated by injuries last season. Junior cornerback Josh Gordy, who missed four games due to injuries in 2007, is CMU’s top returner in the secondary. He intercepted four passes last season, including a school-record tying three in a win over Army.

Juniors Tommy Mama and Kirkston Edwards and sophomore Vince Agnew all are candidates to fill the corner position opposite Gordy.

Summary and Prediction

This looks to be another high-flying, run and gun shootout. I am looking for an all-around improved defense to better limit the Chippewa offensive capabilities. There will be more points than the Northern Colorado game, but I still think that Purdue should take care of business this time.

Keep in mind, CMU is very familiar with our mode of operations. The will be scheming against Curtis Painter, however, I think Kory Sheets will be established very early in the game and this will lead to the passing game opening up.

Final Predictions: CMU 24, Purdue 35

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Purdue 42, UNC 10

Writing from the perspective of someone who cannot make it too the games enough, but still is passionate regarding Purdue Football, can be a bit of a setback. However, I still try and take the time to at least listen to the games on the radio.

So with the ice broken, let’s look at this week’s victory over the Northern Colorado Bears from the Football Championship Subdivision or as I like to say it, The Artist Formerly Known as Division 2.

On Offense: As T-Mill from Off the Tracks puts it, vanilla, is how the offensive game rolled out today. Curtis Painter could have been a lot more effective today. While his statistics really don’t tell this story, 286 yards and two scores with no interceptions, his completion percentage isn’t where it needs to be to be able to compete against the better competition which begins next week. Throughout the game he hovered around 50-55% completion range and the way our offense lives and dies with the pass with short to medium range passes, that has to be a higher percentage to be successful later this season. We utilize the pass to setup the runs and if we are not completing a higher percentage, then we hamstring other phases of our offense.

On third downs, we were right were we should be against a solid opponent, 6/11, but against a D2 team we should be completing a higher percentage than this.

Kory Sheets could have had a better day, if we handed the ball too him more. I think he took pretty good advantage of his opportunities when they presented themselves. 16 carries for 81 yards and two scores is a solid day at the office, oh, and I don’t recall him fumbling. Nice work! I wanted to see Ralph Bolden on the field and Justin Siller a little bit in preview of what the future holds for RB.

The receiving team turned in a pleasant surprise. The largely documented unknown commodity coming out of camp this year put up decent numbers today. However, there football did not get spread around like it usually does. Also, I had higher expectations for Greg Orton as our leader. He finally made his presence felt in the game, but not until the game was soundly put away. I expect him to have a larger influence on the outcome of games going forward. Desmond Tardy was impressive, showing some big play ability. And Keith Smith had his first career touchdown as a boiler. Congrats!

On Defense: We gave up 338 yards to a D2 opponent. I am not sure how I feel about that. One player had a fairly exceptional day against us, Ryan Chelsa, whose name was called on plays too many times. I.e. he was always open…

Anthony Heygood missed a couple tackles. Gerald Gooden made his presence felt. And Frank Duong showed he belongs.

For the most part, we held the Bears in check. The only touchdown coming in trash minutes of the game. I felt we were a little soft of coverage, which might be more of me not giving the QB from UNC enough credit, it sounded like he was operating the offense pretty competently.

Special teams made a significant impact on this game. Frank Halliburton’s two blocked punts isn’t something you see everyday. Also, you have to feel good about Mike Conway’s return for a TD. The return game was solid again, with Sheets and Tardy breaking off large returns. However, I am not sold that this performance really will transpose to better competition later on.

Final thoughts: The defense performed better than I predicted, but still left me concerned regarding next week. The offense was taking a lackadaisical approach to the game, which REALLY has me concerned. Maybe it was the injuries, maybe they were not concerned about winning, I don’t know, but it needs to change quickly. I am always looking for a sense of urgency with our offense, and this week we didn’t have it.

My initial predictions for this week were Purdue 42, UNC 27. It ended up Purdue 42, UNC 10. So I cannot say that the defense didn’t show up.

My predictions for next week: Oregon 35, Purdue 24: Hopefully the offense can get its sense of urgency back and play with a bit more athletic tension.

Monday, September 1, 2008

September 13th, 2008: Hosting the Oregon Ducks

The primary source of my preview is

The Oregon Ducks are looking to make the jump from a winning program and Top 25 contender to an annual participant in BCS Bowl and national title conversations. Fresh off a season that saw UO soar as high as No. 2 in the land behind Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon and NFL first-rounder Jonathan Stewart, expectations are increased for all who follow.

On offense:

Last, due to Dixon's injury, Nate Costa would have been summoned out of his redshirt had the sophomore not suffered his own year-ending knee injury in October. That initial confidence in Costa indicates he was the quarterback to beat. However, reinjuring his surgically-repaired left knee last Wednesday, he is out for the early part of the season at the very least.

With Costa out, fellow redshirt sophomore Justin Roper saw the bulk of the first team snaps and performed well in the Spring Game. Roper has the most Division I game experience among the QBs, including a stellar four-touchdown performance in Oregon’s 2007 Sun Bowl victory. However, OU officials state the Roper acquired a concussion during the UW game this week and was replaced by JUCO transfer Jeremiah Masoli.

Masoli stepped in for Justin Roper and threw for 126 yards and two touchdowns Saturday night, helping No. 21 Oregon to a 44-10 victory over rival Washington.

That was the confusing part, now on to RB

In replacing the school’s all-time single-season rushing leader, Jeremiah Johnson has been named is the starter after being billed as “1B” to Stewart’s “1A” on the UO depth chart the past two seasons. Johnson, who split carries with Jonathan Stewart for the last three seasons, had a 44-yard carry on the Ducks' first series, then followed it up with a 4-yard scoring run against Washington.

