Sports 18

Tough Day

November 26th, 2012 at 12:06 am by under Sports 18

Sunday, November 25

A number of Purdue fans got their wish Sunday when Boilermaker Athletic Director Morgan Burke fired Danny Hope as the Boilers head football coach. And in my six years here I’ve learned that Boiler fans are passionate but they’re not mean-spirited. A number of those same fans feel bad for the now-former Boiler head coach.

I can tell you from working with Danny, he’s a good guy. As I’ve blogged before, I really like him. I also like his wife, Sally. I’ve dealt with Mrs. Hope and had numerous enjoyable conversations with her. None of us can put into words how hard this has been on her and her husband, as well as their son, Chaz. Danny was always respectful toward me. Always gave me the time of day. Cordial on the record with me and absolutely delightful and most interesting off the record.

I wish Coach Hope would have shown the public his personality that he showed to me in private settings. I know why he’s a good recruiter because he relates well with all kinds of people. He’s a great guy, a good father, a terrific husband, and his players love him. They played HARD for him against IU, knowing more than likely it was his last game.

I’ll always wonder if Hope showed more of his energetic personality in public settings if it would have gotten more fans to come to Ross-Ade Stadium. Maybe. Maybe not. A lack of consistent success is the main reason Burke decided to let Hope go, but Burke acknowledged during a Sunday evening news conference that poor attendance was also a major factor. A number of fans showed that they hadn’t warmed to Hope by not attending games.

Firing a college football coach at a major university is tough on a number of people. It’s not a pleasant story to cover, it’s hard on the entire athletic department—-including Burke, and it’s very difficult on coaches and their respective families. And it’s hard on Boilermaker fans. Like I said, Gold and Black fans are passionate. And they’re very smart fans. But the majority of them aren’t mean-spirited. And that’s why it’s tough day for all that are involved with and follow Purdue Football.

Blog to you soon,

Mike


A Memorable Knight

November 17th, 2012 at 2:51 am by under Sports 18

November 17, 2012

I was covering Friday night’s Class A semistate football game between Central Catholic and Sheridan, a game in which the Knights defeated the Blackhawks 13-3 on the Blackhawks home field.

The win means that Central Catholic Head Coach Kevin O’Shea, his coaching staff, and the Knights players are one win away from winning their fourth consecutive Class A state title, which they can achieve by defeating Indianapolis Scecina Friday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Friday night’s win by the Knights showed once again that not only are the Knights a talented bunch, but they’re extremely tough and can win under just about any kind of circumstances. To Sheridan’s credit, they turned the game into a limited possession contest. But the Knights adapted and, thanks in large part to a tremendous defense and a superb evening by punter Andrew Hubertz, are headed to the home field of the Indianapolis Colts for the fourth year in a row.

This is a coaching staff and group of players, both past and present, that I’m most impressed with. And that’s why I’m very confident by this time next week they’ll be hosting yet another state championship trophy.

Blog to you soon,

Mike

 


Boilers get a desperate win

November 11th, 2012 at 10:35 pm by under Sports 18

A lot was on the line for Purdue’s football team heading into their game against Iowa on Saturday. At the beginning of the season, many members of the media and fans expected the Boilers to compete for the top spot in the Leaders Division. Obviously, this season has been the complete opposite.

Purdue lost its first five games in the Big Ten and were in dead last in the Leaders Divison. That has placed head coach Danny Hope’s job on the line.  A win at Iowa didn’t mean that his job status improves but it at least brought about a positive to a negative situation.

As if there hasn’t been enough turmoil surrounding the Boilers this season, earlier this week Gary Nord injured his back and was admitted into the hospital. He didn’t make the trip to Iowa which left the offense in the hands of Patrick Higgins.

Purdue picked up the 27-24 win over Iowa as Paul Griggs made a 46 yard field goal as time expired. Higgins and the Boilers offense mustered 490 yards in the win! Robert Marve passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Ralph Bolden enjoyed his best day since returning from his ACL tear as he rushed for 102 yards.

I was really impressed with Purdue’s offense in the win. However, you do have to take in to consideration the Boilers were playing Iowa!

But a win is a win and right now Purdue could use anything that is positive. The Boilers still have a chance to become bowl eligible. They just need to win at Illinois and beat Indiana at home. Amazingly, I think they will do it.

–Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

–Caleb


Purdue Basketball Breaks Out Against Hofstra

November 11th, 2012 at 8:03 pm by under Sports 18

After a lackluster performance down the stretch against a good Bucknell team, the Purdue basketball team showed what they are capable of on Sunday afternoon against a short handed Hofstra team.

