Purdue Football -- A BS Therapy Session
We're about a month out and Big Ten media days just happened. While everyone seems ready and willing to skip to basketball season, reports are surfacing that Purdue will in fact be required to field a football team in 2015. In case you've forgotten or blotted it out with scotch....Coach Hazell's Purdue resume:
1-11 in year 1 3-9 in year 2 One win vs Big Ten competition 0-2 vs IU
So a couple questions to the BS staff.... what are your expectations for 2015 Purdue football and what do you think *should* be expected of this program at this point? If you like/liked Darrell Hazell, do you still think he's the guy to bring them back?
Dave (zlionsfan): And we're talking more realistic, as opposed to basketball, where at this point it's more like "what could happen" than "oh no, not again."
Well, the schedule isn't good. Marshall was solid last season, even considering they're a mid-major team. Indiana State made it to the second round of the I-AA playoffs. Virginia Tech's offense had another bad season, which means they were just an average major-conference team instead of a contender. At least there's Bowling Green, which is I think what I said about Central Michigan last season.
Illinois is Homecoming, which may be the best football decision Burke's made in 20 years. Other than that, ugh. No Rutgers. Northwestern's a road game. At some point Indiana will figure out defense.
My expectation is that Purdue will barely seem to improve from last season. They'll be a better team, but the results won't be much better. Too many other teams are improving faster. They might not even win four games. Bowling Green, Illinois, uh ... uh ... OK, just kidding, Indiana State.
What should be expected? That's a good question. Part of the problem is that football doesn't lend itself to easy answers, not at the college level. There are just too many different scenarios to be able to say "typically in this situation, you should see X by season 3 and Y by season 4." I'll give it a try, though.
FO had Purdue 114th in F/+ in 2013. That's a little rough, but there's always a transition with a coaching chance, and honestly the 2012 team wasn't that good. Hazell got them up to 84th last season. That's a huge jump, but then you don't have to be a Purdue math student to see that 84th is not where any reasonable major-conference team should be. If you think that a lot of the rebuilding was necessary because Hope was in over his head from day one, then I think reasonable expectations would be to jump to the 60s this season (roughly the Iowa-Northwestern range in 2014) and the 50s moving forward, i.e. not contenders, but bowl-caliber teams every season.
If you think that cleaning up is part of the job, then I can see expecting a bowl appearance this season ... I just don't think this is the schedule for it. Even if you put Indiana and Northwestern in the win column, that's still just 5, although from what I can tell the ISU game would count toward bowl eligibility. I don't think there's much overlap between the people who expect a bowl appearance this season and the people who think Purdue can earn it in 2015.
I don't know if Hazell's the guy. I just don't think Purdue could have done better ... and unless they're careful, the next coach will be worse.
Michael (rrt1): Yeah I don't know what to say about this. I expect the team to _play_ better, but I don't actually expect the team to post a better record, at least not a much better record. Which sucks. These last few years have been incredibly disheartening as a Purdue fan, and the general suckiness has pushed me from excitement, to frustration, and now, to apathy. I'm still going to watch of course, but I'm not going to feel bad if football on Saturday mornings is superseded by other activities this fall. I mean, what's the appeal in tuning in week after week to watch your team get the shit kicked out of them? But since I'm incapable of picking hobbies that actually make me happy, I'll still be there, tuned in.
Continuing with the negative theme (I'm great at parties), my biggest concern is the QB. Appleby has been in the system for two years, Blough for one, and yet we still have a quarterback competition that will extend into the late summer. The fact that the coaches haven't seen enough at this point to make a decision they're 100% comfortable with is very concerning to me. And honestly, I can't really blame them. I'm not sure they have a ton of great options in front of them. Frankly, I'm a little concerned that the best attributes associated with our QB options have little to do with their actual play at quarterback. Stated another way, I'm pretty meh that our QBs have "moxie", or "leadership potential", or "grit". I'd rather they have "a strong arm", "a quick release", or "they always make the right decisions". It's pretty messed up that the positive attributes used to describe our QBs give me the most worry.
There are other areas of concerns as well (will the OL gel? do we have a workhorse RB, or a suitable stable?) but I want to end on a positive note. I think our defense is going to be pretty good, led by a linebacker corp that could be considered top-3 in the conference. They are big and fast and hit hard and I can't wait to see them play. The secondary looks solid as well, and there's plenty of talent on the defensive end. There's a good chance our defense keeps us in games we otherwise wouldn't be in this year.
