Now that’s more like it.
Burst of Impetus
- Before checking the boxscore, I thought that Purdue wasn’t as bad as the score indicated, and that the game came down to a couple key fourth down plays. I mean, we only had four more first downs than them, 19-15. However, I quickly came across the “TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS” line which showed MICH 409, PUR 213. Yeah, we crushed them.
- The 4thdown plays were still key to setting the tone early. On Purdue’s first drive, they were stalled at their own 34, 4thand 1. They could have made a statement there. They punted.
- On our first drive, we stalled at their 22, 4thand 4. That’s 5 yards within Gibbons range, as we later found out. We could have put some points on the board and been happy. Instead, Brady made a statement. You cannot stop us. Denard to Gardner for 8 yards and the drive continues, leading to an eventual TD.
- Fast forward to the 2ndquarter, now Purdue has 4thand 1. This time, Hope goes for it. The ball bounces off the receiver’s hands, into the awaiting arms of Raymon Taylor, who Rayces into the endzone for six. UM 21, Purdue 0, game effectively over. And if it wasn’t over then, the fumble on the ensuing kickoff confirmed to Purdue that it just wasn’t going to be their day.
- Have I mentioned before how much I love good defense? We held TerBush and his brother Akeem and his other brother Akeem to 213 yards. (Nothing racial intended here, just playing off of the, “I’m Larry, and this is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl” from the old Newhart show. The theme of this season is rapidly coalescing around old sitcoms.)
- Purdue was 1 of 11 on third down and 1 of 3 on fourth down. When we had an opportunity to get off the field, we did.
- 22 players show up in the defensive stats, including the mysteriously named, “TEAM” with ## “TM.” TEAM had 1 solo tackle.
- Demens, Ryan, and Morgan all lead us in tackles with 6 apiece. Notice something about that, they’re ALL linebackers!
- We had 6 TFLs, 2 INTs, 3 pass breakups (2 from J.T. Floyd) and 2 sacks.
- Neither team recorded a QH.
- There was a thread earlier this week about Kovacs’ tackle totals. He only had 1 this week. He basically wandered around centerfield watching everything happen in front of him. That’s how impressive our defensive performance was.
- Denard ran 24 times for 235 yards. His one TD rushing was not awarded by some weird replay officiating. The Purdue catch was conclusive enough to be overturned, but Denard’s TD wasn’t?
- Denard averaged 9.8 yards per carry with a long of 59 yards. It seemed like Purdue’s gameplan was to not let Fitz beat them again. OK, fine. Let Denard run for 235. Had Denard kept on all the handoffs to Fitz, I bet he could have run for 400 yards. He set some records or something. What else is new.
- Denard didn’t throw any interceptions, and actually threw a ball out of bounds. Whoo-hoo!!!
Bunches of Funchess
- Gardner’s TD reception was smoooth.
- Denard completed one pass on 3rdand 11 to Funchess. It was behind him, much like the throws against ND that were deflected and picked off, but Devin reached back with one giant meathook and snagged the ball out of the air. First down Michigan. On the next play, Toussaint scored making it 14-0.
- Gallon lead with 3 receptions for 37 yards.
- Purdue was the more interesting team at least in this regard. They had a 4D, 2D, and a 7D record tackles, they wore pink for awareness, and their students raise shoes during kickoffs. What is that all about?!?
- They also have players named Akeem, Akeem and Raheem, and Bush and TerBush.
- On defense, they have Kawann Short (pronounced KAY-wann, and all this time I thought it was Kah-wann,) Schmeig, and a Higgs. I hope they recruit a Boson for next year.
Norf and Souf
- Norfleet continues to impress with his “get as many yards as you can, as quickly as you can” approach.
- Apparently, we don’t like punting in Indiana. After punting once against ND, we did not punt in the first half. In the 2ndhalf, Hagerup boomed a 57 yarder.
- Gibbons doinked one off the cross-bar from 44 yards. He made his three other attempts from 27, 29, and 42 yards. Two FGs from <30 yards? That score could have been a lot worse.
- Dileo had a punt return for 10 yards. I like the fact that they are putting a 2nd guy back there to prevent the "punt plus roll" which usually costs another 10-20 yards.
- Wile only had 1 touchback out of 9 kickoffs. While that did lead to a Purdue fumble, it seemed odd not watching him kick it 5 yards into the endzone.
- This was at least our second game with LeMonnier’s crew. Very few penalties were called. They basically didn’t factor in the game, and for that, we can be grateful.
Outside the Boxscore
If it’s true that defense wins championships, I like what these scores say about our ability to win the Legends division:
- MSU 31, IU 27, yeah, they beat IU, but they gave up 27 points
- PSU 39, NorU 28
- OSU 63, NebU 38
- Iowa 31, CMU 32 (Iowa had a bye, so we get to relive the CMU shocker for another week. Heck, let's relive this all season long.)
- Minn 13, Iowa 31, after getting beat by Central, Iowa blows out Minnesota.
- OSU and PSU are probably the two best teams in the Leaders division, and both are ineligible for the championship game. This is the year to win the Legends if you want a cakewalk in the championship game.