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The T-Bag for September 10

You had questions, T-Mill had answers. We didn't promise good ones.

There is no opponent Q&A this week as I could not find an Indiana State-centric football blog. Instead, I requested questions for another T-bag via twitter. Let’s get started:

We’re playing an FCS team and it is clear we’re far better than two years ago. After the way Purdue was able to physically dominate Marshall, losing mostly because of self-inflicted wounds, I expect more of the same against an even smaller and more overmatched team.

You should never be in "just win" territory over an FCS team. Purdue is allowed to have 22 more scholarship athletes than the Sycamores. Being in "just win" territory is a flat out embarrassment and honestly, Big Ten teams that struggle with FCS teams, even good ones, should be embarrassed. We’re paying Indiana State for a win. Do what needs to be done and blow them out. Anything inside of a double-digit victory should be cause for panic.

I do think consistency is the key. Aside from Appleby being awful with four picks Purdue did almost everything right. You can survive a missed field goal here or an overthrow there, but turning the ball over, especially when it results in a defensive score, is huge.

Purdue managed to show a physical running game that has been largely absent since, well, ever. On defense Purdue was able to get off the field on third down and did not let a team convert more than 50% of third downs. Again, this is the first time in forever this has happened and should not be overlooked when the Boilers were dead last in the conference by a wide margin in this category the entire time Hazell has been here.

Really, It comes down to Appleby. If he plays better, we win. Simple as that. If he has even half the interceptions, we win. Of course, since we’re talking about the quarterback position that is a gigantic if.

I still think Purdue could make a bowl, but the next two games after Indiana State are critical for that. There is no way Purdue goes bowling if it loses both. Virginia Tech has no offense with a backup quarterback running things and Bowling Green is a shootout team with no defense. Both are very winnable games if Appleby and co. limit their mistakes. Once in the Big Ten there are plenty of flawed teams to beat. Only Wisconsin and Michigan State truly scare me. Purdue has the ability to beat the other 6, but it needs that consistency.

It is hard to say. If Appleby struggles against an FCS team in Indiana State we could see a change against VaTech, but do you want David Blough making his college debut against that defense? I think the earliest we could see a change is Bowling Green. If Purdue beats Indiana State but loses to VaTech the game against Bowling Green becomes critical for any bowl hopes.

As for who gets the nod, it will be Blough. Purdue has only three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster and one of them is a true freshman still recovering from a knee injury. Blough got most of the first team snaps other than Appleby in camp and is the logical choice.

It is very tempting to redshirt him. It is clear he is not 100% and Purdue does have some other options. DeAngelo Yancey, Domonique young, and Anthony Mahoungou all looked pretty good last week. There is some depth there if Appleby can get receivers the ball. I would save him for next year in what could be a make or break year because he is clearly not 100%.

Well, I can’t talk Juan and Andrew into posing for a "Men of Purdue" calendar. I am in my mid-30’s and have the dadbod thing working, so I doubt it is that appealing.

Relax, everyone. I think this week is going to be surprisingly easy for us.

Absolutely! Maryland is going to be tough, but I like playing them twice. Getting a split with them at home allows us to control our own destiny for the title. Other teams like Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State are going to be tough. The one I don’t understand is Indiana. So you replace your lone post player with a freshman (albeit talented) and suddenly your plethora of wings will be able to play defense and not be so streaky? Sure! Once Thomas Bryant gets in foul trouble (and it will happen) that team is screwed.

I expect a top 4 finish in the Big Ten for Purdue. The frontcourt is top notch. Purdue just needs more three-point shooting (and how do you space Cline, Mathias, and Stephens there?) and a calming presence at the point. If anything, I wonder how the minutes will be doled out. Clearly has and Hammons will rotate at the 5. At the 4 Swanigan and Taylor can play if we want to go big or Smotherman if we want to go smaller and quicker. I am excited to see what Vince Edwards can do offensively as a three, but does he take away minutes from Rapheal Davis? Does Davis shift to the two at times? The backcourt has talent, but it remains to be seen how it will fit. At the very least Purdue can be extremely versatile with its 3 and 4 spots.

Alcohol seems to work best. Bonus that there is plenty of time to get home and drink during night football since our AD hates night football.