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Armchair Quarterbacking With The Rivalry, Esq - Purdue v. NW

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Matchup - 2-4 Purdue @ 5-1 Northwestern

Date - October 18, 2008

Game Score and Time - NW 27, Purdue 12, 2:45 mark of the 3rd quarter

Capsule - Northwestern scored three second quarter touchdowns to take a lead, but the game was bogging down into a mix of incomplete passes and punts. The Boilermakers had benched an ineffective Curtis Painter in the second quarter only to watch backup Joey Elliot promptly separate his shoulder. Northwestern had been unable to pressure Painter all day, but a sack on 2nd down forced Purdue into a third and long deep in their own territory.

Down - 3rd and 18, ball rests at the Purdue 10

Play Call - If you follow Purdue football, you already know what happened, but for the rest of us, the situation begs some interesting questions. Do you go conservative and hand the ball off, conceding possession to a Northwestern offense that has been slowed in the second half? Do you put the ball in the hands of Painter, who has already been pulled from the game and doesn't look to be improving? Do you take a chance downfield because hell, you're 2-4 and one more NW score puts the game out of reach? Some relevant stats to consider before deciding...

Purdue's 3rd down conversion % in October 2008? 9th in the conference.

Purdue's 3rd down conversion % during away games? 9th.

Painter's passing percentage up to this point? 15 for 25, sacked once, no picks.

Longest Pass Plays for Purdue at this point in the game? 28 yards, 24 yards.

Quarterback Rating of Purdue's QB's during October? 11th.

Northwestern's Scoring Efficiency so far in this game? 10 possessions, 5 scoring drives.

Discussion of what actually happened in the Comment section...