As for expectations, I'm thinking four wins and another annoying offseason full of the blame game to follow. Coach H isn't going anywhere (and I like him, btw) any time soon, and I think enough progress will shown to make whether he should stay or not an argument.
Dave (zlionsfan): Yeah, the QB situation is a problem. While the position isn't as important as it is now in the NFL, I think there are two types of teams that can succeed in I-A ball: teams with solid QBs and teams with incredible RB talent. Hazell seems to prefer the latter: it didn't matter that Spencer Keith was a meh QB (12th in the MAC in efficiency and AY/A) because they had two RBs who gained 1300+ each.
But they lost the MAC title to a team with the conference leader in efficiency and AY/A (with 20% more attempts than Keith, so it isn't like Lynch threw only as a secondary option). As dominant as a rushing game can be, you can't outrun a pass: a team that can pass and run will always have an edge over a team that is just a running team.
Is this where we talk about how John Shoop isn't helping at all? Also, did everyone see that South Florida hired Hope as co-OC? For a team that barely topped 300 yards a game against a weak schedule last season, that might actually be an improvement.
J: I'll be honest -- I have little to no optimism about this upcoming season. I've learned with Purdue that if I haven't seen *anything* to make me think they'll improve, they probably won't improve. There are people talking about how they *must* take a step forward this year and I've talked to people who say they have to make a bowl and others who seem to think that's a good likelihood. I think that's nonsense, honestly.
I think the team will indeed be better but as Michael says, the record probably won't reflect that. This is a tough schedule. Going to Marshall is no small task -- I know people point out that they lost some of the key guys from that 13-1 team, but I don't care. Purdue going on the road into a place where they'll be ravenous for the scalp of a Big Ten team is a bad formula to me. Va Tech at home? As b-dowd said to me last year when we talked about it, "You don't want any part of Beamer." And he's absolutely right. If they come through those first four at 2-2, take the money and run, friends. But then there are also people talking about how there are winnable games in the Big Ten, particularly the West. Yeah, okay, maybe there are, but Darrell Hazell is 1-15 in the Big Ten in his first two years. Good gracious, that looks worse written out that I realized. So who is he going to beat? Illinois at home? Yes, I think I'll give you that -- Beckman should be a hell of a show all season as he embarrasses Illinois into finally canning him, so by Nov 7, the Illini should be cooked as they cruise into a fifth-filled Ross-Ade for their showdown with the Boilermakers.
But do you know what the month before that holds for Purdue? At Michigan State, vs Minnesota, at Wisconsin, vs Nebraska. There will be people who say that they can beat Minnesota and, sure, that's probably your best shot in that month... but that's not happening, either.
So then they're 2-6 (0-4) heading into the following final four games, needing to win them all to make a bowl: vs Illinois, at Northwestern, at Iowa, vs Indiana. If they were to somehow win all four and back their way into a bowl game, this season would look a lot like Danny Hope's final season. The one that sealed his fate. So just think... here we are, now hoping for a season the likes of which got Danny Hope fired.
Yeah, I'm hyped.
Boilerdowd: Every time I pass a fellow Boiler on the street, I ask, "How is this fall going to be for us?"
I haven't had one say, "Great!" "Pretty good" or even "Should be better."
The point is, none of us are alone in our sentiment of "Can't wait until basketball season." That mantra should be the drum beat of IU fans...but they don't even say it anymore (for multiple reasons).
I watched the BTN Elite show about the 2000 Boilers twice this past week on DVR...and made LBD watch it with me while I explained sidebars...for no other reason than he needs to know that it wasn't always this way. It wasn't always crappy in the fall in God's Country...and the good guys used to beat good teams, they used to entertain, surprise and flat-out WOW us...but those memories are getting tougher to conjure up...even tougher (without the aid of videos) to remember vividly.
Brees bringing our Boilers out of a self-dug grave v. aOSU is still my favorite sports memory of all time...and it's ancient history.
A salty Oline helped define that team, but good or bad, at the end of the day that team's success was defined by quarterback play. The same thing can be said for ANY Purdue team with any level of success in the last 30 years (in other words, in my memory)...with just one exception.
Appleby or Blough have to emerge as a legit All-BT type of player, and quickly, for Purdue to even flirt with a bowl game...and Shoop and Hazell have to get their heads out of their collective rectum for the offense to set a tone.
