Purdue Football: Purdue vs. Mother Nature

If Saturday’s recreation was in a dome, Purdue wins by 4 touchdowns. Instead, they’re going to be taking part in in a blustery West Lafayette that includes 30 diploma climate at kick off with sustained 20 mile and hour winds and gusts as much as 40 miles and hour. Purdue is healthier than Northwestern, however are they higher than Mother Nature?

Against Iowa, Mother Nature picked up a W. I don’t know how the sport finally ends up if the wind is not howling, however Purdue did not stand an opportunity with the wind. Jeff Brohm admitted as a lot throughout his put up Iowa press convention, stating, “Purdue’s precision passing recreation struggles in dangerous climate.” That’s not excellent once you play within the Big10, a convention that prides itself in horrible November climate.

Despite the wind making each O’Connell cross a nerve jangling expertise, Jeff Brohm could not cease himself. The ball fluttered everywhere in the discipline, however he nonetheless dialed up 43 passes. Not surprisingly, Aidan O’Connell struggled to finish them, going 20/43 for 168 yards and two interceptions. It was like watching a golfer pull out his driver at Pebble Beach and hit the water again and again, as an alternative of grabbing an iron and dealing the ball low, beneath the wind. It was a powerful train in doing the identical issues again and again and anticipating a special consequence.

Meanwhile, Devin Mockobee averaged 4.6 yards a carry, however obtained 14 touches. It made no sense, and pissed off me to the purpose of turning off the sport and doing yard work after the Hawkeyes scored their third quarter landing. I knew there was no manner again into the sport for the Boilermakers. Purdue wanted to run the ball early, to maintain from having to throw the ball late, however for some purpose, the Brohmfence wasn’t adaptable sufficient to take the climate into consideration.

That’s what considerations me on Saturday, and it is the one manner I see Northwestern profitable this recreation. Purdue has to run the ball and seize a lead. If Northwestern can pressure an early turnover (most definitely an interception) or pop a fluke huge play on offense, Brohm has a historical past of abandoning the run when Purdue is down, whatever the climate. If O’Connell throws the ball greater than 20 occasions, Pat Fitzgerald shall be thrilled. His protection needs no a part of Mockobee. Northwestern is 118th in run protection. The solely manner they cease Devin is that if Jeff Brohm does not hand him the ball.

My largest gripe with Brohm is his lower than pragmatic play calling. Sometimes his obsession with calling “the right play” causes him to lose the thread. A 4 yard run on 2nd down organising a manageable third down is the right play, if the wind is preserving small plane grounded (there’s a small craft advisory on Saturday). It’s not the mesh heavy passing recreation Brohm cribbed from Bobby Petrino, however it’s efficient. Any time Purdue drops again and throws the ball on Saturday, Coach Fitzgerald will contemplate it a win.

Brohm needs to be affected person with the run recreation. The Wildcats stacked the road of scrimmage and made Ohio State depressing underneath comparable climate circumstances, however the Buckeye’s did not panic. CJ Stroud tried 26 passes, finishing 10, for 76 yards, Despite having a Heisman hopeful pulling the strings, Ryan Day leaned on his run recreation to attain. Ohio State’s first landing drive consisted of 6 runs. Their 2nd, beginning on the Northwestern 45, was composed of 1 full cross for 12 yards, and 4 runs. The final landing Ohio State placed on the board was a product of 5 runs and no full passes. It wasn’t fairly, it wasn’t thrilling, and it did not assist Stroud’s Heisman marketing campaign, however it gave Ohio State the result it wanted.

Mockobee had 28 speeding makes an attempt towards Illinois. He must hit that quantity or exceed it Saturday. Kobe Lewis and Dylan Downing have to be prepared to select up the slack when Devin will get drained. It could be a good suggestion to mud off Austin Burton and see if he can assist within the run recreation as properly. The wind goes to be an additional security for Northwestern, permitting them to play tight protection on Purdue’s quick and intermediate routes. Despite his stunning scampers towards Illinois, Aidan appears like his principal objective any time he runs the ball is to seek out someplace protected to fall down, as shortly as potential.

This is a recreation Purdue ought to win. This is a recreation Purdue must win. It’s going to return right down to Coach Brohm’s willingness to stay with the run, and Purdue’s capability to hit a number of run performs regardless of the Wildcats stacking the field and begging Brohm to name a passing play. If Purdue places 3 touchdowns on the board, and does not give Northwestern something simple, I do not see a manner ahead for Pat Fitzgerald’s crew. it does not matter when these 3 touchdowns happen, persistence shall be a advantage.

*Note: If you occurred to go browsing at precisely the suitable time, you noticed a model of this text saying the sport shall be performed in Evanston. That’s clearly incorrect, and I knew it was incorrect once I wrote it, and but, I nonetheless determined to present the Wilcats house discipline benefit. It’s been an extended week, please forgive the error.

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