West Lafayette – It’s important to keep in mind the big picture from Thursday’s heartbreaking 35-31 loss to Penn State.
However, the short-term feeling is one of anger, disappointment, and a missed opportunity. This loss has a variety of reasons and we look no further than the final seconds of the first half and the final two minutes of the fourth quarter when the Nittany Lions broke with the Boilermakers.
That’s 21 pips in a short spree. This was the difference.
Doyle:Bordeaux looks good… however disappointing that loss is
more:Now in the third stop, Purdue WR Charlie Jones shows an offensive talent
Purdue demonstrated his potential as a strong team, overcoming adversity, penalties and sloppy handling to be in a position to take down one of the nation’s best programs on the national stage and earn the label as a serious contender for the Big Ten West.
Instead, the Boilermakers pulled out of Ross-Ade Stadium knowing they were a good team but failed to finish the game that could have sent their season to new heights.
Whether it’s the battle cry to run the ball in the fourth quarter with a three-point lead or stay fierce in the passing game, it’s all about finishing the deal.
It doesn’t matter how Purdue reaches the desired end result as long as it does. On Thursday, it didn’t happen due to not being able to play again, get back in first and avoid the last missed tackle.
“We had the right thing as we wanted it with a chance to close the game one more difference first and the game over,” Bordeaux coach Jeff Brohm said. “We couldn’t get it. That’s what stings. I’m proud of the fight. We fought in the second half and didn’t give up. We had a chance.”
A quick second guess is Brohm’s questioning of his lack of confidence in his game of running to get first and chew time on the clock. It’s very likely that it will work out, but Prohm has sealed the victories during his tenure through the air. It is his strength and the results are still in his favour.
But even Broome knows generating production on the ground is a must, especially in the fourth quarter who holds a 31-28 lead and unleashes four-minute drills to make sure you don’t give up the ball. He saw Pennsylvania carrying corpses onto the line of melee. He’s seen Nittany Lions bring lightning attacks, and create one-on-one confrontations on the ocean. Bordeaux hasn’t won enough of those matches in the passing game.
“We played two negative running matches which hurt us and at that time, we had a bunch of singles matches,” he said. “Riding the quarterbacks and receivers, we weren’t able to make enough plays in the end.”
And that’s when it matters.
Although the Boilermakers bounced back after disaster at halftime, when the Nittany Lions scored two touchdowns in the final 1:44 thanks to a spin and erratic tackle, it’s play in the fourth quarter that counts. Tonight, they didn’t.
Bordeaux will be in that position again. More close matches will be played for the rest of the season. Other than an expected one-sided showdown next week against Indiana State, the Boilermakers will face the same situation over and over again. You can count on it.
“Starting with me, I have to be more precise where I’m throwing the ball.” Quarterback Aidan O’Connell said. “I’m going to take responsibility for that. We have to be on the same page across the board, turn on the call signal and everyone line up and do what we need.”
The good news is that Charlie Jones’ move to Iowa did as well as advertised with 12 catches for 153 yards and his first touchdown as a Boilermaker. The defensive line rolled a lot of bodies and started to affect the game in the fourth quarter until PSU quarterback Sean Clifford designed a game-winning campaign.
Chris Jefferson’s set of six lit up Ross Eddy Stadium and had all the makings of a season-determining play until Nittany Lions walked the field and won the match. The 70-yard run produced but had moments and the offensive line created more holes. But this was not enough.
Bordeaux has the talent to get it done. Boiler makers have the experience to gain their first hit that eluded them on Thursday. They will need to show that they can do it.
The Boilermakers lost a game they won on Thursday, an important opportunity that goes to Penn State. But Purdue will be having another statement game soon, and we’ll see if she can deliver the knockout punch when it matters.
Mike Carmen covers Purdue sports for Journal & Courier and USA Today Network. Email email@example.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @carmin_jc
Indiana (1-0) at Purdue (0-1)
Saturday 10 September
time: 4 pm
radio: Vases (96.5)
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