Will they be better than last season? I think so. But four or five wins still sucks, regardless of the schedule...and I think that's where this team lands. For me, it was unacceptable for Purdue to never beat anyone of substance under Tiller and Hope and squeak into a 6-win bowl game...So what we've been watching for the last two seasons is flat-out deplorable.
I really don't care about the reason anymore- I don't care about excuses of the state of the roster. This team is Hazell's in year three. Time to get something done.
I'm damned sick of swinging between apathetic and sarcastic on gamedays in West LaLa...and while I love Hazell the guy that I perceive him to be, a football coach is hired to lead tough, good and winning football teams. J Money is a great guy...If Morgan just wants a good guy coaching the team, they can hire him and win 2-3 games per season and save themselves $5 or $6 per year.
Time for Hazell's teams to upset a few opponents.
Michael (rrt1): Who do y'all think will be the starting quarterback, and do you think he'll start all season. I'm going to guess Appleby and say yes, because if we switch QBs again I might go insane. Boilerdowd: I say AA as well.
J: Yeah, it’s Appleby. You could tell Hazell sees him as the starter at media days. He’s only yanked if they’re positively atrocious and the season is lost after five or six games.
Dave (zlionsfan): I'd actually like to see one of the freshmen get the job, especially if Appleby hasn't yet won it. I'd rather have one guy in place for 3-4 years, plus as much as we'd like to believe otherwise, I'm not sure Appleby's ceiling is much higher than what we've seen so far - obviously that's harder to tell on a program where the offense is bad than on one where some parts are clearly better than others. (In other words, it could easily be the WRs or the OL keeping all the QBs down. Or the offensive coordinator. Probably that.)
Yeah, if AA gets it, he could be the man for 3 years, but you know what I mean.
Michael (rrt1): I like the idea of having a multi-year QB, but I wonder if being thrown out there too early is what ruined Etling? Etling had all the talent in the world but got abused and was never the same. I’d hate to see that happen to Blough or Sindelar.
Aneesh the Swamy: STOP THE RECORD, IT’S TIME FOR THE KING TO WEIGH IN.
My ‘willingness to skip to basketball season’ probably stems from Coach Hazell’s opening statement at Big Ten Media Day, when he said “You take a look at our football team, they just look like a Big Ten football team. We put on 420 pounds of lean muscle mass since January, which you know, that's a good thing for us. We're starting to look the part.”
We’re starting to look the part. Look. LOOK. Look the part. Not play. Look. Because of muscles.
Thank God Illinois exists, because now nobody is talking about how awful Purdue football has been since Curtis Painter. Yes, consider that sentence for a second, then drown your sorrows at the nearest beverage establishment.
But then I hear him talk about the talent at running back for Purdue, and I get pumped. Markel Jones, Keyante
Green, and Dexter Knox have me itching to watch some actual Purdue football. The linebacking, for the first time in a decade, could the best lineup on the field every Saturday. And I could listen to Hazell bullsh*t the media for hours.
That’s one issue with the notion of “expectations” in 2015…I can get unbelievably pumped every time GBI posts a practice video, or a story about a 4 star recruit considering Purdue, or tweeting a great quote from a young promising player.
But when I think back to the actual problems on the field, and the schedule this year, and Hazell’s Big Ten Media Day opening statement and I get mopey. The offensive line will be a disaster. I’ll disagree with Mike and say that I can’t name a single impactful member of the secondary outside of Frankie Williams. Pass rushing, which has been a staple of recent Purdue teams, could be rough. And the receiving corps might not actually know how to catch a ball. Reality is a cruel sonofa sometimes.
I do think Purdue will improve this year, but it might not be reflected in the win/loss column. Like you all voiced very well, the 2015 schedule isn’t friendly and some of the most talented pieces of this team don’t have enough (or, any) Big Ten experience. But even with a favorable schedule, I don’t see this team as even close to a bowl-caliber roster.
That brings us to a terrifying question: Is Hazell still the guy? I think I’m leaning yes, but it’s a very different yes than my consistent caping for Coach Painter. Hazell hasn’t had any level of high major success to speak of, and his biggest wins seem to be in the press room. But, honestly, that attitude difference is still pretty refreshing and every recruit/parent seems to have only great things to say after meeting with Hazell. The parts I’m most concerned with are his general lack of creativity on both sides of the ball. If anything has defined the Hazell era, it’s confidence off the field and conservatism on it…which is why I think he will stick with Appleby for the whole season. But I’m a huge believe of continuity, and think Hazell has the chops to be given 6 years to rebuild the program.
