What is Dispatches from Blogfrica? Pretty simple: I ask questions of an opposing team's blogger; he answers. A truly revolutionary idea, no? This week: BoilerTMill, from SBN's superb Purdue blog, Hammer & Rails.
I am hoping that the message is getting through to Morgan Burke because the fans are not showing up in droves. Attendance is at pre-Tiller lows as we haven’t had anything close to a sellout since last year’s Notre Dame game. The fans are furious not just because of the losses, but because Purdue got blown out and looked completely unprepared in every Big Ten game except Ohio State.
Most of the blame is on offensive coordinator Gary Nord, who had had a terrible game plan and overly simplistic playcalling all season. Combine that with the bizarre decision to rotate three quarterbacks and not even attempt a running game with decent running backs has fans really pissed off.
Purdue football has never been a consistently great team. We’ve had our moments, but historically we’re middle of the pack at best. We’ve prided ourselves on at least being better than Indiana. Losing to them, especially at home, has been pretty much unacceptable and only happened once since Tiller came to town. If it happens this year Hope will have done it twice in a row.
Enjoy it, man. If you can beat Indiana a few times along the way to help your own profile it would be greatly appreciated. I’ve always been more of a basketball fan, but when football is struggling it can be so much sweeter to reset everything with basketball season. We have five exciting new freshmen to watch and if we can survive this year without Indiana winning the title we can finally start getting back at our main rivals.
Purdue needs its defensive line to play like it did in those two games, because in the other losses it has virtually disappeared and not gotten any pressure whatsoever on the quarterback. I also think we need to commit to the running game more. Our last two games have featured a big run on the first series by Akeem Shavers, then we proceeded to barely run at all even when the game has still been close.
Unfortunately, Gary Nord will continue to call screen pass after screen pass, he’ll run straight into the line, and he’ll refuse to through downfield. He’ll have a gimpy quarterback roll out behind terrible blocking and the offense will stall.
I think he is acting through Hope because Marve, TerBush, and Henry have played musical quarterbacks the entire season. We have had exactly one game where one quarterback took every snap and that was TerBush vs. Ohio State. In some games Henry has come in as a wildcat QB and recently he’s been playing receiver and running back, but for the most part it has been rotation sometimes for the sake of rotation. This year the shackles on each QB has been that god’s vengeance.
Unless Gary Nord’s playcalling is suddenly different I fully expect Iowa to win by about 30.
Thanks for being a good sport, Travis. Be sure to check out Travis and the rest of his train-loving amigos at Hammer & Rails. You can also follow him on Twitter at @HammerAndRails. The Iowa-Purdue game is in Iowa City, IA on Saturday, November 10 at 11am CT, with television coverage from BTN.