It's that time of year again. Time to pay the proper respect to the roots of OTE by acting like a lawyer talking about football games. And what better team to start the series with than the Purdue Boilermakers, a team that pretty much no one is excited to watch play.
Will 2014 be as much of a train wreck as 2013? Is that even possible? If I say that Purdue Pete is the mascot, will I be corrected in the comments that the actual mascot is the train?
I. Case History/Opening Statement
A. Case History
As a fake lawyer, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I know that there is something in a law or the US Constitution or the Geneva Convention that bans cruel and unusual punishment. While watching Purdue football last year certainly qualifies, I think we should be safe to talk about it.
2013 was Darrell Hazell's first as the head coach at Purdue. To say that it did not go well would be equivalent to saying that a night out at the theater didn't go well for Abe Lincoln.
It was really, really, really, really, really terrible. It doesn't matter if you look at fancy new-age stats or just point differentials and yardage. Out of 125 teams, the Boilers ranked 114th in F+, 80th in passing yards, 125th in rushing yards, 122nd in points per game, and 114th in points allowed.
For a team that was going to struggle, playing good non-con teams didn't help Purdue get any sort of momentum going into the conference season. The only win for the whole season came in a close game against Indiana State, a bad FCS team.
B. Opening Statement
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, 2014 is going to be bad. Not as bad as 2013, but still bad. 2014 will be the Mad Cow Disease to 2013's Cancer. There are some things to be optimistic about, sure, but not a lot of them.
On offense last season, a lot of young players got a chance to play in 2013, which should (?) help their development. Sophomore Danny Etling will most likely return as the starter at QB. His #1 target last season, DeAngelo Yancey, will also be a sophomore. Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert, the two senior RBs, might be able to break some long runs if they get any help at all from the offensive line. If the O-line isn't substantially better, it will still be hard for Purdue to string together any drives and get into the endzone.
Defensively, the Boilers have a few decent players scattered around. On the D-line, Ryan Russell and Ryan Watson will have to step up if the defense is to have any chance. Linebacker was a sore spot last season, hopefully it is better this season. Gelen Robinson, Purdue's best recruit from this season, might be an option. Hopefully Landon Feichter and Frankie Williams don't have to make too many tackles out of the secondary this season.
In the kicking department, things are still up in the air. Cody Webster, the best punter in the B1G last season, will be hard to replace. Hopefully whoever ends up punting this season isn't punting 50 times a game like Webster did last year.
So I've listed off some players who you will see play for Purdue this season. Will they be any better than last season? Yes (they almost have to be). Will they be good enough to win two or three conference games? No.
A. What We've Written About Purdue This Off Season
B. What We Can Learn From Pop Culture
Whenever Norm MacDonald is on Conan, hilarity ensues. One of his better appearances coincided with Courtney Thorne Smith's promotion for a Carrot Top movie. Purdue has had a lot of trouble selling tickets to games this season, so the nickname "Box Office Poison" is apt for the Boilers as well.
III. Emotional Plea
Ladies and Gentlemen of the fake jury, please have pity on Purdue this season. If you could convince your teams to have their worst game of the season when they play Purdue, I would be very grateful. If that happens, and there are some big scandals that force other teams to field their third-stringers, Purdue will have a chance.
All jokes aside, things aren't looking good for Purdue this season.
IV. The Verdict
The good news is that it's not lethal injection. The bad news is, well, see for yourself.
|Aaron Yorke||2-10 (0-8)|
|Aaron Rench||3-9 (0-8)|
|Green Akers||3-9 (1-7)|
|Brian Gillis||3-9 (1-7)|
|DJ Carver||3-9 (0-8)|
|MC ClapYoHandz||3-9 (0-8)|
|Candystripes For Breakfast||3-9 (0-8)|
|Graham Filler||3-9 (0-8)|
|Jesse Collins||2-10 (0-8)|
|OTE Staff Average:||2.9-9.1 (0.4-7.6)|