Junior Andre Crenshaw picked up the slack after Johnson went down last season and is a capable option again this season. Included on his resume is a 113-yard, two-touchdown rushing effort at Washington in 2007.

Junior college transfer LeGarrette Blount is a stout 6-2 and 229 pounds, demonstrating a power style and tackle-breaking ability that should be an excellent complement to Oregon’s stable of speedy tailbacks.


Senior Jaison Williams can be a dominant threat on the outside when he secures the football. Against Washington, he had a 48-yard catch to finish the day with 4 touches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

True sophomore Jeff Maehl only has three games of experience at the position after converting from safety late last season, but he displayed an immediate aptitude in the slot. Against UW, he had 5 catches, ending up with 49 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Senior Terence Scott, another who was pulled out of redshirt status last season, was dinged up for the bulk of his five appearances as he was considered a bit of an unknown quantity. However, Scott led the way with the best receiving performance amongst his peers with 6 receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown.


The O-line is a unit that returns a trio of senior starters in All-America center Max Unger, guard Mark Lewis and tackle Fenuki Tupou. Unger, a potential first round NFL draft pick next spring, is arguably the best pass blocker among Pac-10 snappers. Both he and Tupou were selected to the Outland Trophy preseason watch list.

Fellow seniors Jeff Kendall, who is penciled in at left guard, and Jacob Hucko, likely the new starter at right tackle, give the Ducks one of their most experienced lines in team history.

The defensive line is stocked with veterans, led by senior second team All-American Nick Reed. The nation’s third-leading tackler for loss and Pac-10 sacks leader resumes his role at end opposite junior Will Tukuafu. Tukuafu made a seamless transition from the junior college ranks last year to start 11 times as part of the nation’s top defense in terms of tackles for loss, racking up 8.5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks of his own.

Veteran starters Jerome Boyd and John Bacon are back for their senior years at strong side and middle, respectively, and returning letterwinner Spencer Paysinger, a sophomore, takes over Tuitele’s spot at weakside. Boyd, the team’s fourth-leading tackler from a year ago (79 total), ranked second in tackles for a loss (11.0). A hyper-athletic presence, Boyd can match up with nearly every type of offensive skill player and has shown consistent ability to make plays all over the field.
Bacon, who started the first nine games as a junior before suffering a season-ending knee injury, is expected back at full health, and Kevin Garrett adds experience (25 games in two seasons) and toughness on the weak side.


The biggest reason many onlookers feel that Oregon will have one of the nation’s top defenses in 2008 is undoubtedly its “dream team” secondary. Three of the group’s starters, junior corners Jairus Byrd and Walter Thurmond III, and senior rover Patrick Chung, are on the watch lists for the Bednarik (national defensive player of the year) and Jim Thorpe awards (nation’s top defensive back). Chung, who flirted with entering the NFL Draft following his junior year, is also on the watch list for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the best defensive player in college football.

The trio combined for 284 tackles a year ago, led by Chung’s 117. Thurmond’s 75 solo stops were tops among Ducks, and he also boasted five interceptions among his team-high 18 pass breakups. Byrd led the squad with seven INTs and three fumble recoveries (tie).

The new kid on the block, in terms of starting duties, is likely to be junior T.J. Ward at free safety. Ward, a standout on special teams in ‘07, will be challenged by redshirt freshman Javes Lewis and junior Titus Jackson.

That conludes my paraphrasing of the Oregon Ducks Preview

That being said, how does Purdue fair against this team?

Not well, I fear. A basic strengths vs weaknesses perspective says that our strength on offense will play right into the ducks strenght on defense. However, If the much improved Purdue defense can limit the ducks offensive productivity, then the game could stay close. Painter has shown historically that good/great defenses have absolutely shut our offense down. (See Ohio State and Penn State games)

In the end, I think the game will be close but Oregon can squeak by. They are on their 3rd option at quarterback, but a solid RB and WR corp will probably be a little too productive for the boilers.

Silver Lining? This game is at Ross-Aid, we can but numbers up on the scoreboard, and our defense is claimed to be much improved. Maybe, just maybe the boilers can pull one out? A strong showing against the ducks can really jack up the Heisman talk around Painter. The Heisman talk which is limited to only the mid-west currently.

Predictions: Oregon 35, Purdue 24 Oy!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

September 6th, 2008: Hosting the Northern Colorado Bears

The first game of the season will see the Purdue Boilermakers hosting the Big Sky Conference gems, the Northern Colorado Bears.

This team starts their season with Northern Colorado losing nine starters from its 2007 squad. They are replacing their star center and starting the season with a new signal caller. Their strength will lie in the running game where their two leading rushers from last season, Tyrone Wilson and David Woods, combined for over 1,000 yards last year.

On defense, they are returning three all-conference selections to their defense which is shaping up to be a unit that is going to be more stubborn than last season.

I really do not see the possibility of this team really causing too many problems for the boilers, there is the possibility that this developing defense will be a bit opportunistic with the Purdue offense. I predict a couple fumbles and possibly an interception from Curtis Painter this coming weekend. However, with a completely shifted line and replacing so much experience on the UNC offensive line, I see a big day for the Purdue defense. I look for at least one score for the Purdue defense this week.

Final predictions: Purdue 42, UNC 27

Season with Jaycen Taylor absent

This is one of those rare situations that losing such a talented player may turn out ok for the duration of the season. Last week, Jaycen Taylor left the practice field injured and lost for the season. This will give Kory Sheets his opportunity to shine, as well as develop promising young kids Dan Dierking and Ralph Bolden. Then, next year, we will have Jaycen Taylor as our feature back, and Ralph and Dan will be supporting him then.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Preview of the 2008 Season

Hello, Everyone!

This week I will be analyzing the boilers season and begin putting predictions down as to how the games will turn out.