This year, the over/under for wins should be set at 3.5 and I’m on the fence. If everyone else is being a pessimist, then I guess for the sake of interesting debate I’ll take the over (just barely) and say Purdue beats Indiana State, Bowling Green, Illinois, and Indiana. I disagree pretty vehemently with Dowd saying that 4/5 wins sucks regardless of context, and only results matter, but after years of being unbelievably irrelevant I understand the sentiment. Again, I’m not sure if 4 wins is cause for celebration, or if that even counts as “progress” in the eyes of many fans, but I do hope we’ll see a more exciting product on the field in Hazell’s third year.
And if we don’t…well…did you guys hear that Caleb Swanigan is the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain??
J: Hazell’s 420 lbs of muscle comment bothered me because of the math…if there are ~100 guys on the roster of a CFB team, that means each guy on average gained….four lbs of muscle?
Aneesh the Swamy: I just realized this:
A four year graduate from the Spring of 2015 class only saw four Big Ten victories at Ross-Ade Stadium. Four. 4.
Someone pass the pepto, I’ll bring the whiskey.
Dave (zlionsfan): I was going to say no big deal, but if I’d graduated in four years, I’d have seen 7 Big Ten wins from 1985-88.
Boilerdowd: Shoop is the problem…three QBs, all the same problem of holding onto the ball too long. Four or five wins absolutely sucks…IU has averaged around four wins the past decade. Purdue has two games they should win in the pre-con…then beating Illinois and IU and you’ve got four wins…and you suck.
Not sure you know this, but as Herm Edwards says, “You play to win the game.”
Six wins isn’t even good in this era.
Dave (zlionsfan): It's kind of a no-win situation (perhaps literally). Appleby will struggle with Shoop as OC, but so would either of the freshmen. It'd be nice for one of them to get experience against Big Ten opponents, but it's true that putting a QB in a bad situation can slow or stop his growth. And if that happens, then in two years we'll see the same situation: upperclassmen who aren't clearly the best, younger QBs who aren't yet good enough to take the job.
Boilerdowd: If he can't do it behind this year's Oline, he shouldn't start next season. If he can't beat BGSU and ISU, he should lose the job by game 5.
Michael (rrt1): I may be ignorant, but why are we so sure Shoop is the problem? I thought the offense looked actually pretty solid last year...until Purdue only non-RB weapon Danny Anthrop got injured against Nebraska. After a slow start, Purdue put up point totals of 35, 10, 38, 31, 38 in the five games prior to the Nebraska game. I remember thinking the playcalling in those games was pretty good, and the scoring output wasn't too bad either. After he went down, Purdue didn't have a single receiver who could catch the damn ball, so they were reduced to a 1-dimensional team with a shoddy offensive line. I ain't got no fancy SEC football edumacationing but that doesn't strike me as a situation that would enable success. I mean shit, Anthrop missed four whole games, and still had over 300 more yards receiving than the next guy. Who, btw, was a running back. A TE came in third. Our second best receiver, statistically, was Cameron Posey, who had half as many catches as Anthrop. He was followed by the embodiment of disappointment that is Gabe Holmes, who himself was followed by our third best WR (statistically) Gregory Phillips, who only had 10 catches and ZERO TDs.
Am I making excuses, yeah probably. But it seems pretty clear that outside of Anthrop and the RBs, Purdue has had very little talent at the skill positions on offense. When Shoop had his one talented receiver healthy and two solid running backs, the offense produced (the defense, however, did not, giving up more than 30 points in all but 2 games). Shoop is an easy punching bag because half of Purdue's fanbase is made up of butthurt Bears fans, but there isn't an offense coordinator brilliant enough to make up for the fact that your receivers can't catch and your offensive line can't block.
Dave (zlionsfan): Well, three-fifths of your argument seems to be Southern Illinois, Illinois, and fewer points against Iowa than anyone other than Northwestern (even Ball State scored 13). 31 and 38 against Michigan State and Minnesota, those were pretty good outings ... except two TDs against MSU came in the fourth quarter of what was a 38-17 game. The Minnesota game was good - 5 TD drives of 60+ yards.
