Upon further review: Purdue-TCU
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Thoughts, observations and analysis after re-watching Purdue's 34-13 loss to TCU.
With less than seven minutes to go in the third quarter, WR David Bell was targeted by Jack Plummer along the TCU sideline on a second-and-seven. The ball was incomplete, as Bell hit the ground after being defended by the Horned Frogs' Kee’yon Stewart. As Bell got up, he appeared to hurt his left hand. He subsequently left the game and was seen walking to the locker room as the third quarter was ending. It was tough to see how Bell got hurt. Perhaps he just landed awkwardly. Last thing Purdue needs is another injury. Junior Jared Sparks missed the game with an ankle injury.
Purdue had a chance to capture mojo early on but didn't seize the opportunity. It wasn't for a lack of plays being made by the defense.
Nickel back Simeon Smily broke up an Alex Delton pass on TCU’s first possession, as the ball ricocheted into the air. True freshman defensive end George Karlaftis’ settled under the loose pigskin for his first career pick. Moment earlier, Karlaftis made a TFL for minus-two yards. (He made a sack later in the first quarter, too.) The Boilers took over on TCU's 21-yard line but couldn't take advantage and had to settle for a 31-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The drive was killed by dropped passes by Zander Horvath and Rondale Moore.
Next, the defense forced a punt, giving Purdue’s offense a chance to build on its early lead. Jack Plummer threaded a nice pass to Moore on the second play of Purdue's third drive of the game. But Moore had the ball ripped from his hands for an interception by TCU's Trevon Moehrig at the Purdue 41-yard line. TCU went on to kick a field goal to tie the game, 3-3.
TCU took control from there.
Even though the statistics may not have reflected it, Purdue still was in the game at halftime trailing just 13-6. But TCU put a pin in the Boilermakers' hopes midway through the third quarter when Al'Dontre Davis found himself wide open for a 22-yard TD grab to give the Horned Frogs a 20-6 edge. How did he get so open?
As the above graphic illustrates, Davis drifted into the vacated middle of the field. It was empty because Purdue was focused on TCU star wideout Jalen Reagor at the top of the screen. That left Davis all alone for the easy catch and score. The game felt out of reach after that.
After TCU went up, 27-6, late in the third quarter, Rondale Moore fair caught a kickoff at Purdue’s seven-yard line with no TCU players around him. The Boilers got the ball at the 25-yard line--good field position. But why not let Moore run back the kick? Anytime Moore has the ball by himself in the open field, he is a threat to make a big play. No doubt, Purdue could have used a big play of any sort at anytime in this game. Moore fair caught another kickoff after TCU kicked off after it had taken a 34-6 lead with under six minutes to play.
More Moore ...
Midway through the second quarter, BTN reporter Rick Pizzo noted that Moore was “visibly frustrated” on the sidelines. Pizzo said Moore was shaking his head. Pizzo said Moore talked to assistants and Jeff Brohm. Pizzo noted that Brohm has a sheet of plays specifically for Moore. He finished with just three catches for 25 yards.
Redshirt freshman DT Lawrence Johnson had two strange penalties, as explained by the officials.
On TCU’s second drive of the game, Purdue was whistled for a delay of game … on its defense. Johnson was the culprit. He was deemed to have been “using unnatural movements with the intent of causing a false start.” Johnson lined up, and then shifted quickly to his left. It didn’t appear egregious. Jeff Brohm disagreed, and he let a nearby official know about it.
In the third quarter, Johnson was flagged for roughing the pass, as the official said Johnson was “punishing the quarterback with the weight of his body.”
Not a good night for the Boilermaker linebackers. Ben Holt was the highest-rated Purdue LB--according to Pro Football Focus--but he was just No. 16 overall of the 22 graded Boilermaker defenders. Cornel Jones was No. 17 and Jaylan Alexander was No. 19. No doubt, Markus Bailey was missed.
TCU’s stretch run plays exposed the Purdue defense time and again. The above chart from Pro Football Focus shows where the Horned Frogs ran the ball on all of their 53 carries. Ten runs went around the right end (RE) for TCU. But most of the running damage was done right up the middle between left guard (LG) and middle right of the center (MR).
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