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B1G 2021 // Purdue Boilermakers Football Cocktail Party Preview

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Can Purdue get out of its recent funk?

Syndication: Journal-Courier Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Spring has sprung and that means it’s time for articles about the Purdue football team. After a couple of decent years at the beginning of Jeff Brohm’s tenure, things have gone downhill. Not so far that Purdue week starts off the B1G series (thanks Illinois!), but I’d rather write these articles in July next year.

What happened in 2020?

Well, after a promising start beating the lowly Iowa Hawkeyes and Illinois Fighting Illini, the Purdue Boilermakers absolutely fell apart and lost four games in a row, including one to the lowly Nebraska Cornhuskers. The season mercifully came to an end without the indignity of losing to Indiana, as the game was cancelled due to COVID issues.

The big story at the beginning of the season is that Rondale Moore, who had earlier said he was skipping this season to get ready for the NFL Draft, decided he would play after all. Then he couldn’t play due to an injury, despite the coaching staff saying he was ready to go earlier. For a few weeks, Jeff Brohm would just basically not answer questions about whether Moore was healthy or not. Moore finally played starting with the fourth game of the season, and said later that he told Brohm to not discuss his playing readiness. It was an odd strategy that really annoyed fans.

I can think of two positive things that happened for Purdue in 2020: the continued remarkable play of WR David Bell and the offseason firing of Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco, who lasted just one season at West Lafayette.

2020 was a terrible year, and a bad football season for Purdue had fans wishing that the season had stayed cancelled.

What to expect in 2021

I’m not really sure what to expect this season. 2019 was a disappointing season records-wise, but there were a ton of injuries and a whole lot of underclassmen got some game experience and there were flashes that kept me optimistic for 2020. Last season was a huge disappointment, but with it being such a not-normal season for non-football reasons, I’m holding out hope that was an aberration and things will be better this fall.

David Bell, the undisputed best player on the offense, is returning. George Karlaftis, the best defensive player is coming back as well. There have a been a bunch of transfers out of the program as well as a decent crop of transfers coming in.

I would be shocked if Purdue really turns it around and has a great season, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they continued their downward slide of the last two years. I’m thinking 3-9 as worst-case and 7-5 as best-case scenarios.

Schedule

Sept 4: Oregon State

Sept 11: @ UCONN

Sept 18: @ Notre Dame
First game against Notre Dame since 2014 in what was once an annual matchup. Shillelagh Trophy Game

Sept 25: Illinois
Battle for the Purdue Cannon

Oct 2: Minnesota

Oct 16: @ Iowa

Oct 23: Wisconsin

Oct 30: @ Nebraska

Nov 6: Michigan State

Nov 13: @ Ohio State

Nov 20: @ Northwestern
Close to Northwestern to be more accurate; game is at Wrigley Field

Nov 27: Indiana
Old Oaken Bucket Game

Stay tuned for more Boilermaker content all week long. If you aren’t already sick of Purdue by now, you will be by the time you throw the hot dogs on the grill for Memorial Day.