Purdue Spring Game Report: Where Bleakness Goes to Feel Sorrow

Purdue Spring Game Report: Where Bleakness Goes to Feel Sorrow

Well, if you were wondering if Purdue football was way behind or looking like they were on course, I can report to you that they’re in mid-season form, as a key player – RB DJ Knox – went down with an ACL tear during the game. When will we officially learn that Ross-Ade is built on an ancient burial ground? The Tippecanoe Tribesmen are not pleased with your setting up camp here, mere mortal Boilermakers! And we will cast a spell upon thee! Or thee’s knees! (Or “these” knees? I don’t know.)

The good:

  • Blough had his moments, connecting with D’Angelo Yancy for a nice long pickup, though we must temper our excitement because we have to take into account the fact that it was against the Purdue secondary and, oh yeah, nobody was allowed to hit Blough.
  • Elijah Sindelar has what looks to me like very nice quarterback mechanics. He is graceful and throws a nice, though not particularly zippy, ball. He hit Dan Montoroso for a lovely TD. Same caveats as above apply.
  • Sindelar also his Greg Phillips for the winning touchdown on a fourth down play. Get excited
  • Despite Knox’ injury, there were a number of RBs who got touches, so let’s hope that someone can give Markell the appropriate amount of rest. Keep an eye on David Yancy and Richie Worship. Both had running TDs in the Spring Game and will need to be viable options.
  • Markell Jones is a legitimate Big Ten running back who could probably play for anyone in the conference.

The bad:

  • DJ Knox tearing his ACL. I know this post and others about football lately have had an air of snark about them, but let’s make no jokes here – this truly sucks and we wish DJ nothing but the best. Please get well, Boilermaker.
  • Purdue’s kicking game, which was 5/11 on FG attempts last year and basically was abandoned even before Big Ten play started, was 2/4 in the Spring Game and still looks lost. I think they need Lucy.
  • Alarmingly, the offensive line did not look strong. There is some experience there AND it’s obviously crucial to protect Purdue’s as-yet-unproven quarterbacks, whether it’s Blough or Sindelar (looks like Blough as of now), so it’s beyond critical that this unit gets things together.

The misc:

  • Coach Hazell feels that the offense has taken “major strides” to be more of a QB-friendly offense under newly-promoted OC Terry Malone. Not sure if this means something about the play on the field or if the QBs are just more pleasant around campus and spend their time on the hello walk.
  • Hazell also says they’re operating faster due to a simplified offense.
  • Blough seems to really like Coach Malone, so that can’t be a bad thing.

It’s obviously never good when your glorified scrimmage winds up with a key player getting hurt, but this is just how things go at Purdue. As we’ve detailed before, this is not a deep enough program to lose key guys. Let’s hope everyone else stays healthy for now or it figures to be an even longer season in West Lafayette.

The truth is, there feels like there’s less and less excuse for Coach Hazell not to string something together here. The schedule is among the weakest in D-1, he has a legit star-in-the-making in Markell Jones and the QB talent is not nothing (hell, Purdue’s lost transfers are probably going to vie for the SEC crown – Appleby vs. Etling!). It’s time to pleasantly surprise us, Boilers, and toss a couple wins on the board in early September. Give us a reason to cheer and I promise you we will.

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