Historically, Shoop's offenses have been crap unless he's had an abundance of talent to work with. He's obviously not the whole problem, but he's one of the worst OCs Hazell could find for this situation. He needs someone who can build a reasonable offense out of scraps, not a guy who can't figure out first downs unless Sid Luckman is running plays.
Boilerdowd: So Purdue loses a two-star WR and the offense goes to hell? Shoop didn’t adjust crap after Anthrop went down…and it showed.
The offensive numbers are a bit inflated, too, because many teams give their 2s and even 3s plenty of downs when they’re up big.
It’s all broken.
Michael (rrt1): Southern Illinois I'll give you, but Illinois did somehow manage to make a bowl last year.
I have a bone to pick with this statement:
"he's one of the worst OCs Hazell could find for this situation"
Who would be the right OC for this situation? This situation being, our QB couldn't take a five step drop without running for his life, and our receivers would drop balls that hit them right between the numbers. Our only strength was our RBs and they would get hit behind the line more often than not. Shoop and Hazell aren't completely faultless here, but come on, there is no mythological offensive scheme or OC creativity that could account for the deep, systemic problems with Purdue's offense. I just don't have any confidence in the idea that someone else (that Purdue would have a chance to hire) could come in and do a better job.
Dave (zlionsfan): The Big Tenteen is one agreement away from getting 4-8 teams into bowls, and to clarify, I don't mean between 4 and 8 teams.
A better OC would be one that doesn't rely on stars to make things happen; it probably wasn't possible to draw, say, James Coley away from Florida State, but I'd take Lincoln Riley from East Carolina if Oklahoma hadn't taken him first.
Oh! Here we go. How about Bill Legg at Marshall? I think he might have some experience in this kind of situation.
Michael (rrt1): Bill Legg, the former co-offensive coordinator at Purdue? He's apparently been applying for HC positions left and right, so I don't know how interested he would be, but he has a pretty solid track record.
I think this is the old debate between talent and coaching, and in truth, the relationship between the two (and how it relates to a team's success) to too opaque for us to clearly delineate where exactly the majority of the responsibility for the horrid last two years of Purdue football lies. Damnit, now I'm all depressed.
Dave (zlionsfan): Well, one advantage might be that if he can make the offense work, if the overall success isn't where it needs to be, there's a replacement candidate right there - maybe even at the interim level (although we know that's generally a terrible idea in college).
There's also the issue of pay (Shoop's $400K was pretty low among publicly-available I-A salaries, even with the $330K in bonus cash he almost certainly didn't get). Guys who can run I-A offenses generally want to be paid for doing that. OTOH, Legg made less than $250K at Marshall with bonuses included. Riley made about $280K at East Carolina. (Coley's salary wasn't available.)
Ugh. That makes it seem more like Burke/Hazell posted the position on Craigslist and hired the first guy who responded.
Whose idea was it to talk about football?
J: Remember when Kliff Kingsbury was coaching the offense at Houston and then A&M? That's the kind of OC I want at Purdue. I don't need a semi/arguably "proven" guy like Shoop....I want a guy who recognizes the talent gap is *never* going to seem fair at Purdue and rolls with it. Someone clever, hungry, willing to adapt, etc.
I hate to keep going back to it, but Tiller took a 3 win team and made it a 9 win team in his first season. Sure you can argue about what talent he had to work with (compared to Hazell) but he made Billy Dicken -- a guy who was working at DB the previous year -- into a feared QB in 1997. And he did it by bringing the then-uncommon-in-the-Big-Ten spread to Purdue.
Michael (rrt1): Ok, that's an interesting point. When Tiller came on board he looked around the Big 10 and saw a bunch of "3 yards and a cloud of dust" teams and decided that he'd never be able to compete with that. So he spread 'em out, had his QBs throwing all over the place and took the rest of the conference by surprise and that's how he managed to get 9 wins.
I just got done reading the latest Malcom Gladwell book (which, I know he's hit or miss, but bear with me), and the premise of the book is how the little guy can go about standing up to the big guy. And the tie that binds as far as each of his chosen anecdotes is concerned is that it's a fool's errand to attack goliath using goliath's rules. Does goliath the giant want to engage you in a melee in close quarters? Keep your distance and use your slingshot. Do something unexpected and completely different than what everyone else is doing, make them adapt to you and you give yourself a chance.
