Nothing like a little football to help forget an unexpected end to the basketball season, is there? We are in Year 3 of the Danny Hope Experience, and a lot of the Boiler faithful think this is the year it all turns around. However, we have noticed the sporting gods like having fun at Purdue’s expense so if a football player spontaneously combusts this year, I probably won’t bat an eyelash. Anyways, Purdue returned to practice earlier today after a week off due to spring break with some surprises.
The biggest surprise is the move of sophomore lineman Justin Kitchens to the offensive side of the ball. Kitchens had been practicing at defensive tackle and was also one of many players trying to fill the void at defensive end created by the departure of Ryan Kerrigan. Coach Hope must see some long term potential in Kitchens at tackle, because offensive line is one of this team’s strengths. I’m not sure how taking away from a weakness is going to benefit, but that is why I’m just a blogger and Coach Hope makes the big bucks.
A real positive in spring ball so far is the lack of injuries. Of course, they are going to be some minor stuff, such as ankle and knee sprains, but severe injuries over the last couple of springs have crippled the Boilers, Ralph Bolden the most notable. It is still early in the spring, so my fingers are crossed for an uneventful spring as far as injuries are concerned.
To many, this spring is part of Coach Hope’s make or break year. Coach Hope has a signature upset of Ohio State two years ago, but that seems to be it. The Boilers have not sniffed a bowl game the last two years and have had some unusual late game collapses that have kept them out of it. I give Coach Hope a pass for last year, because the team was ravaged by injuries, but play calling down the stretch kept Purdue from beating Michigan State and Indiana, which would have resulted in a bowl. Hope needs to get his players to give it their all for 60 minutes each time out. The team will hopefully be healthy and both sides of the ball are finally stocking up with some talent.
I’m still on the Coach Hope wagon, but if the Boilers fail to reach a bowl game again, I might be persuaded to the argument of finding a new coach. The spring game is April 9th and it is free, so make sure you go out and support the team. It is time to make that next step in returning to Pasadena.