Three Hofstra transfers Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (Connecticut), Taran Buie (Penn State) and DaQuan Brown (Fresno State) did not play. Coombs-McDaniel and Buie were suspended for violating team rules and Brown isn’t eligible because of transfer rules.

Matt Painter began the day with a shake up of the starting lineup by inserting Dru Anthrop, Donnie Hale and Rapheal Davis. I think the Boilermakers responded the way their coach hoped they would with nice performances from Anthony Johnson, A.J. Hammons, Rapheal Davis, and most importantly Jacob Lawson.

Lawson was a flat out stud and was the spark off the bench the Boilermakers needed. In 15 minutes of action Lawson accounted for 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 AWESOME block. This is the type of performance Purdue fans hope that they can expect in the future from the super athletic big man.

The 2K challange gets much tougher now as the Boilermaker will leave the friendly confines of Mackey Arena and learn how to play on the road. I am intrigued to see how the Boilermakers play on Thursday against Villanova. It’s safe to there are several question marks left with this young team.

Follow me on Twitter at RossBolinWLFI

-RB


The slump continues

November 3rd, 2012 at 11:43 pm by under Sports 18

Saturday, November 3,

There’s no other way to put it. What looked like a promising season just five weeks ago for Purdue football has turned into an utter disaster. In just five games the Boilermakers went from a 3-1 record—with their only loss a 3-point setback at Top-5 Notre Dame—to an 0-5 record in the Big Ten and a 3-6 record overall. The latest loss, a 34-9 loss at Ross-Ade Stadium to Penn State, was  the third straight home loss in which the Boilers were beaten decisively.

Although Head Coach Danny Hope said after the game he felt his players were confident going into the game, I sense that the players have lost a great deal of confidence, especially when things don’t go their way during the course of the past five games.

Purdue Athletic Director Morgan Burke attended Coach Hope’s postgame press conference, which he normally does, but Burke didn’t make any public comments after the game. But the Boilermaker AD couldn’t have liked one bit what he saw Saturday. A game in which the attendance was listed at 40,000 but, in reality, the stadium was half-capacity at best. And, during the final minutes of the game there couldn’t have been more than 10,000 fans left on a chilly Saturday afternoon and evening.

I like Danny Hope a lot. And I give him credit for publicly handling himself in a cordial manner, even when asked after the game if he was concerned that he was going to get fired. And, as a member of the media, I can tell you this is not a pleasant situation to report on. Families are involved and people’s livelihoods are at stake.

Coach Hope will probably lose his job in the near future. It’s a decision that Burke won’t enjoy making because Hope was his hire and, essentially, the Boiler AD will be admitting to a mistake by hiring Hope to replace Joe Tiller.

I truly hope the Boilermakers can turn things around, defeat Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, and become bowl eligible. But I don’t think it will happen. And I think it will cost Coach Hope his job.

I hope on both counts that I’m wrong.

Blog to you soon,

Mike

 


Colts get road win

October 28th, 2012 at 10:52 pm by under Sports 18

Who would have ever guessed that the Indianapolis Colts would begin this season with a 4-3 record?

I was guessing this team would win 5 to 6 games this year and I guess they still could but I would have never thought they would begin the season 4-3. I am truly impressed with the win on the road against Tennessee. This Colts team is just resilient and never quits. They have really taken on the spirit of their head coach who is fighting to stay alive while battling leukemia.

I’m not really for sure where to start on spreading around praise with this team. I think it starts with Andrew Luck. He is playing great football as a rookie quarterback in the NFL. He makes mistakes but he bounces back each and every time. He had a good day on Sunday but not a great one, but in the end he found a way to help lead his team to a win. That is what I like, he is a winner!

Vick Ballard is playing great football right now! What an amazing play by Ballard to win the game! I was impressed with Donald Brown and his return back to the field after knee surgery. I was impressed by the offensive line finding a way to dominate at the end of the game. I was impressed with the defense that held the Titans to just 13 points. I was impressed with Jerry Hughes who came up with his third sack this season. This is a fun group to cheer for and they keep getting better each week.

I watched CBS’s crew chat about the Colts win and I was liked that Bill Cowher said that the Colts would make the playoffs. I’m not for sure if I believe they will yet because there is a lot of football left to play and this team is still very young.  However, I wouldn’t be shocked if they did. They do have talent and they are playing inspired football for their coach Chuck Pagano. If they do make the playoffs and Chuck is able to make it in the booth for that game, I would not want to be their opponent, because you saw what happened against Green Bay!

Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

–Caleb


It’s Boiling Over & It Doesnt Look Good

October 28th, 2012 at 12:19 am by under Sports 18

For the third consecutive game the Purdue football team got off to a great start. And as quickly as they scored, their lead was gone…And I mean GONE. Purdue scored on just 5 plays to take a 7-0 lead but the Golden Gophers responded in a big way.

He might be a freshman but he played like a senior today for Minnesota. After leading the Golden Gophers on a 10 play drive to tie the game at 7-7, Philip Nelson led Minnesota to touchdowns on FOUR straight drives while the Gophers averaged almost 10 yards per play…. Nelson completed 12 straight passes in one stretch and had all 246 of his passing yards in the first half as they lead 34-7. The game was OVER at halftime.

Purdue head football coach Danny Hope said after the game that he was disappointed…I received about 10 phone calls from Purdue faithful who are just as disappointed in Danny Hope and the Purdue administration. I don’t know what changes need to be made but Purdue must rock the boat and get this program headed back in the right direction. After 10 great seasons in a 12 year span under Joe Tiller this program is slipping back into it’s PRE-Tiller days…That’s not good.

Follow me on Twitter at RossBolinWLFI

-RB


Boilermakers let one slip away in Columbus

October 21st, 2012 at 12:23 am by under Sports 18

For 59 minutes the Purdue football team had Ohio State’s back against the wall and it looked like the Boilermakers were going to sneak out of Columbus, OH with a victory. And then…The Buckeyes woke up and marched down the field for a touchdown and a game tying two-point conversion.

After getting beaten badly the last two weeks by a combined score of 82-27, the Boilermakers showed what most Purdue fans expected on the road in an environment they hadn’t won in since 1988.

The question now is…Where does this team go from here??? It would be easy for this team to fold down the stretch and play uninspired football and tank for the final 5 weeks of the season.

Danny Hope has other plans, “Our football team is a long ways away from giving up. We are going to have a great season and a great team when it is all said and done. We are going to be very proud of ourselves.”

After a brutal start to conference play the schedule gets much easier for Purdue if they play the rest of the season like they did on Saturday.

My expectations have Purdue finishing the regular season 4-1. That would leave the Boilermakers with a 7-5 record. Only time will tell if a 7-5 season with the, “Best team I’ve had at Purdue” will save Coach Hope’s job.

Follow me on Twitter at RossBolinWLFI

-RB


Purdue Volleyball continues Big Ten Free Fall

October 17th, 2012 at 3:54 pm by under Sports 18

For the first time this season the Indiana volleyball team has a Big Ten win…Thanks in large part to a lack luster performance by the Purdue Boilermakers.

The most embarrassing part about losing to a pathetic Indiana team is that the match didn’t even go five games. The Hoosiers won the match 25-22, 25-23, 15-25, 25-21 in four.

This loss comes after Purdue was swept by Iowa, an Iowa team that earned it’s first Big Ten win against the Hoosiers. These are two bad losses that aren’t acceptable at Purdue. This is a Boilermaker team that came into this season as a Top 10 team, now most would say Purdue is overrated.

The good news for the old gold and black is they have plenty of time to turn this season around and take advantage of their ability to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 17 Boilermakers (14-6, 5-4 Big Ten) return to action at 8 p.m. ET Saturday when they take on the No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minneapolis. The match will take place in a venue that has not been kind to the Boilermakers over the years. I think Saturday is a MUST win for Purdue if they have hopes of turning this season around and making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.


Not Good

October 13th, 2012 at 11:16 pm by under Sports 18

Saturday, October 13,

There’s no other way to put it. The performance by Purdue Football in its Homecoming game against Wisconsin was very poor. Even though the Boilermakers scored in the opening minute of the game to take a 7-0 lead, the Badgers dominated. Wisconsin racked up more than 600 yards in total offense. Ouch.

Purdue Head Coach Danny Hope used the word “underperformed” when describing his team’s performance. The Boilermakers’ leader was being kind and certainly—as he normally does—-didn’t throw his players under the bus.

A lot of fans were even more frustrated about today’s performance by the Boilers than last Saturday’s struggles against Michigan.

Can the Gold & Black bounce back next Saturday against nationally-ranked Ohio State? After what’s happened the past two weeks, most of Boilermaker Nation would answer “probably not”

Blog to you soon,

Mike