Purdue Bowl Eligible/Old Oaken Bucket
by Steven Stremming
On a sunny afternoon in Bloomington, Indiana, Jeff Brohm’s Boilermakers took home the Old Oaken Bucket and became FBS Bowl Eligible with a methodic 28-21 victor over the Indiana Hoosiers of Tom Allen.
Purdue behind David Blough were consistent in play most of the day while the Hoosiers seemed stuck in between the 20 yard lines.
More unsportsmanlike penalties killed off Indiana hopes several times.
Quotes and Stats will follow.
“Well, it’s a great day to be a Boilermaker. I am very proud of our football team. We’ve hung in there all year long. Things haven’t been perfect and we’ve had some ups and downs, without question. To be able to come into this game, coming off two losses, one in triple overtime against a very good opponent and still hang in there and believe that you can go on the road and beat your rival when everything is on the line, is what it’s all about. This is why you play the game. Our guys performed under pressure and we found a way to win in the end. Very proud, not only of our team but our seniors who have been through a lot. To be able to go to a bowl game two years in a row is a great accomplishment. I’m proud of their leadership. Our young guys played hard for them and while everything is not perfect, you have to hand it to our team for hanging in there and making enough plays to win. Definitely proud of David Blough as well. He is someone who exemplifies what a student-athlete should be and definitely a Boilermaker. He’s done everything we ask and more. An unbelievable man off the field, does everything the right way and for him to come in and help us win football games, play at a high level and be able to advance to a bowl, I’m very proud of him. Just a great effort from our team and coaches and I’m very proud of them.” Jeff Brohm, Purdue Head Coach
Rondale Moore, what he’s done as a freshman, is it beyond belief for you?
“Well as you know, Rondale Moore is a special talent and we knew he would be a difference-maker. We told him. I probably undersold him to be quite honest with you. He showcased what he can do to us at practice, fall camp, and then translating to the game is a different story. Just the speed of the game, everything is on the line, you’re playing against great opponents, especially in the Big Ten with great defenses, and nobody stopped him. Nobody contained him. Numerous teams tried in numerous different ways. He was a difference-maker for us today. He’s the guy a quarterback looks to and if you get him one-on-one, he’s going to get the ball and you’re going to have to find a way to double team him. He plays hard, he plays tough, does all the small things right, so I’m happy he’s on our team. He’s a great teammate, the guys on the team love him because he doesn’t want the credit and he doesn’t want all the attention on him. He just wants to play football and win.”
After the last two seasons and the foundation you’ve laid here, what’s the future of this program look like?
“I think it’s about finding a way to inch up and get better and better every year. We’re taking the small steps necessary to do that. We’re going to take some lumps along the way, get hit in the chin, hit in the gut, knocked over a few times and get our lip bloody. But, if we got guys that enjoy football and want to compete, you can find a way to improve and get better. Every little thing matters. We have to find a way to win this rivalry game, find a way to get to a bowl game and win that, find ways to beat some opponents on our schedule that we haven’t beat as much in the past, figure out ways to be a better overall team, get more difference-makers and continue to recruit. I think everything is going the way I would like, and we just have to stick to it. We can’t take anything for granted, but I feel good about the position we’re in. I think we have a great group of guys and coaches that like football and like to compete and want to find a way to do it because we do have room to improve.”
TOM ALLEN: Just left a really hurting and disappointed locker room. A lot of tears, a lot invested by our seniors, a lot invested by our players and coaches. Just not the result we wanted.
But as I just told our men, young men, if you did everything in your power to prepare yourself to play your best during this week, and you played your heart out for 60 minutes, you got nothing to be ashamed of. But if you didn’t, you know that, can’t change the past.
It’s about growing a young team. It’s about appreciating the seniors and what they’ve given, what they’ve been through here, playing for a couple coaches, buying into everything we’ve asked them to do. The way they’ve worked, the way they’ve invested in this program, not the outcome that any of us wanted. That hurts because it’s a special group of guys that I really wanted this win for for a lot of different reasons.
Just didn’t create enough explosive plays in my mind offensively. At the end there we needed to stop the run. We were down by seven, trying to get off the field there, critical drive that really cost us. Didn’t create enough takeaways. That kind of sticks out to me in the summary of the game.
But kids played hard. Just really disappointed.
Q. How would you grade your team’s sense of urgency during the game today?
TOM ALLEN: I felt like our kids understood what was at stake. We came right out of the gate, got a stop, forced them to punt. Wanted to see us go down and score, get ourselves in front.
But, yeah, I just feel like, to me, I think when you go through as a team, you see where you are, a lot of times in games like this, sometimes your weaknesses get exposed a little bit, inability to do certain things makes it hard.
I feel like we got to take the ball from them. Got to get better. Certain positions got to grow, mature, execute better. I felt like those kind of things kind of showed up today. Not enough explosive plays on offense, create touchdowns. That’s what you have to have, you got to score touchdowns.
I think our guys worked hard this week. Very focused practices, good energy. Just had a couple costly mistakes, penalties. We had six total, but two I thought were really untimely and really hurt us.