Purdue coach Danny Hope calls timeout with the clock running and 36 seconds to go to help seal a last second loss to Charlie Weis and the Irish of Notre Dame.
Hope’s reasoning was that he wanted to save time in case Notre Dame scored so that he might be able to get in 3 or 4 offensive plays before the end of the game. Evidently, he had no faith in his defense, which proved to be an accurate assessment. But as a coach, don’t you want to show faith and confidence in your players?
Rather than help his defense by letting the clock continue to run, it also allowed Notre Dame the chance to totally set themselves up. In case you weren’t privy to Notre Dame’s huddle, here’s what happened:
Jimmy Clausen calls the play. As the huddle breaks, Kyle Rudolph, a native of Cincinnati Elder, tells Clausen “Jimmy, just get me the ball.” Clausen replies, “You better get open and you better catch it.”
The play called for Rudolph to go 2 yards deep and cut in. If he wasn’t open, he was to break back to the outside. Someone should have told the Purdue defender that. Actually I thought the coverage wasn’t bad–it’s just the throw was right on spot and the defender was a bit outsized. In that situation, pretty good coverage isn’t good enough. If the cops aren’t questioning you for rape after the game, then the coverage wasn’t tight enough. No room for error here.
Wow, talk about cajones. A sophomore demanding the ball in the biggest play of the game, for quite possibly one of the most legendary teams in the country. Of course, Rudolph did play all 13 games his freshman year, but geesh, where are the upper classmen?
It seems after a rocky couple of years, the luck is starting to roll back in the Irish’s direction. That, or a kid from Cincinnati that didn’t like losing stepped up to make things happen. Nice job Kyle. Oh yah, and thanks Danny Hope. Better luck next year.