I have emerged from my slumber. My monster headache from sleep deprivation and driving across the state twice remains. Yesterday was a rough day for me all-around, not just as a Bronco, but as a person. If this piece has a ton of frustration and anger, forgive me.
First off, I have to congratulate two parties. First, I congratulate Purdue for winning this game. You don't normally turn the ball over 4 times and still win games, but when 2 of the turnovers are defensive turnovers (fumbled fumble in the 4th and fumbled INT in the 3rd), it doesn't really hurt that much. It takes a lot of cajones to kick two onside kicks, and they did everything they could to win this game.
Secondly, I want to thank Jordan White for his amazing career at WMU, which has mostly been two GREAT years the past two years. It has been a pleasure to see him play in person, and I wish him the best on the NFL level.
Now, onto everyone else. First, I am officially off the Alex Carder bandwagon. I was teetering since the Illinois game (a failed game-winning drive), and now after both Tyler VanTubbergen's emergence against Akron and this game, I'm hoping for a truly open competition at QB for next year. If TVT has the arm Cubit says he does, play him.
Bill Cubit himself is going to have his seat nice and toasty as well. A win could've silenced all of his doubters, by delivering WMU 3 bowl games and their first win (in Detroit no less). Now, he finishes 7-6, 3rd in the MAC West, and no Michigan MAC Trophy again. This has been the norm for him, and another "average" finish could mean he gets the door unless he can secure another Pizza Bowl bid. A loss at Central next year is an immediate boot.
Dave Cohen saved his job as well with the defense stepping up just enough to give the WMU offense and Alex "Pizza Turnover" Carder the ball for the win. With the defense shaky all day, the fact that Purdue only scored 3 TDs (one off a turnover, one off an onside kick, one off a turnover on downs) is an upside for this defense against a run-happy offense. I hope the defense only gets better, because holding steady won't sit well.
7 turnovers. 7. 6 of them by Alex Carder. Granted that he was hit on one of the INTs and we needed him to fumble on the first of his 2 fumbles (the resulting fumble saved the drive by giving us a fresh set of downs, 40 yards further back), but his other 3 picks were just stupid throws (Chleb Ravenell gets part of the blame for the last one as well), and the last fumble is the lasting impression every Bronco fan will have from this game. Add on two turnover on downs, and this game was practically given to Purdue.
1-4 on fourth down
46 rushing yards.
2 onside kicks
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. It is just so frustrating that we still had a chance at the end, and blew it.
I personally wonder if WMU had been able to score from the 1 yard line in the 3rd quarter (when they ended up kicking a field goal), and if they had kicked a field goal from the 20 (when they turned it over on downs, and resulted in a Purdue TD), what the game would've ended like. Hell, I would take both situations as field goals.
I hope we begin building today for next year, because I don't want to taste this again. Alex Carder and Bill Cubit will have some heat going into the year. As for me? I return to my slumber, or my XBox 360. Depends on if I can rid myself of this headache