The Purdue Boilermakers were once again dominated by an opponent. Northern Illinois beat up the Boilers on their home field, 55-24.
This was the third blowout loss of the season for the Boilermakers who fell to 1-4 (0-1). How can this season get any worse? Maybe a player or two will get arrested? Oh, wait…
This is beyond a rebuilding year for Purdue. Coach Darrell Hazell came into the season with a few talented players, but has been unable to generate anything on offense. Purdue has an offense that ranks 117th in the country (out of 123) and the six teams below the Boilermakers have only played four games.
There doesn’t appear to be any hope in sight for Purdue either. This was the worst loss at the hands of a MAC team that ANY Big Ten team has ever suffered. Purdue has plummeted to the bottom of the Big Ten at an alarming rate, even dropping below IU.
What has to be particularly frustrating for Hazell and his staff is that Purdue outgained the Huskies 524-402. The difference maker was the five turnovers by the Boilermakers. It was just a poor outing by the home team all around.
Here are our thoughts on the game:
- The Third Quarter. Can you have a worse quarter of football? The quarter opened 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by the Huskies. That was followed up 62-yard interception return for another touchdown by the Huskies. At this point, Etling threw his first collegiate touchdown, but it was quickly followed by 67-yard touchdown drive by NIU. In one quarter, the Huskies scored in just about every way possible. Realistically, the Boilermaker defense played very well in the third, but special teams and the offense struggled mightily.
- Danny Etling. The true freshman came into the game late in the second quarter for Henry and had a decent game. For a freshman. He completed 48-percent of his passes for 241 yards, two touchdowns, and a pair of interceptions. Despite those numbers, he performed better than Henry who was a putrid 5-for-16 with a pair of interceptions. Etling, a four-star recruit, is definitely the quarterback of the future for Purdue. Its unfortunate that he was pressed into service early, but at this point he is a better option than Henry at the position.
- Offensive Efficiency. The Boilermakers were 6-for-18 on third down, and 2-for-4 on fourth down. Purdue averaged 35 yards per drive and it took the Boilers an average of 131 yards to score points. All of those are terrible numbers. Purdue’s offense has been especially bad this season. They’ve been unable to run the ball and so inconsistent passing that its bordering on the comical. Etling might give this team more consistency at QB, but he’s still a freshman and will suffer growing pains.
- End of the Season. Looking at Purdue’s schedule, there is maybe one or two more wins left this season. We knew a bowl game was a long shot, but now it looks like a multi win is in jeopardy too. Purdue might be able to defeat Illinois or IU, but right now either one is a longshot.
Purdue fans need to be ready for a rough season. Hazell is a very good coach, but it will take time for him to get the players needed to run his system.
The Boilermakers are lacking at a number of positions, but have a number of promising freshmen. Rebuilding takes time, but Hazell has a history of quick turnarounds.
The Boilermakers have the week off before they host Nebraska on October 12th.
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