The good folks at Fifth Third Bank have been nice enough to sponsor a second post, and today they are asking for a key player on each side of the ball for the 2012 Purdue season. I am going to go off board from the usual suspects here and cite a couple of players that you may not think of.
Offense - Kevin Pamphile
Pamphile has allegedly won the derby to replace Dennis Kelly at the vacant left tackle position. I have come to accept that Danny Hope and Gary Nord are married to the multiple quarterback system come hell or high water. The only thing preventing that is injury, and I can't wish injury on two of the three guys. Since we're going to go with multiple QBs they need to be protected. Last season our pass protection sucked at times, and the left tackle position, which protects the quarterback's blind side, is critical in that regard.
the passing game will only be as good as Pamphile performs in this spot, Justin Kitchens could also see time here, but as the starter Pamphile has the frame to be a dominant left tackle. What he needs to do is knock defensive ends on their ass and prevent them from getting to the quarterback. Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve will have time to throw if Pamphile does this.
Defense - Antwon Higgs
Higgs was expected to be a reserve until Dwayne Beckford decided he really needed some bath salts to get high on instead of play like he wanted to get into the NFL. Since getting high was more important than his senior year of football Higgs gets a chance to step in for him.
Higgs is certainly big enough to be effective against the run at 6'3" 246. He has not played extensively since 2009 and event spent time at defensive end before moving back to linebacker. He is the most critical spot on the defense because he has to be effective against the run and cover the middle of the field in third down passing situations. He'll be helped up front because Bruce Gaston and Kawann Short should be effective tackles in runs up the middle, but passing downs, especially on third and long, have to be a priority. there can be no more uncovered slants for 12 yards on third and 10.