Hey guys, it’s State of Indiana week! We will have both Purdue and Indiana coverage this week, so everything is now great. Let’s spend a week talking about college football teams just in case there is a season. We really don’t have much else to do, and we are about the only “writers” left that haven’t been fired by vox. So let’s think about Big Ten football in the state of Indiana and not about the state of the world.
Let’s talk about the Purdue football team, which will be fun to watch this season if there is a season. As always, we must first look back before we can look forward.
What happened in 2019?
Well, Purdue took a step back last season and failed to make a bowl game for the first time in the Jeff Brohm era. The final record of 4-8 (3-6) is pretty bad, but there were some promising parts.
Starting QB Elijah Sindelar was injured early in the season, as was Heisman hopeful Rondale Moore. Neither returned for the rest of the season. Replacement QB Jack “The Snake” Plummer got a few games in before he was then lost to injury for the season. Defensive leader Markus Bailey also suffered a season-ending ACL injury early in the season.
The upside of 2019 for Purdue was that many young players got to see a lot of playing time. Freshman WR David Bell took over the main receiving duties after Moore’s injury and managed to get 1000 yards receiving. He took home the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award. On the defensive side, DE George Karfilitis was a bright spot as he and Bell were both named to the AP Freshman All-American First Team.
So things were looking good for Purdue to have a bounce back season in 2020. And it looks like another injury may harm Purdue’s chances this season, but this time it is not an ACL tear, but a worldwide pandemic.
Who’s going to play QB next season? In 2019 both Jack Plummer and Aidan O’Connell got some games in last season and looked pretty good. Austin Burton, a transfer from UCLA also looks to be in the mix. I have no idea who will start.
While the quarterback situation is not set in stone, Purdue looks to have a great squad for somebody to chuck the ball to in 2020. David Bell proved last season that he was one of the best receivers in the conference. If Rondale Moore comes back healthy then it will be tough for defenses to handle both of them.
On the running-back front, King Doerue and Zander Horvath handled the load last season. Doerue really started to play well towards the end of his freshman season last year. So I would expect them to carry the load this season as well.
Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt was fired after last season, and his replacement is Bob Diaco, who has DC’ed at Notre Dame, Louisiana Tech, Nebraska, Cincinnati, and Central Michigan. He also had an unsuccessful stint as head coach of UCONN, where he was most famous for trying to create a rivalry game with UCF called Civil ConFLiCT.
George Karfilitis, Derrick Barnes, and Lorenzo Neal are the top returners on defense. Brennan Thiemann and Tyler Coyle (a grad xfer from UCONN) will lead the defensive backfield. Hopefully Diaco can scheme something up so that the Boilers improve on their dismal rush defense.
Kicker JD Dellinger will be back for his senior season; he was one of the most consistent players on the team last season. There was a punting platoon last season between Zac Collins and Brooks Cormier, we’ll see if that continues in 2020.
AWAY - Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana
HOME - Rutgers, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Iowa
No Ohio State, no Penn State? Looks reasonable to me
When talking to Purdue fans, do mention:
Going to the moon, the new giant video board, Rondale Moore, the weather, how your kids have grown up so fast, the last great joke you heard, their haircut and clothes, Orville Redenbacher, music that you both enjoy.
When talking to Purdue fans, do not mention:
The existential dread of life in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty.
This Friday instead of trying to make Indiana fans mad at me for absolutely no reason, we are going to discuss the 2004 motion picture Somewhere in Indiana. This movie was written and directed by Don Boner with seemingly no budget. It is the best bad movie that takes place in the great state of Indiana. The full movie used to be on YouTube, but it is no longer there. You have to go to dailymotion to watch it. Here is the trailer: