Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Hope: Boilers Haven't Run out of Steam

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Hope: Boilers Haven't Run out of Steam

Article excerpt

Purdue's performance in a 44-13 loss to Michigan last Saturday was so poor that ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit even had to issue an apology on Twitter. Long before Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson was finished with his one-man show in West Lafayette, racking up 340 yards of total offense, including 235 yards rushing, Herbstreit was tweeting: "Boy did I completely whiff on this Purdue/ UM game.. My apologies."

Herbstreit wasn't the only one jumping off the Boilermakers' bandwagon after they dropped their home opener in the Big Ten. Considered conference contenders by many during the preseason - especially with Ohio State and Penn State on probation and navigating coaching changes - Purdue (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) is back to being labeled pretenders again.

That won't change unless the Boilermakers show up and make amends by winning Saturday's home game against Wisconsin (4-2, 1- 1).

Always looking to apply a positive spin, Purdue head coach Danny Hope claimed during Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference that his team really wasn't beaten as badly by the Wolverines as the score would suggest.

"There were a lot of plays throughout the course of the game this past Saturday that we were really, really close to playing good defense," said Hope. "But close doesn't count."

Robinson turned three such plays into gains of 38, 46 and 59 yards, although he didn't score on any of those long runs. "It's unfortunate he got through the seams a couple of times and we didn't have anybody fast enough to catch him," said Hope. "But there's a reason why he's rewriting all the record books in the Big Ten and on the national level."

As for where the Boilermakers stand, Hope insists that Sunday's film session only revealed poor execution, not a lack of effort. "There was a lot to be learned from the game this past Saturday. Embarrassing someone sometimes is a motivational tool," he said. "It's not my favorite motivational tool."

With a trip to No. 8 Ohio State fast approaching (Oct. 13), the Boilers can't afford to lose to a Montee Ball-led Wisconsin squad that suddenly has found its footing. …

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