I have had a few hours to digest the Purdue loss - but it is still one of the worst I have experienced as a Boiler fan. I don't think anything will surpass the Orton fumble game (at least I hope I never.) The thing is, I came into the game expecting a loss, when you lose to Northern Illinois you kind of figure that your season is garbage. But that changed in the second half of the ND game, that is until the final drive... and one of the worst coached series I have witnessed since Jim Colletto roamed the Ross-Ade sideline.
I have been a critic of Joey Elliiott all season, but in the second half he had me believing he was at least Billy Dicken... the problem was Coach Hope wasn't Joe Tiller. I know we all need to give Coach Hope time, but when you basically give away a game there is only so much of that the fans will be willing to take (you know, the fans that finally came to life last night and had the stadium roaring.)
Why, why, why do you go into a prevent...ever? Especially when your defense finally had a swagger they had not had all season. They shut ND's scoring down the entire half, until that ridiculous coaching decision - ND marched down the field, and as a result scored... meaning we will have to hear about the miraculous Jimmy Clausen for years (is he is courageous as Brady Quinn now ESPN announcers?)
But even bigger than the prevent defense... how, oh how do you call a timeout when you stop the other team inside their 5 with about 30 seconds, the clock running, on third down, when they have no timeouts? They would either have to rush a play or spike the ball making it fourth down. Guess what, your D stopped them on third down (on what might have been fourth if not for the timeout.) How do you call that? Because you have no faith in your defensive players to stop them and you want to preserve time. What kind of message is that - what kind of message is that when you include that with forcing the D into a prevent? What that does is deflate the players and you have to hope it does not carry over into future games... or you have lost them, and for how long.
Every loss to Notre Dame stings - but this one stung more. It stings because Purdue should have won, should have had momentum, but bad coaching lost the game. I can't take another lost decade of Purdue football.