Football is a game of inches. Purdue, exhibit A.
The Boilermakers are just inches away from being 2-0. However, that tale can be spun both ways. The Boilermakers are also just inches away from being 0-2. At 1-1, Purdue's season has not lacked any drama.
The Old Gold and Black went into week one with their fifth starting quarterback in the last calendar year. Junior Caleb TerBush, who was coming off of an academic suspension last season, struggled early but grew as a leader and quarterback throughout the Boilers' first game.
After a back-and-forth game, Purdue found itself trailing Middle Tennessee late in the fourth quarter. Captain Comeback Caleb TerBush engineered (see what I did there? Purdue is a school known for its engineering) the Boilermakers on an 85-yard, 11-play drive capped off by a 35-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Antavian Edison.
The Blue Raiders (what's the difference between a Blue Raider, Red Raider or even a Purple Raider?) were down but not out. Middle Tennessee drove to Purdue's 30-yard line and was able to line up for a field goal that would tie the game. Unfortunately, they couldn't find a way to block super sophomore Ricardo Allen (aka Rico Island) and Purdue prevailed.
Last week, the Boilermakers traveled to Houston to play against Rice in what should have been dubbed the Astronaut Bowl. Between the two schools, they have accounted for 36 astronauts (22 from Purdue and 14 from Rice). We might not be able to orchestrate a pretty game of football but we can launch humans on rockets into orbit...so there!
It was another back-and-forth game as both teams seemed to be beating themselves as much as they were their opponents. TerBush led the Boilers on yet another last minute drive. Sports Illustrated Pre-Season All-American Carson Wiggs lined up for a 31-yard attempt, which is a chip-shot by his standards.
Revenge is a dish best served cold ... and by Justin Allen - the Rice Owl who blocked Wiggs' attempt. Just like that, the train came off its tracks and the Boilermakers now sit at 1-1.
Where the season goes from here? We don't know. Senior quarterback Robert Marve appears to be getting healthy which could provide a boost, but there haven't been any indications that TerBush can't lead this team.
Fans are frustrated (when are they not) and the players are determined. So where do the Boilers end up this season? Again, no one knows. One thing is for sure. It will be exciting and I am glad to have the B1G Mobile Tour along for the ride this week.
Until next time...Ever Grateful, Ever True. Boiler Up, Hammer Down and Hail Purdue!