Observations on the win over Purdue, 16-14!

1-Wow! What a hit by Shazor, and what quickness and speed by Hall to recover the ball before it went out of bounds. If one looks at the replay, Hall broke towards the ball just as Shazor laid the lick on Bryant. This was a huge hit and a huge win, and certainly well-deserved. It would have been a shame if Purdue had won the game after we outplayed them all four quarters. We won because we were more physical than them! Hats off to the Wolverines! It was a great team victory!!!

2-We created four (or five if you count the last drive) red zones for 16 points, and they created one for 7 points on their first drive in the first five minutes of the game. They have two turnovers, and we had one; this turned out to be the difference.

3-Our defense held Orton to only 14 of 30 for 213 yards, 1 TD, 1 pick, 13 first downs (4 in the second half), 3 sacks and only 263 yards in net offense. I believe our defense forced them into six "3 and outs." They were 3 of 15 in 3rd down conversions, and Void had 48 yards in 20 carries. Purdue had only 50 net rushing yards on the ground, this should keep us #1 nationally. Defense was led by Reid with 9 tackles and Woodley with 2 sacks and a forced fumble amongst his 4 tackles. Bryant had 4 catches, but was literally crushed by Shazor after his last catch; Jones had the big play over McClintock with a 63 yard TD catch and run. Stubblefield was held to one catch by Jackson and company. We have forced them into 10 punts, and we had a much better pass rush today. We did take 3 pass interference calls (of 6 total penalties), 2 by Jackson and one by Curry, but the tough coverage paid off. Their defense was outstanding, but our defense held them off and won the game today.

4-Henne was 22 of 39 for 190 yards with 1 pick and 1 TD pass to Hart. Hart had 206 yards on 33 carries. What an amazing runner! Edwards, Avant and Massaquoi had 5 catches each, but the Boilermakers had a great game plan in coverage and blitzes to force us to beat them with the run. We held an 11 minute time of possession advantage as a result, and were 6 of 18 in 3rd down conversions with 22 first downs. They have forced us into 7 punts. Pollard had 15 tackles and Hall had 10 to lead Purdue. Overall, we have had pretty solid pass protection, but Purdue did sack sack Henne twice and blitzed him into several mistakes. Our offense definitely outdid their offense. Perhaps one of the most impressive things was no fumbles, and no turnovers at all in the second half.

5-Rivas got the game winner with his 3rd field goal in 5 attempts, and added an extra point for 10 total. Finley had 7 punts, four over 50 yards. Kickoff coverage and kickoffs by Nienberg again were been excellent. Each team blocked a field goal attempt. Breaston is scary both ways on punt returns with 54 yards on 3 returns, but two non-recorded fumbles (almost fumbles). Had Mason not overrun the block, he may have been in the end zone on that last return. Give us the advantage over Purdue in special teams today.

6-We'll smoke Michigan State at home! After the by week, we should be able to beat a tough Northwestern team at home. Ohio State won't be easy; they'll also blitz Henne into mistakes and I'll guarantee they won't let Hart run for 200 yards. That one will be another low scoring dogfight in Columbus. 10-1 or 9-2 sends us to the Capital One or Outback Bowl (Georgia or Tennessee) with Wisconsin traveling to the Rose Bowl. 10-1 could put us in the BCS mix for Fiesta or Sugar, too against Auburn or Texas.

7-Those who criticize Jim Hermann had better re-think their criticisms; it was another awesome gameplan against Orton and their offense. He also adjusted well at halftime, and in the second half. The defensive players executed phenomenally except the one big play TD that kept them in the game in the second half. This win will give us extra points for the BCS with defeating a quality opponent.

Observations on the first half with the Boilermakers, 10-7!

1-We created two red zones for 10 points, and they created one for 7 points on their first drive in the first five minutes of the game. They have no turnovers, we have one, but they did not capitalize.

2-Our defense has held Orton to only 8 of 17 for 102 yards, 9 first downs, 2 sacks and only 135 yards in net offense. They are 2 of 8 in 3rd down conversion, and Void has 38 yards in 12 carries. Defense has been led by Reid with 6 tackles and Woodley with 2 sacks and a forced fumble. Bryant, Davis and Williams have 2 catches each for Purdue as Stubblefield has been shut out so far. We have forced them into 5 punts.

3-Henne is 13 of 22 for 127 yards with 1 pick and 1 TD pass to Hart. Hart has 68 yards on 15 carries and Edwards has 4 catches for only 18 yards. Hart has 3 catches, Avant and Massaquoi have 2 each. We have nearly a 4 minute time of possession advantage as we've been 3 of 8 in 3rd down conversions with 10 first downs. They have forced us into 4 punts. Pollard and Hall have 7 tackles each for Purdue. Overall, we have had pretty solid pass protection, but Purdue has sacked Henne once.

4-Rivas got an ugly 30 yarder through for the difference so far. Finley has been his usual self with touchbacks on punts, a shank and a 51 yarder returned for 15 yards. Kickoff coverage and kickoff again have been excellent. Blocked field goal at the end of the half is a big special teams play after we let them back downfield.

5-Dogfight and defensive struggle to ensue. The team who adjusts the best (coaching) should have the advantage. Orton is always dangerous and our backs are still struggling with Jackson taking 2 pass interference penalties. Either team can win; hopefully, we will prevail.