By Austin Miller

Halftime here at Ryan Field. The game started with fireworks, with both teams scoring a touchdown in the opening three minutes. Things settled down after that, and Northwestern took advantage of an interception to take a 14-7 lead. Here are my first half observations from the Press Box:

  • Purdue’s defense. It was as bad as we thought on the first drive, but much better throughout the rest of the half before getting scored on with a short field following the interception.
  • It looked like Purdue knew exactly what they wanted to do on the opening offensive play, and it worked. Van Hoose got burned on the pump n go by David Blough, letting Purdue wideout Domonique Young get behind him for an easy walk into the end zone.
  • David Blough has the potential to be a decent quarterback. He’s got a good arm, and he’s made solid reads. The interception wasn’t his fault, with the ball going right off the hands of his intended receiver.
  • After an exciting first two possessions to the game, both sides really slowed down and we got a really good game of #PUNTBALL.
  • Despite a 55-yard boot (his second longest of the season), Hunter Niswander struggled again punting the football. His counterpart, Joe Schopper wasn’t much better, averaging a measly 31 yards per punt. Bad punters make #PUNTBALL even more boring.
  • Really good job by Northwestern to take advantage of the game’s first turnover, driving the ball downfield and punch it into the endzone with power football. Purdue was unable to take advantage of Northwestern’s turnover, stalling out near the NU red zone due to their literal inability to kick field goals.
  • Not much to do for Clayton Thorson in the first half, and that’s probably a good thing for Northwestern. Thorson was just 3-8 for 19 yards in a relatively quiet first half.
  • Horrifically bad coaching from Purdue close to the end of the half. After Clayton Thorson was stopped short of the line to gain, Darrell Hazell let 20 seconds run off the clock before burning a timeout.
  • Purdue’s band. It’s big. Also, they’re the owners of the world’s largest drum, so that’s one thing Purdue’s winning at this year.
  • Blazin’ won the most boring Buffalo Wild Wings race ever for those of you keeping score at home. I’m boycotting further Buffalo Wild Wings races until physical contact is allowed.
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