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B1G 2016 // Purdue Cocktail Party Preview

As always, Purdue kicks off the B1G series


B1G 2016 is upon us and Purdue is the first team up. As always, the B1G series starts with the worst team from last season. Congratulations, Purdue! For the third straight year the Boilermakers get to lead off the series. And for the second straight year I get to whine about having to write my articles before powerhouses such as Illinois and Indiana.

Each week starts with the Cocktail Party Preview, which is designed to give ignoramuses enough knowledge about a particular football team that they could converse with a fan of that team. Maybe in a cocktail party setting, or something similar. Like an overview or something, but more fun (or depressing in Purdue's case).

About last season

The good news...

Purdue beat Nebraska 55-45 on Halloween in 2015. The offensive and defensive coordinators were fired after the season.

That's pretty much it.

The bad news...

The Boilers went 2-10 (1-7) in 2015, which isn't good. Their only win over an FBS school was against Big Red, whose starting QB had apparently never thrown a football before.

After showing some flashes of competence (a few close games!), Purdue regressed into garbage again in 2015.

While it was nice that the coordinators got the old heave ho, Darrell Hazell did not get fired from the head coach position.

Purdue Spring Game

WR Dan Monteroso makes a catch in the Spring Game

On the Offensive Side of the Ball

The good news...

John Shoop was fired at the end of last season. Terry Malone, the new OC, is not John Shoop.

The starting QB from the last half of the season, David Blough, is back and ready to get chased around by five or six defenders every time he drops back to pass. If things go as they have the past three seasons, Redshirt Freshman Elijah Sindelar will be ready to step in and play well for a couple games before the offense collapses again.

In the running back department, one of the few bright spots of 2015, Markell Jones returns to lead the crew. Jones had a pretty impressive freshman season last year, and he will need to produce for the offense to have any chance at rising above mediocrity.

There are a lot of returning wide receivers. DeAngelo Yancey has shown flashes in the past; he probably has the most potential of any Purdue receiver. Cameron Posey, Bilal Marshall, Dan Monteroso, Greg Phillips, and Domonique Young will also be in the mix.

The bad news...

It's nice that David Blough has some playing experience, but it's not the experience of being successful. He has some quick feet, and doesn't seem to be awful at throwing the ball, but it remains to be seen if the offense can be good with Blough leading the way.

DJ Knox, who looked to be the #2 guy at RB, was injured in the Spring Game. It is no surprise to anyone who follows Purdue football (or even just Purdue football memes), that the injury is an ACL tear and he is out for 2016.

Danny Anthrop, who has been the most dynamic wideout of the Hazell Era, graduated (he had two ACL injuries in his career).

I'm not an offensive line expert, but I expect to see whoever the QB is this year running for his life, throwing the ball away, and getting sacked plenty of times in 2016.

Blough 2016

David Blough throws a pass in the Spring Game

On the Defensive Side of the Ball

The good news...

Greg Hudson was fired as defensive coordinator after last season. While not as reviled as John Shoop, his unit failed to produce as well. Ross Els was hired as co-DC, and LB coach Marcus Freeman was promoted to co-DC.

Their are some good dudes on defense who are returning in 2016. Ju'Whaun Bentley, a standout linebacker, is back after (you guessed it!) tearing his ACL last season. Danny Ezechuku and Jimmy Herman also return at LB. Evan Panfil and Gelen Robinson have potential at DE, and Jake Replogle might be an effective lineman next season. Safety Leroy Clark, the leading tackler in 2015, returns as well.

The bad news...

Purdue gave up over 200 yards rushing per game last season. The new DCs are going to need some new schemes to improve on that, since they have the same players.

Frankie Williams and Anthony Brown were standout players as CBs last season; they are both gone.

Ra'Zhan Howard, who is a giant DT, is currently suspended and may not rejoin the team. It will be hard to improve against the run if he isn't on the team in the fall.

To sum up, Purdue was terrible against the run last year, and not great against the pass. And they lost two of their best defenders. Yikes.

On Special Teams

The good news...

Punter Joe Schopper had plenty of opportunities to punt last season, and he did pretty well for himself, with twelve punts over fifty yards, and twenty punts that landed inside the twenty.

The bad news...

Placekicker Paul Griggs is gone. The most likely replacement, JD Dellinger, didn't enroll early, so he didn't get a chance to kick in the Spring Game.

Frankie Williams and Danny Anthrop, who handled a lot of the returning duties are both gone. Someone will need to step up.

On the Schedule

Sept 3 Eastern Kentucky
Sept 10 Cincinnati
Sept 24 Nevada
Oct 1 @ Maryland
Oct 8 @ Illinois
Oct 15 Iowa
Oct 22 @ Nebraska
Oct 29 Penn State
Nov 5 @ Minnesota
Nov 12 Northwestern
Nov 19 Wisconsin
Nov 26 @ Indiana

The good news...

Purdue has about an easy of a schedule as they could have hoped for in 2016. Cincy and Nevada are both coming off of meh years, and the Boilers will probably be underdogs in both of these, but there may be a chance for a win in at least one of those games.

As far as division crossover games go, Maryland and Penn State aren't exactly Ohio State and Michigan State. They are certainly better than Purdue, but it definitely could have been worse. As always, Purdue's other cross-division game is against Indiana, who probably won't be that good next season but will surely beat Purdue.

The bad news...

It almost doesn't matter how favorable the conference schedule is, because Purdue is worse than any other team in the conference.

If you're talking to a Purdue fan, don't mention:

Football, ACLs, Darrell Hazell, constantly getting blown out in football games, attendance, money, Arkansas-Little Rock.

Do mention:

Sending people to the moon, basketball, Drew Brees, AJ Hammons, any third rail issue, the inevitability of death (and the hope that God has stricken Purdue football from the afterlife).


MONDAY | Cocktail Party Preview | Potluck I

TUESDAY | Personnel Files | Potluck II

WEDNESDAY | Traditions | Potluck III

THURSDAY | Wildcard | Potluck IV

FRIDAY | H8rade | Potluck V