So...in 2015, what does that look like for a team like Purdue? Seems like all the best teams are moving to the spread, with the QB in shotgun position and a focus on quick decisions (read #1, read #2, neither open, hit your safety valve; focus on getting guys into space as quick as possible). What's the counter to that? It seems like this coaching staff is very much focused on a "traditional" pro style offense. Is the lack of creativity due to a roster full of guys who don't have the ability to execute, or is the coaching staff holding the team back? Is the whole philosophy of "stay in your lane, do one thing as well as you possibly can" giving Purdue the best chance to succeed, or ensuring mediocrity?
J: I think it's all very different today because back then the league was exactly as you said. Recruiting fast, athletic DBs wasn't as critical because nobody threw that much. But now, there's no way you can just switch back -- all the speed on the good teams means that a traditional, pro style "stay in your lane" offense quickly becomes too predictable and easy to gobble up -- especially when you have better athletes.
I think that's the trick -- don't be predictable. I don't know what that is in 2015 -- if I did, I'd be a coach. But I know I'd enjoy more misdirection, more disguised plays...not trick plays necessarily, but formations that throw off a defense or at least keep them on their heels. Your only hope, in my opinion, against faster, more talented opponents is to keep them guessing. If they know you can't throw downfield at all (2013), then they absolutely stack the line and crush your running plays and passes in the flat. That part, to me, is fixable and is the kind of thing the OC needs to be held accountable for.
Are you going to beat national contenders with third stringers and misdirection? No, probably not. But losing to IU repeatedly is unacceptable no matter who is hurt or playing.
Dave (zlionsfan): Spread offenses are much more popular now largely because they don't rely nearly as much on 10v11 matchups and much more on 1v1 matchups: pick a defender and make him wrong. Some variations on this are read option, inverted veer, that kind of thing, where you have 2-4 choices based on where a specific defender goes. Beyond that, we're seeing more teams running packaged plays - basically the same things, but including pre-snap reads. It's like an advanced version of Madden audibles, where instead of picking five plays that all have the same formation (you guys did this too, right?), you're actually combining all those plays into one and just doing the one that works each time.
As Smart Football's Chris Brown points out, you don't even have to do this from the spread (although it's easier sometimes because you spread the defense out too, so keys are probably easier to read). But I don't know that I've seen Purdue do this. It's hard to say without someone talking about it - kind of like you don't really know what defense is being run unless the DC or a defender tells you - but I don't remember Purdue making a good defense wrong over and over. Would you have wanted the 2014 offense in hurry-up mode last season? No. I suspect that's our answer.
I would combine what you two said. To be competitive, a Purdue OC has to get the right kind of talent (no Boiler coach is going to get a crop of 5-stars every year, so they need to find guys that are the right fit), develop enough players to create multiple mismatches, and exploit those mismatches on a regular basis. Instead what we get is "where's Anthrop?" and "LOOK HERE COMES A FAST GUY AROUND THE OUTSIDE".A big, power-based team can work if you have Wisconsin-style OL. If you don't, you have to do it differently. I don't think Shoop can do that.
Boilerdowd: In that case, this team might be OK...this line will be a monster group.
Dammit- you broke the negativity.
Aneesh the Swamy: This is a beautiful discussion. My only two cents:
Smart Football's Chris Brown is a Purdue alum, and (still) a fan. He'd be great for some perspective on how Hazell can differentiate his talent-stricken offense. One of the best x's-and-o's football writers on the interwebs, His Grantland breakdown of Michigan State's defense and Pat Narduzzi's approach was my favorite CFB article last year.
And I've been reading rumblings that Terry Malone, the new tight ends coach brought in from the New Orleans Saints, is some sort of an OC-in-waiting. I'd support that type of internal hire if Hazell moves on from Shoop next summer, but I'm still afraid that the sweatervest-conservative offensive tendencies of Hazell would be the prevailing direction.
Dave (zlionsfan): The wishbone is conservative, right? Look at Georgia Tech last season.
(looks up Malone) Former Michigan OC? Hmm. (looks up Wikipedia section) DO WANT. Granted, those numbers were with Michigan recruits, who were doubtless significantly higher-rated than Purdue recruits are/will be. So it's hard to know how he would do without a five-star QB at the helm, freshman or not. But he at least seems familiar with the passing game. (Coached Jimmy Graham, right? What position group did he work out with? Answer: whichever one he wanted.)
That seems like enough teeth-gnashing for now…. What say you, Purdue fans? Any reason for optimism?