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B1G 2020, Purdue Potluck #2: Chicken Nuggets for the Kids, Grad Transfers for the Adults

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A grad transfer shakes up the Boilers’ QB room—could we be talking a Russell Wilson redux?

NCAA Football: Maryland at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

After a big step back in 2019, the Purdue offense returns...well, basically the two guys who really make it a formidable force to be reckoned with.

That’s it. That’s the lead-in.

Oh! Chicken nuggets, too.

We’ll connect it all at some point, I swear.

The Football

It’s easy to see, on some level, the Purdue Boilermakers’ path to offensive explosiveness in 2020: Keep people healthy, find a quarterback, profit.

We’ll mention the RB tandem of King Doerue and Zander Horvath briefly to acknowledge that Purdue, hypothetically, runs the ball once in a while...but it’s really the speed and size Purdue possesses on the edges that gives the offense its life. It starts with slot receiver Rondale Moore, of course, he of Ohio State-burning fame, but 2020 taught us that WR David Bell, at 6’2”, 210 lbs., packs the hands and size to haul in 1,000 yards and more.

The question, as babaoreally noted on Monday: Who throws them the ball? Elijah Sindelar declined to return for a sixth year, instead doing the LAME things like getting a degree in electrical engineering and getting married. Happy with a job — see if THAT gets you anywhere in life, Elijah.

Instead, two Boilers who saw action in 2020 — Jack “the Snack” Plummer and Aidan “lol Northwestern lost to him” O’Connell return to compete for the QB job. Both posted a 6.1 yards per attempt rate and possessed similar QB ratings, though Plummer, true to his not-related not-namesake, was more profligate with the ball, posting a 11:8 TD:INT ratio to O’Connell’s 8:4.

They’ll be challenged, though, by graduate transfer and son of Paul, Northwestern punter, Austin Burton. He joins from UCLA, having showed both wheels (4.3 ypc, sacks included) and a touch in the short passing game (68.8%, 5.7 YPA, 1 TD, 0 INT). Whether he’ll start or fit Jeff Brohm’s offense right away, though, remains to be seen.

So level with us, friends:

(1) Who starts at QB for Purdue, and does it matter? How well does Purdue’s offense fare in the event that football actually happens in 2020?

(2) Name a NON-PUNTER graduate transfer who changed the complexion of your program, if just for a year.

babaoreally: 1) I think Jack “The Snake” Plummer starts to begin the season and both Burton and AOC will get a chance when he has a tough quarter or two. AOC had a couple of decent games last season as a walk-on and Plummer didn’t look too bad for a first year starter. Having Moore and Bell will help any QB look competent who can throw it in their general vicinity.

2) Linebacker Ben Holt was a pretty solid grad transfer from Western Kentucky for Purdue last season. I can’t think of anyone who absolutely dominated as a grad transfer. Spencer Evans from Baylor was a decent kicker (not a punter).

pkloa: Does Brohm have another WR he can start behind center?

The portal rarely giveth to Penn State, it seems much more inclined to taketh away. I don’t even remember a recent grad transfer making an impact for the Lions, please mock my stupidity for forgetting _________. Best overall transfer in the last several years has been Jordan Stout. Booming kickoffs inbounds has kept playmakers off the field. Last year, 66 of his 83 kickoffs were touchbacks. Icing on this particular egg-shaped cake is the long FGs made. In 2019, Stout connected from 53 and 57, going 2 for 3 from 50+.

Jesse: I’m more or less starting with, it doesn’t really matter. If the QB can stand up straight for any measurable amount of time, throwing to Moore and Bell is pretty much all Purdue needs to be good on defense. They stretch the field, can go side-to-side, and are proven. Give me Plummer, but again, it doesn’t matter.

Uh, I’m not sure about grad-transfers. We have generally benefited from JUCO guys but not grad-transfers (as far as changing the complexion of the program types at least). I’ll defer to the Nebraska people out there, but I can’t think of one.

WSR: It really doesn’t matter. Maybe the two losers could play OL and help the winner out?

You know, I think my favorite grad transfer has to be CB Benjamin Saint-Juste from Michigan, who still has 2 more years of eligibility after playing really well last season and helped stabilize the backfield. Thanks again for the guy who graduated in 2 years from Michigan and is a kinda good football player too, Harbz!

Stew: Yeah, I really don’t think it matters all that much. The WRs are great, and none of the QBs are standouts, one way, or the other. They’ll be fine. The offense should be explosive this year, but the OL is not great, and the best one can say about the running game is that it technically exists. So my guess is that there’s going to be a lot of boom and bust.

As for impact grad transfers that AREN’T punters?!? Uh....Yeah, I’m not really able to find any. James Butler probably could have been, but he got hurt. This year has quite a bit of potential on that front, though, with Iowa snagging Coy Cronk from Indiana, and from Northern Illinois DT Jack Heflin and DE Matt Lorbeck.

BMan31: Did...did you just preview my offensive preview?

MNW: Well, I’m officially firing myself as Potlucks Coordinator. Hustle off, MNW.

