It is payback time for TP.
The best part of this weekend’s game will be finally taking the field and being able to officially move on from the Wisconsin game. And considering we are coming off a loss, playing a team that we lost to in an ugly played game last season, and we are coming back home to the Shoe – I really do not see motivation of the players being an issue this week.
The one thing that is somewhat alarming is the continued bites from the injury bug. Now that we have lost three of five starters in our secondary to injury I have to say that …..it sucks. Barnett, Moeller for the season and now Bryant having to be out a couple weeks with a foot infection (really?) it is way past weird. Where is the asshole with the voodoo dolls already? To pile on the fun Homan is out too. Come on. Regardless of who is playing though they can’t sleep on Purdue – we tried that last year and the result was not awesome to say the least.
– Injuries – lost starting QB (Robert Marve), RB (Ralph Bolden) and WR (Keith Smith) for the season. Still have managed to go 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Not bad really if you think about it, how good would we be without Pryor, Boom, Sanzenbacher?
– The new skill position starters come in the form of freshman QB #15 Henry who was not supposed to be starting at this time. He is unlike the traditional Purdue QB who throws all the time. The dual threat athlete has made more of an impact with his legs but can move the ball through the air as well although somewhat prone to bad decisions under stress. The RB position is held down by #25 Dierking but several players have been rotated in and out including wide receivers #13 Edison and #4 Ross. The leading receiver is now #7 Cortez Smith who has been inconsistent on the season.
– The exact opposite of the backfield the Purdue offensive line has been a constant this season and have proven to be capable run and pass blockers who have adapted to just about every different player inserted in the backfield and gelled together nicely. They are led by 6’7” 358 lb monster #73 Plue. The rest of the unit all are 300+ and have at least 6 and in some cases 18 starts each.
– #94 Kerrigan is basically a beast. Has 5.5 sacks and 41 stops on the year (14.5 TFL). Sometimes unblockable. Our offensive line will have to figure out an answer for him. The rest of the Boilers up front are a decent bunch as well with #93 Short also noteworthy – he has two picks as a defensive tackle to go with 24 stops and 3.5 sacks – nice agility for a 6’4” 305 sophomore. Last year the defensive line of Purdue harassed Pryor into five turnovers. Time to step up O line, now it is your turn TP.
– Linebackers are led by #3 Beckford in the middle who is second on the team in tackles. He is flanked by two converted safeties #30 Holland and #24 Werner. The secondary is a complete replacement from last year and the Boiler staff has tried several different combinations – led by two junior safeties – the hard hitting #35 Link and JUCO transfer #32 Evans. At the corners are a freshman #21 Allen and sophomore #28 Johnson – I would hope that our receivers can take advantage of the inexperience here.
One of the stranger facts about this Saturday’s game is that one team comes into the game undefeated and tied for first in the conference – and that team is not Ohio State. Last week the Badgers executed flawlessly a game plan that victimized the Bullets – they will have to come out and show everyone that they can still get it done. The Boiler offensive line is good but not like the big physical maulers they went up against last week. Sweat will come in for Homan. I really liked what Tressel had to say about the secondary situation:
“Someone’s got to step up,” Tressel said. “I mean, who cares how difficult it is? … Regardless of how difficult it is, we’ve got to have someone ready. That’s why you get to practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and have walk-throughs on Friday. If you want anyone to care that you’ve had three guys in your secondary hurt, you’re coaching the wrong sport at the wrong school because we’ve got to be ready.”
First of all – that is some pretty cut and dry stuff from a guy that normally dances around questions by telling the media a lot of nothing. Second – exactly – someone has to step up. You come to Ohio State to play on the big stage so it is time to shine. Most likely this means moving Hines to star and Gant to safety. On bringing in Oliver as star.
Offensively TP needs to come out motivated to put a hurting on the team that embarrassed him last year. In order for this to happen then Adams and Shugarts (yikes) need to figure out a way to contain Kerrigan. If we can move the ball on the ground like we did against Wisconsin then that will help keep the Purdue defense honest. Boom has clearly established him as the post reliable back but it would definitely be nice to see Hall and Berry get totes as well. Our receivers should be able to take advantage of the unsettled and inexperienced secondary.
Ohio State – 34
Purdue – 14