Minnesota at Purdue blog

by Austin Cumblad

Halftime Thoughts Well folks, it’s not pretty right now. The offense is playing as poorly as I’ve seen this year, and Weber’s typical efficiency is missing. Some of it is his receivers dropping the ball. Freshman Brandon Green, replacing the suspended Ralph Spry, made a huge 71 yard reception on Minnesota’s third play from scrimmage, but since has dropped a couple balls. Deleon Eskridge had a third down pass bounce off his helmet and incomplete. I never thought I’d say this about the Gophers offense, but I think they need to get Eric Decker more involved. He uncharacteristically dropped a ball as well in the end zone that hit him in the chest, but he’s a play-maker and Purdue’s secondary is not that good. He needs to be a bigger factor. The defense, on the other hand, seems to be its same old self. Cornerback Marcus Sherels essentially ripped the ball out of a Purdue receiver’s hands for an interception, and Garrett Brown pounced on a Curtis Painter fumble. They’re giving up yards, as they have all year, but are still creating turnovers and haven’t allowed the Boilermakers into the end zone. If the defense keeps doing what it’s doing Minnesota will probably be fine, but the Gophers certainly aren’t looking like a top-25 team at the moment. Perhaps it’s some bye week cobwebs; we’ll see if Tim Brewster makes some adjustments at halftime and if Minnesota comes out sharper in the second half. Pregame

This was supposed to be posted before the game but the internet here at Purdue is being a little fidgety. It’s a cloudy, cool day in West Lafayette, Ind. Just the kind of weather that makes me glad to be inside a warm press box. A few notes on the game: For the second straight game, Minnesota has been chosen as a team’s homecoming opponent. Should provide a little added motivation for a team that’s got plenty of it already. On Tuesday, head coach Tim Brewster said his team was as healthy as it has been all season. Cornerback Marcus Sherels, who is widely considered the team’s best defensive back, returns today after missing the Illinois game with a shoulder injury. Quarterback Adam Weber underwent artrhoscopic surgery for a torn meniscus just six days before the Illinois game but still played. The injury wasn’t revealed until after the Gophers beat the Illini 27-20 and Weber’s performance didn’t indicate any issues. Still, he’s back to full strength. Wide receiver Eric Decker played with a strained shoulder a couple weeks ago as well; like Weber, it wasn’t noticeable, but the bye week should have given him time to heal. I’ll conclude with a couple things I’ve learned so far on this trip. 1) It’s still fun to try and get semi truck drivers to honk their horns. We passed a good chunk of our eight hour trip doing so, and, being reporters, decided to keep stats. The results: 4-of-8 with two "extra-long" (that’s the official terminology) honks. 2) My fellow beat reporter, Trevor Born, is an aspiring freestyle rapper. He’s really not too bad and I have the tapes to prove it. 3) Don’t eat at an Iron Skillet inside a Petro truck stop at 12:30 a.m. Really, just don’t. For a pre-pre game trip review, check out the Minnesota Daily Photo Editor Matt Mead’s personal blog. Through a quarter plus now…internet is finally back. It’s 7-6 Minnesota, my thoughts to follow at halftime.