The first half was super fun to watch. I thought I would be forced to admit that I actually do love the games in which we annihilate the other team more than I love the closer contests. Instead, I’m going to admit that I got a little bored watching the second half. Unfortunately, it seemed the players did too. I guess we were a first-half team this week.
Probably there’s a better reason than boredom. James Franklin said, “it felt like maybe after getting those early points, that maybe we took a deep breath and exhaled.” Every Captain Obvious out there feels the need to point out that we can’t play a lackluster second half against the Michigans and the Ohio States of the conference and expect to win. Clearly.
What happened? Maybe our coaches held back the playbook knowing we’d win this one, thus avoiding revealing too much information to our future opponents. Maybe they should’ve called better or smarter plays. Maybe they should’ve demoralized the Boilermakers. I don’t think so, but who knows. I’ll leave the answers to my armchair QBs. Oh and the actual coach who finished his thought on the team relaxing after the first half with “we don’t live like that around here.”
For my part, I’m not at all worried that our offense won’t show up for the full length of the next several matchups. I’m confident that this team can improve their consistency on offense. Special teams likely need a tune-up as well. Even the defense that by all accounts is clicking has room to improve. LaMont Wade, with his 11 tackles said, “There’s always stuff to fix. There’s always stuff you want to improve. We’re focused on getting better each week.” No doubt we will be ready for next week.
Purdue was an injury-plagued, 1 and 3 team and a stepping stone to the most intense portion of our season. It’s tough to make a big deal of the Purdue game. We won solidly. Our offense performed. Our defense impressed. I enjoyed the meaningful alternate uniforms.
Honestly, I'm already thinking, “Purdue who?” This is the point in the season when we begin to wake up on Sunday like:
Purdue, check. Now—
Iowa, Iowa, Iowa.