Saturday, October 01, 2005

Check yo'self | by Jay

This week we've been subtly (or not so subtly; see Pete, below) sanguine about our chances against Purdue. However, like Dr. Phil tells me every day (thanks, Tivo!), it's always good to stop and try and take an honest look at yourself from time to time. This game is by no means a gimme.

Here's a post from IE that sounds a proper note of caution.

Why Purdue will win by 10+ points tomorrow...

Our defense is not that good. We cannot generate a pass rush and our safeties have not played well this year. They have created some turnovers but they have been absent in coverage and they have bitten too hard on play fakes.

Tomorrow Purdue's offense will take full advantage of this. Say what you want, but the Purdue offense does a great job of attacking the weaknesses of a defense. Chaney and Tiller pinpoint weak spots and go right at them. The difference between the last few years and 2005 is the QB position, however. No Kyle Orton means they don't have someone who can shred a defense in the air, but you'll see Brandon Kirsch tomorrow use his legs to cause all sorts of problems. That will force ND to use a spy on him, and in doing so, that means we'll have one less guy in coverage. Down one guy is going to make the secondary's job that much harder (see Michigan State game).

Sure, our offense will move the ball in the air, but we've struggled closer to the endzone. Also, our offense hasn't been able to create big plays. We've moved the ball downfield and used up a lot of clock. The downside of that is that, without quick-strike capability, you're more likely to get stopped by a better defense (see Michigan, 2nd half).

Michigan State has no defense, but their offense is good. Tomorrow we'll face a better defense who'll do some things to us like Michigan did in the second half. Meanwhile on offense, we'll be picked apart at times because we just don't have the secondary to consistently stop teams. We've gotten some opportune turnovers and I think that rash of luck will end tomorrow.

Washington sucks (see how they lost to Air Force, who has lost two bad games in a row) but they put up 400+ yards on us and made some bad decisions (inexperienced QB throwing into endzone on the run, bad fumble on goal line).

Pitt moved the ball against us in the first half until their bad coaching caught up with our good coaching.

Michigan State moved the ball against us nearly at will, although it got better when we went to a nickel defense.

Tomorrow Purdue will run and throw on us, and they'll keep us off-balanced all day. Meanwhile Spack will give Weis a good test.