Friday, October 17, 2014

Know Your Enemy - Purdue Boilermakers

Plas-tic Ham-mer
I just took a little trip to imagination land and imagined myself as a Purdue fan.  Purdue football has been around since 1887, but these days they play it like they just came over from India and are still learning the rules.  Purdue's glory days were in the 1890s, when they won four consecutive conference championships.  Purdue has 8 Big Ten championships, 7 of which they were co-champion because they'd only play like 6 games in conference. 

In 2000, they had their most recent Big Ten championship under Joe Tiller going 8-4 (6-2). Drew Brees and Matt Mitrione lost in the Rose Bowl to Washington. 

As I imagined being a fan, I thought to myself that the best part would be drinking Boilermakers at the tailgate lot.  Is that a thing they do?  It should be.

A boilermaker can refer to two types of beer cocktail. In American terminology, the drink consists of a glass of beer and a shot of whiskey.[1] The beer is either served as a chaser or mixed with the whiskey. When the beer is served as a chaser, the drink is often called simply a shot and a beer.
In the United Kingdom, the term boilermaker refers to a half pint of draft mild mixed with a half pint of bottled brown ale.[2] The use of the term in British pubs can be traced back to about 1920.
So, I always thought a boilermaker was a drop shot; meaning you drop the shot of whiskey in the beer.  Wiki tells me that I'm wrong though:

  • Traditionally, the liquor is drunk in a single gulp and is then "chased" by the beer, which is sipped.[4][5]
  • The liquor and beer may be mixed by pouring or dropping the shot into the beer. The mixture may be stirred, if desired.[4] If the full shot glass is dropped into the beer glass, the drink is known as a depth charge.
  • The liquor may be poured directly into an open beer bottle or can after removing some of the beer.
So, I've been drinking DEPTH CHARGES, which sounds more awesome anyway.  That first bullet point is just "drinking" to me.  Doesn't everyone drink beer and whiskey on the reg like that?  Am I making boilers the whole time?

Back to Football

I've been getting the impression that our Gophers are once again being underestimated.  I just read snippets here and there, but Purdue seems a little punchy and even a little confident. 

I found quotes from head coach Darrell Hazell saying, “I think this is a big game for us — all of them are.  I like our chances. Obviously, they’re feeling good about themselves at 5-1 and playing good football. We’ll match up well with them.”


“I think this is a big game for us, as all of them are, but this is a huge game.  We have to come out there and play our best football game of the season. I like our chances.”

Mike Carmin at JCOnline's first question Joe Christianson in his Scouting Minnesota piece was essentially, The Gopher offense is terrible, why are they 5-1?

The dudes at are split on their predictions for the game. @cclinkin says the Gophers D is vulnerable to explosive offenses and Purdue has just such an offense.  The whole thing made me a little ragey. 

Part of the hype is due to the switch at quarterback.  Purdue has started sophomore Austin Appleby the past two games.  He completed 68% of his passes in those contests and made mediocre appetizers after each game.  Looking at Purdue's performance against MSU, sure its neat that they closed within a TD with 6 minutes remaining, but they still lost 45-31 and were down 38-17 entering the 4th.  Appleby's QBR was 45.7 (50 is average) and he only amassed 211 yards on 37 attempts.  To compare, Leidner's QBR against NW was 80.3 and the game prior it was 73.5.  We won't talk about anything prior to that.

Also, Appleby doesn't play both ways though and Purdue is still allowing 30+ points per game on the year.  And that's with Iowa bringing down the average with their 24-10 win.  Western and Central Michigan combined for 81 against this defense.  They allowed 532 million yards to Michigan State.

Hunt and Mostert are two capable backs and Tracy Claeys has said this is one of the better offensive lines that he's seen on film.  That means the Gophers need to rely heavily on the defensive line to play a good game and get some pressure on Appleby.

Purdue All-Namers

Andy James Garcia, LB - Academy award for best supporting actor in Godfather III
Ra'Zahn Howard, DT - Bad. Ass.
Race Johnson, DB - Bet he's fast
Dolapo Macarthy, TE - I just.  I just don't know.
Bearooz Jacoobi,  OL - Has a brother named Feerooz, actually true.

They have a lot of apostrophe guys too: Ra'Zahn, Ja'Whaun and Da'Wan

Prediction Time

TRE:  At first when I read all of the hype for Purdue I got some fearz thinking that Admiral Ackbar is standing behind me yelling ITS A TRAP when its already too late.  Then, reality set in. 

We have a top passing defense and Appleby isn't scaring me.  Get ready for a lot of bubble screens where the Gophers have to be sure tacklers. 

There will be times where Purdue runs well and Damien Wilson is going to have to be the monster in the middle that he's been all season long to help keep those runs from breaking.  The three headed monster at safety will also have plenty of work to do to keep those big plays from happening. 

On offense, Cobb will continue to roll and Leidner will continue to improve as a passer.  Wills will be exerted, rousers will be chanted.

On special teams, the Gophers will continue to excel and now there's the added fear factor of Jalen Myrick running 21.5 miles per hour and housing it on you. 

Bottom line is the Gophers are going to pound Purdue Pete and friends into dust.  There will be little pieces of plastic hammer everywhere: Gophers 41, Purdue 24

Frothy:  Purdue gets an A for effort in last weekend's fight against Michigan State, but if there's one thing I know, it's rebuild jobs.  They aren't linear, so consistency will be lacking from game to game - meaning they played great last week, but probably won't this week.  Also, getting close to but falling short of beating a superior team usually means bad things happen the following week.  For evidence, look no further than the 2013 Purdue squad, who came up 14 points short against MSU at Sparta and then lost 56 doughnut at home to Ohio State the following week.  Now, Purdue is better than last year and we're not Ohio State - but the hangover will still be in effect:  Minnesota 31, Purdue 10


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