When we schedule the weeks for our preview series, the pathetic teams always have to go earlier in the year. It is really crazy to think that Purdue week isn’t until the last week of May this year. In just one year, Jeff Brohm has turned Purdue football from a laughing stock to a decent team that is fun to watch.
About last season...
After a moral victory type first game loss against Louisville, the Boilers came out and beat Ohio at home, followed by a dominating 35-3 road win over Mizzou. The conference season was a little up and down. After disappointing losses to Nebraska and Rutgers, Purdue won at Iowa.
The Boilers then won the Old Oaken Bucket Game against Indiana for the first time in five years, which gave them six wins and a trip to the Foster Farms Bowl to face Arizona. In that game, Purdue managed to come back and beat Rich Rod’s Wildcats for their first bowl win since 2011.
All-in-all it was an amazing season. The offense was inconsistent, but exciting. David Blough and Elijah Sindelar both saw minutes at quarterback, usually within the same game. In one of the most memorable moments of the season, Blough waved his arms to fire up the crowd while being loaded into an ambulance following a gruesome ankle injury. Not to be outdone, Sindelar played the last few games of the season, including the bucket and bowl wins, on a torn ACL.
How is the Offense shaping up?
The offense was inconsistent last year, which was a major improvement from the consistently awful offense of the previous years. The QB battle should be interesting as both David Blough and Elijah Sindelar are coming off of major injuries. Blough’s recovery has gone better than anticipated, as he was well enough to play in the Spring practices and scrimmage. Sindelar should be recovered enough to start practice in the Fall.
Expect multiple QBs in every game anyway. Blough is a better running QB, Sindelar is a more accurate passer. They’ll be throwing to speedy Jackson Anthrop, Jared Sparks, Terry Wright, and Isaac Zico. TEs Cole Herdman and Brycen Hopkins will be frequent targets as well in 2018.
Three of the four top rushers (DJ Knox, Markell Jones, and Tario Fuller) from last season return, which should help keep defenses honest and open up options in the passing game.
What about the Defense?
With all of the hype surrounding the trick plays and explosive offense that Jeff Brohm bought to Purdue, the defense led by Coordinator Nick Holt was even more essential to the 2017 turnaround.
Not to get into too many specifics, but there were a lot of talented defensive players who have used up their eligibility and will not be returning. The linebacker position was a strength last season, but most of those players are gone. It will be up to some of the younger players to step up and make a difference.
Seeing what Holt and the other defensive coaches managed to do with the players left over from the previous regime, I expect that the defense won’t fall off as much as would be expected of a team that lost so many starters.
Don’t Forget the Special Teams!
Purdue’s special teams unit lived up to the special label last season. Especially in the amount of trick plays that were completed on special teams. Tony Levine, the 2017 Special Teams Coach, left to start a Chic-fil-A in Houston.
The great Joe Schopper returns at punter. Schopper has a pretty strong leg, and was 2/2 for 44 yards passing on fake punts. Kicker Spencer Evans was a godsend on kickoffs last season, booting most of them deep into the end zone to limit long returns. He and JD Dellinger split FG kicking duties last season; both will be back for 2018.
2018 Purdue Schedule
|Thu, Aug 30||vs Northwestern|
|Sat, Sept 8||vs Eastern Michigan|
|Sat, Sept 15||vs Missouri|
|Sat, Sept 22||vs Boston College|
|Sat, Sept 29||@ Nebraska|
|Sat, Oct 6||Bye Week|
|Sat, Oct 13||@ Illinois|
|Sat, Oct 20||vs Ohio State|
|Sat, Oct 27||@ Michigan State|
|Sat, Nov 3||vs Iowa|
|Sat, Nov 10||@ Minnesota|
|Sat, Nov 17||vs Wisconsin|
|Sat, Nov 24||@ Indiana|
If you’re talking to a Purdue fan...
Go ahead and talk about football! We love football! We have always loved football! Football is a fun sport to watch in person and on television!