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Purdue Lost Week 1 - Is it Time to Panic?

The Ryan Walters era began with a loss. Should Boilermakers fear the worst?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Fresno State at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Since the loss to Fresno State last Saturday, several fans and commentators people on the Internet have decided that a loss to the Bulldogs means that Ryan Walters is in over his head and doomed to failure. Since I acknowledge the fact that these people have known nothing but success when it comes to Purdue athletics, their bold and spicy takes have me wondering: It is time for Purdue fans to panic about the Ryan Walters era?

I’ve spent the past week painstakingly collecting data and doing my own research™ to attempt to answer this question. This has been my top priority the past week as I’ve dropped everything to address this very, very important question. I know that Purdue Boilermaker fans need to know whether they should begin panicking and the rest of the Big Ten fanbases need to know if they should stock up on survival gear before anxious Boilermakers wreck havoc on society. Before I answer the question though, let me share the evidence I’ve acquired. That way, like any quality researcher, my work can be peer reviewed.

Head Coaches and Their First Games at Purdue

When we compare Ryan Walters’s first game as the Purdue head coach to the previous five men to hold that position, the outlook appears promising. Based on past precedence, clearly it’s a bad sign if Purdue wins game 1 under a new coach. Those coaches have gone onto mediocre results. It’s an even worse sign if the team gets blown off the field but that’s enough talk about that particular coach.

Ryan Walters lost a game to a Group of 5 program by two scores or less. That exactly what Joe Tiller and Jeff Brohm did in their openers. This is a great sign for the long term success of Walters at Purdue.

Even more promising for Purdue fans this upcoming weekend is that no Purdue coach has started anything other than 1-1 in my lifetime. Bet on the Boilermakers to win Saturday.

Purdue’s 2023 Football Opponents In 2022

As you can see, Fresno State is clearly the most successful football program that Purdue faces this season. Losing by just 4 points to them really should not be a cause for concern.

Returning Opponents QB Production

I didn’t plot every single QB that that Purdue will face this season because this plot would begin to look too messy, but if we look at the week 1 starters for 8 of the teams that Purdue faces this year, none of the other 7 come close to having as successful of a track record as Fresno State’s Mikey Keene did before 2023. Sure, there is some reason to be concerned that Keene torched the Purdue secondary, but the rest of Purdue’s schedule contains a bunch of nonentities at the quarterback position even if their head coach believes they can one day make it into the NFL. A repeat of Keene’s performance against Purdue’s secondary is clearly unlikely against the rest of these QBs and I think I speak for everyone when I say I see 7 wins there.

Illinois Points Allowed in games with Ryan Walters as DC

The Illini defense didn’t start out too hot in the Ryan Walters era either, but as the trend line clearly shows the Illini defense became elite over the course of two seasons.

Big Ten Conference Losses

Purdue already has less conference losses than three of their opponents this season! Two of those are division opponents, giving Purdue a leg up on repeating at Big Ten West champions.

World’s Smallest* Drum

Following the 2021 trip to South Bend, Purdue’s finest engineers have been hard at work developing a new drum for the All-American Marching Band to fit through any opponent’s tunnel. For those of you that don’t remember, the ____ Notre Dame football program decided to not allow the world’s largest* drum on their field as they had shrunk their visitors access tunnel and would not allow Purdue’s band to use the main tunnel to get setup.

After this week though, Purdue now has a drum that can fit anywhere - even ____ Notre Dame’s tiny, tiny tunnel. Measuring in at 50 microns in diameter, it’s the world’s smallest* drum.

With the development of this new instrument, the drum will surely inspire the football team to win the rest of the season.

*smallest and largest are used here as more of an abstract concept than concrete, measurable terms


Is it time to panic? Let’s see what the panic meter says.

Relax and enjoy the season. One game against a good program is not the end of the world. Give Walters and his staff time to develop players and correct things as the season progresses.