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Purdue Potluck II: Will the QB Play (and offense) improve?

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Will David Bough flourish under the tutelage of Jeff Brohm?

Iowa v Purdue Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Just like yesterday, we’re going to split up the Potluck with a question each day with food I found googling around cuisine from West Lafayette.

SIDE: Pots of Gold at Nine Irish Brothers

Crispy, golden potato skin "pots" topped with cheddar cheese, green onion, and bacon. Served with sour cream on the side.

Jeff Brohm, in his three years at Western Kentucky, was known for his prolific offenses and quarterback tutelage.

Our friends at Athlon Sports have some thoughts on the matter

In Jeff Brohm’s first year at Western Kentucky, Brandon Doughty finished second nationally in passing yards (371.5 ypg). In Brohm’s second year, Doughty finished third (363.0). And last year, new Hilltoppers QB Mike White ranked eighth nationally in the same category (311.6). Of course, it would be a stretch to expect Blough to pick up a new offense with the snap of a finger, but Brohm’s teams are at their best when the signal-caller is letting it rip, so monitoring how well Blough and the rest of the QBs adjust this spring is the biggest storyline surrounding this team.

Given Jeff Brohm’s record at WKU, how will he do with David Blough?

LPW: Like any first year coach inheriting a mess, Brohm had better lock his offensive line in the weight room and the training table, because I believe opposing defensive lines basically lived in Purdue’s backfield. Poor Blough. Even the most talented qb will get his ass kicked behind a shitty line.

Candystripes: Since he’s just settling in at Purdue, and at least some of the defenses he’ll be facing will be above MAC tier, I’d expect a top half of the conference finish, but perhaps not a top ten in the country finish again. Perhaps this is underselling Brohm’s QB-whispering talents, but I want to see it happen before I buy in all the way.

JWS: From the little I have watched Purdue the last few seasons, their problems seem to be a whole lot deeper than x’s and o’s. After a quick rundown of their offense, it looks like they lost their main deep threat, too.

One of the reasons Tiller had such success was that he was able to change the culture, and that isn’t likely to happen in the first year under Brohm. He needs to get better players in there, and more out of the ones that are already there. How they perform on the field is going to be secondary to how they improve over the course of the season, and the effort the players are giving at the end of it. I am looking at their schedule, and I don’t see a win. I definitely don’t see more than 2.

I have faith in Brohm, and believe he will turn the program around. A big part of that will be getting the most out of his QBs, just like Tiller. I think we’ll see it with Blough, but it wont be until his senior season.

Jesse: Ok, so let’s talk about the talents of David Blough before we tackle some of the intricacies of Jeff Brohm, Quarterback Whisperer. Blough, for all of his - and Purdue’s - many faults last season was actually productive. However, production was mostly be blunt force.

Blough led the Big Ten in Passing YPG, was second in Passing TDs, was second-to-last in YPA, had the most interceptions in the conference, and literally launched the ball 7 more times each game than the next nearest QB. That is the definition of forcing the issue. So yeah, you could argue some of that was the absurdity of the Darrell Hazell offense, but also — maybe — Blough was so-so at best, right?

Anyhow, that’s the context and now we have Jeff Brohm, Quarterback Whisperer, trying to figure out what it is he has. I think you have an opportunity to do something cool with this team and offense, but maybe someone who spent all of last season throwing the ball with his eyes closed is a tough change. Add to it the reality of the entire offensive situation - in that, the talent gap I mentioned yesterday continues to be real - and you’re looking at an uphill battle. Is it reasonable to expect fewer INTs? Probably, but also expect less of other stats.

babaoreally: I think the offense will be a lot better, so Blaugh will be better. He won’t turn into a Heisman candidate or anything, but if Brohm gets his offense going at all then Blaugh’s job will be a lot easier. If the defense has to defend against multiple options on every play, Blaugh shouldn’t be running for his life all of the time. If the defense has to look out for misdirection, then there should be more open receivers. I think Blaugh is a decent QB and can be good in the right system. Hopefully this is that system.

MNW: I'm with Jesse on the talent gap being what holds Blough back in 2017. He would be fine-to-Leidner anywhere in the conference, but I think we'll see him under duress to the point that it just doesn't all quite come together.

What I would be curious about is Blough's release time and ability to manage Brohm's offense. I don't recall him being the quickest with the ball, which I know played no small part in Brandon Doughty's success. To go from whatever the fuck Hatbender ran as an offense to a quick-strike spread is a big adjustment. I don't know if Blough is the QB to make that happen, but he should be a capable bridge to the future for the Boilers.

Townie: I like what I’ve seen of Blough over the last couple of seasons. I don’t think Brohm will have much work tuning him up. The problem will be with the rest of the offense. Installing a new system is tough. Blough’s success will hinge on how well the O-line picks up the blocking scheme and how the receivers perform.

With the loss of DeAngelo Yancey, they need some of the younger talent to step up. I suspect, if Blough does well, it will be in large part to due to his chemistry with Cole Herdman and Brycen Hopkins, his talented tight ends. Those two combined for seven of Blough’s 25 touchdowns last year.

Brohm has to be concerned with Blough’s 21 interceptions last year. That’s the stat line I’ll be watching this season. If Blough gets more accurate, with fewer turn overs, Purdue will improve.

Stew: I think there will be a few struggles against teams with far superior talent (about 23 of the schedule). However, I think that Brohm will surprise some people with how fast he can get the Blough, and the offense, looking competent. While his offenses and passing games were pretty stellar at WKY, his OL play (according to Football Outsiders) was just about average. Purdue has a ways to even get there, but I think Blough is competent enough for Brohm to work some magic.

Aaron: I can’t imagine that Blough won’t improve at least a little bit under Brohm. The passing game at Western Kentucky over the past three years didn’t just produce oodles of yards, but also ridiculously efficient figures in yards per attempt, completion percentage, and touchdown-to-interception ratio. Like we’ve already said, Blough was one of the worst quarterbacks in the conference at those efficiency indicators last year, so I’ll look for him to get below one interception per game and complete more than 60 percent of his passes this fall. That kind of improvement should give the Boilers a better shot at being competitive in conference play.