Let me start off by just saying I’ve pretty much moved on from the horror show of 2019. Losing Elijah Sindelar and Rondale Moore on the same play against Minnesota was bad enough (I was present with my son in the front row. He was 6 and even he groaned when it happened. Welcome to Purdue fandom, son). Throw in more injuries than I care to recount and we’ll, yeah. For the sake of my sanity, let’s move forward.
The B1G Question: Who’s going to throw the ball?
Jack Plummer or Aiden O’Connell? Pick one to pass to Purdue’s uber-speedy receiving corps.
AOC filled in admirably after Jack the Snack went down with an ankle injury. That said, he was still shaky at times. Whether this was nerves, timing issues, or inexperience in the system, time can only tell.
Plummer has better mobility and has a talent edge in my opinion but his youth showed as his decision-making was less than stellar at times. However, Pro Football Focus rates Plummer as the better option. If his ankle is back to normal after a shortened Spring session, I’d like to see his development.
Another wrinkle to all of this is UCLA transfer Austin Burton. Burton has two years of eligibility left after accepting Purdue’s offer despite admitting in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he had never stepped foot on campus.
My lean in all of this heads towards Plummer. That said, don’t be surprised if he and AO’C end up splitting snaps.
Purdue’s Run Game: Can they get a push?
The Boilers’ run game last year was...well, it wasn’t good. The offensive line struggled to open gaps and not having the primary option of Tario Fuller certainly didn’t help. King Doerue did admirably, averaging 3.5 ypa but there wasn’t enough trust in the line to get much more.
5th-year Senior Grant Hermanns has to step up and as this is still a bit of a MASH unit.
Zander Horvath is a dose of power but with Purdue largely running shotgun, one has to question if his power is being wasted in short yardage situations. Jeff Brohm doesn’t need to have a dominant ground game but at least the threat of something keeps defenses from playing with 6 DBs. That said.
Receiving: Bell and Moore? Someone hand me a napkin.
This might be the most electrifying duo in the B1G this year. I shit you not. Everyone knows what Rondale Moore is capable of. With his injury last year came the emergence of David Bell. This 1-2 punch will have defensive coordinator breaking out in a cold sweat. Throw in talented freshmen Maliq Carr and Abdur-Rahmann Yaseen and oh my my the potential. Simply put, this might be the most talent Purdue has ever had at receiver. Fear them.
The Bottom Line
This unit has the potential to do something special this season (assuming games are played, let’s be honest). Assuming Plummer gets the nod and continues to develop, Moore and Bell have the ability to create. If the running game can keep teams honest, look out. Brohm’s squad should be able to rack up yards and points on just about anyone.
*Thanks to Boiled Sports for the nickname. Great blog for Purdue related opinions, check them out! https://www.boiledsports.com
Boilerman note: This was originally published as Senator, not Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I wish to apologize for the error.