I’ll just wait to give my thoughts on Purdue’s offense until tomorrow now? I’m the worst.

I really hope Peyton Ramsey can be that guy. I’m hard-pressed to think of another grad transfer outside of Quinn Evans, a Stanford DB who came to Northwestern back in, like, 2012. I’m sure there’s been one, but I’m up against the deadline and let’s be honest, you don’t care.

Beez: It doesn’t matter too much, because the offense will be explosive and insanely prone to turnovers. Unless one of these QBs finds a way to improve on a TD:INT ratio of 1.3, that poor defense is going to get torn apart. But yes, draft Purdue offense for your college fantasy leagues.

The impact grad transfer is Russell Wilson. He’s gotta be THE impact grad transfer for all CFB, right?

Poll

In 2020 Purdue’s offense...

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Puts consistent quarterback play with explosive playmakers. Get ready for 49-20 every week!
    (25 votes)
  • 51%
    Struggles at QB, but has the speed to win games
    (41 votes)
  • 17%
    Injuries, inconsistent QB play, just another spread
    (14 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now

The Food

Completing the young-and-old duality of the 2020 Boilers offense, let’s start with the young man’s snack: Chicken nuggets. And, if you’re sensing a theme, we need to #ThankABoiler.

In 1963 Purdue food science PhD Robert C. Baker, then a professor at Cornell, developed a method for breading congealed meats in such a way that when you fried them, the breading did not fall off the meat. Thus? CHICKEN NUGGETS.

Purdue’s Innovators website also wants us to know that not to be outdone by...well, himself, Baker then invented the Cornell chicken barbeque sauce for the New York State Fair. So to honor the gravitas of the INVENTOR OF CHICKEN NUGGETS and pair it with the youthful whimsy that goes with eating chicken nuggets, writers:

(1) Chicken nuggets: Tell us your favorite method of chicken nugget delivery. Is it a 20-piece McNugget? Dinosaur shapes? Boneless wings? Have you found a way to make adult, artisanal chicken nuggets somehow?

(2) What’s your dipping sauce of choice — barbeque sauce? Honey mustard? That weird sweet-and-sour stuff?

HAPPY CHICKEN NUGGETS DAY.

babaoreally: 1) I generally get nuggets only at Chic-fil-A, which is what I used to get when the only Chic-fil-A around was at the mall. At almost any other fast food place, I get something other than nuggets. I enjoyed it when they served nuggets at the dorm, though.

2) I used to mix Bulls-Eye barbecue sauce and honey (brand unknown) together when we had nuggets at the dorm cafeteria. It was very good and I was very smart for doing that.

pkloa: I can destroy some McNuggets, or chicken nuggets at most any other fast food restaurant. Keep those frozen Banquet abominations away, though. I rarely actually get anything but barbecue sauce, but I still ask what they have available. I’d gladly eat the nuggets plain before I’d eat sweet and sour. I’ll never dip to that level.

Jesse: McNuggets all day. I mean, I’ve done fancy homemade, where you soak boneless skinless chicken thigh pieces in buttermilk, crush panko with salt, pepper, garlic, chili pepper, and do a double dredge in flour and that mixture before frying. BUT, that’s a ton of work and not as good as a damn McNugget.

Best dipping sauce? I’m a fan of Chik-fil-a ranch, but I can be talked into a great honey mustard. Arby’s comes to mind.

WSR: I still occasionally get McNuggets, although the Wendy’s nuggets are also pretty good. That being said, I also try to avoid getting them regularly because it’s pretty easy to develop an addiction and the next thing you know you’re ordering 40 at a time again and can only feel shame and a hunger for even more nuggets. It’s a vicious cycle. And the best dipping sauce i always just a plain old BBQ, unless I’m getting chicken strips from Culvers. That calls for the buffalo sauce.

Stew: Straight nuggets? It’s gotta be the classic McNugget with buffalo sauce. But if we’re branching into chicken fingers/tenders? Then it’s gotta be Popeye’s (with the blackened ranch). I also occasionally make my own for my kids that’s just a very light seasoned flour mixture that gives a little crunch and flavor.

BMan31: My kids will devour McNuggets. I personally can’t anymore. There’s a backstory but I don’t want to expose the readership to the gruesome details. Spoiler: It involves my son, vomit, and 3 AM.

When it comes to other nuggets, if it’s Chick-fil-A, either the Creamy Buffalo or Honey BBQ sauce gets the job done. KFC’s BBQ sauce is nasty but I do enjoy their Buffalo Sauce or the Nashville Hot “stuff” they coat things in.

Beez: When I think of nuggets, it’s always McDonald’s with honey as dipping sauce. If I get them anywhere else, I’ll usually get the local sauce (Chick Fila sauce, Zaxby’s sauce, Bojangle’s sauce), but I don’t think I’ve gotten nuggets in years (except on the inside of Chick Fila chicken minis).


Give us your chicken nugget/sauce combos in the comments...and talk about football I guess, too, if you so choose! Thanks for chicken nuggets, Purdue!