A Purdue student said he will keep going to games because he loves Purdue football, but has been upset with the last two games in Ross-Ade Stadium.
“The most aggravating part about it is that I commit to go the game,” Tyler Zook, a sophomore in the School of Management, said. “Then I get more and more frustrated as things get worse and I end up leaving.”
Early in the fourth quarter of Purdue’s 38-14 drubbing from Wisconsin, the Ross-Ade Stadium bleachers were emptier than they have been in recent memory.
The day started great for the Boilers as the first play from scrimmage was a 52-yard pass from Caleb TerBush to Antavian Edison. The next play, TerBush ran in for the one yard score. After the first drive, not including an 81-yard touchdown by Akeem Hunt late in the game, the Boilers gained only 118 yards.
At halftime, with the team down 17-7 and a steady rain increasing, fans started to disperse. Two plays into the second half as Montee Ball ran a 67-yard touchdown, fans started to head for the exits.
Ethan Claretto, a freshman in the College of Health and Human Sciences, said he left in the third quarter after Wisconsin blocked Cody Webster’s punt.
“We made a deal at halftime that if we didn’t start the second half well, we were going to leave,” Claretto said. “It was cold and rainy too.”
As the rain and Wisconsin’s lead increased, more Purdue fans headed for the exits. When the game clock hit zero, only a few hundred fans were still in attendance.
The freshman said he will keep going to games because he believes Purdue will still go to a bowl game.
“We had a tough stretch playing two of the best teams in the conference (Michigan and Wisconsin),” Claretto said. “We still have some winnable games left at home.”
Two months ago, this Purdue team was tabbed as the best of head coach Danny Hope’s career and there were talks in the locker room of a trip to Indianapolis and even Pasadena. A short eight weeks later, and now bowl eligibility is being questioned.
After the loss, a reporter asked this question:
“... What do you say to a Purdue fan right now, (now) that the team has lost 82-30 the last two weeks at home, given up over 1000 yards of total defense and now you are going to Ohio State?”
“Big Ten football is no place for the squeamish and Purdue football is no place for the weak-hearted,” Hope said. “We have to rally up and bounce back and prove our worth, to one another and also to our fan base as well.”
The Boilers have no easy task in bouncing back against an Ohio State team that will be fired up after an overtime loss at Purdue last season and a close call at Indiana last weekend. The game will be played at noon and be televised on ABC.