The Boiling Point: The Ten at Ten.
Welcome to the Ten at Ten, a list of 10 positives/negatives/in-between from the previous weekend in Purdue sports posted every Monday at 10am eastern. With basketball starting up it has been expanded past football to include everything.
1) Basketball- Excluding the terrible halftime re-dedication ceremony, it’s safe to say the opening game of the regular season was a gigantic success. Literally with a 62 point win over Northern Illinois. Robbie Hummel looked back to old form, maybe even better with 21 points in 20 minutes. Though saying he’s better than before might just be because he is the focal point of the offense right now. One thing I noticed in this game is the depth that Purdue has. It seems there has been a lot of player improvement from last year in addition to adding Anthony Johnson, Jacob Lawson, and potentially Donnie Hale(barring redshirt). I thought the team was deep before the game, but it didn’t really click how deep until the end of the game when our “scrubs” still had three players who played a lot and contributed. I know it was only one game, but it is hard not to be excited for this season in what looked to be a down year.
2) Defense(football)- In order for Purdue to win yesterday they needed to stop the run. Did they ever. You look at the box score and see 163 yards rushing for O$U, but it took them 47 tries to do so for only 3.7yards a carry. O$U had a couple big pass plays, but otherwise they were ineffective. As the O$U fan said behind all game, “You’re terrible Braxton! Just run!” Tackling was much improved and outside of the drive at the end of the 4th quarter where O$U scored (2002 flashback on same side of field), they came up with a lot of big stops. Kwann Short was unstoppable and was named Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week. The linebacker play as well as tackling was much improved as well.
3) One More Win- Don’t look now but Purdue only needs one more win to make a bowl and two more to go 7-5. Even crazier, they have a chance to come in second place in the division. All they have to do is win the last two, and hope for a couple bounces their way with the games involving Penn St and Wisconsin. Even in Purdue’s good years I’m guessing not many people would pick them second in the division with PSU, WI, and O$U involved.
4) Mackey Renovation- I heard how awesome the renovation was, but after actually seeing it in person all I can say is wow. Purdue did a top notch job in pretty much every facet. The displays and interactive things are all great. Can tell when the plaza between the IAF and Mackey is officially done, it will look awesome as well. It was a great decision to have the practice court as well as the weight room area able to be seen from the outside. Every fan always wants that “inside” look into the program. You can see some of the pictures I took by clicking here.
5) Volleyball- After the football game Saturday afternoon, the excitement continued with the Purdue volleyball team hosting #2 Nebraska. The Boilers pretty much came out of the gate looking to destroy them. It ended in a three set sweep for a win over what most consider the top volleyball program in the country.
In the Middle
6) Robert Marve- In the span of about 10 minutes Marve supported those who want him to start and those who don’t want him to start. Only reason I don’t put him in a positive is because that interception throw was absolutely terrible. We needed 10 yards for a for sure field goal(and still wouldn’t be guaranteed) so I understand the pass call, but he shouldn’t have thrown it there. Otherwise, it was great to see him erase that in overtime with his push into the end zone to win the game. There’s not question Marve brings excitement to the team, but it seems there is no in-between with him. It’s either really good or really bad. Yesterday Marve said people don’t know how unhealthy he really is, they only know part of it. I guess he hasn’t been able to work out that much for the past 3-4 weeks and only go through normal practice stuff. I’m in the middle as far as if TerBush or Marve should start since I don’t think there’s a huge difference between the two and quarterback play isn’t high on my list of reasons we have won or lost. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
7) Rushing the Field- As I’m sure a lot of people saw the Purdue students rushed the field after the win on Saturday. I understand it was exciting and its O$U even if they are down this year, but really? Only reason I’m not making this a negative is because my brother informed me the football players were telling the students to do so. In the future, only rush if you beat a high ranked team, otherwise you just look like you never expect to win. Iowa rushes every game because its a tradition there I guess, but it takes all the luster off of doing so. Every single Purdue fan tore apart Indiana for rushing the court against an average Illinois team last year, just like Purdue beat an average O$U team on Saturday. Can’t have it both ways people.
8) Basketball Redshirting- One of the hot topics of the basketball season so far is the redshirt decision between Jacob Lawson and Donnie Hale. Since Lawson played on Friday it looks as though Hale is going to redshirt, though Matt Painter did say he’d wait through the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Have to feel for Hale after he voluntarily went to prep school for a year since JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore decided to forgo the NBA draft and return.
There’s pros and cons for each Lawson and Hale redshirting. For Lawson the main pro to him redshirting is he gets to learn the college game better. The con is that he is an athletic freak that we don’t have in the post and he’s bigger than Hale so he can play the 5 if needed. I’m not completely sold yet that Sandi Marcius and Travis Carroll can hold down that spot every game of the year. It also looks like Painter is trying to keep DJ Byrd at the 3 spot so I wouldn’t count on Hummel being in the 5 much either.
The pros to Hale redshirting are is that he is still a beanpole and will be able to put on weight, as well as since he is similar to Hummel, he doesn’t really offer a change of pace like Lawson does. The cons are it seems that Hale is more polished than Lawson right now in addition to Hale has already delayed his college career by a year. Personally, I just say don’t redshirt either. Like I said, I’m not sold on Marcius and Carroll yet and Hummel does have an injury history so might as well just prepare both of them.
9) Big Ten Officiating- Let me preface this by saying that officiating didn’t impact the game Saturday. I’m just going to keep this here until it improves. This isn’t for the couple of calls that are going to be missed because they’re close plays. I’m talking about the completely obvious calls that are being missed. This game had multiple pass interferences not called again as well as false starts on both sides. The O$U right guard had two right in a row and even their fans around me pointed it out. Purdue had one play where the ENTIRE offensive line moved forward like the play was called an no one else did until a fraction of a second later. Its just getting ridiculous and the Big Ten needs to take a look at the entire officiating system they have in place.
10) Football and Basketball Attendance- Let’s start with basketball. This has to do with the premium seats. Maybe you saw the tweet, but if not it said by the time the first media timeout occurred(4 minutes into the game) half the gold seats and a quarter of the black seats were empty. The rest of Mackey was packed including the student section. The gold seats eventually filled but the black seats remained the same. If there is example number one of why the limit on seats of 10 or 12 was ridiculous, that is it. Judging from how many of those seats are on StubHub looks like people are just trying to make a profit and if they go unused oh well. I usually dislike all things IU, but one thing they did right was cap tickets at 4 no matter what level donor you are. Next to football. For a team able to go to a bowl game attendance was pretty pathetic on Saturday. It seems as though dislike of Hope is blinding what the team is actually doing record wise. Almost the entire north end zone was empty and the south end zone was just a bunch of O$U fans. We only needed 2 wins! Support the team! I will admit though, typically Purdue fan support is pretty terrible unless the team is winning. Even if they are like in the Rose Bowl years Ross-Ade wasn’t close to selling out. Hopefully fans can make a statement this Saturday against Iowa with a win getting Purdue it’s first bowl game since 2007. Yes, the ticket office does need to do something about pricing as well for some of these games as well. Tiered pricing should strongly be looked into.
As always leave any positives, negatives, or anything really in the comments below.