Mercifully there is just one game left in this football season beset by losses, firing of the head coach, loss of key players to injury, and off the field arrests coming to fore. Without further ado let’s see what coach Parker has to say before facing the Hoosiers.
Opening Statement (edited):
[H]appy Thanksgiving coming up. Bucket Week. We had a great practice last night and plan to have great practice the rest of the week and get ready for a very good Indiana team.
Coach Wilson has done a heck of a job there. I have met him a few times and always respected him ever since his times at Oklahoma okay all the way to here and what he's done on offense.
They are doing a great job on defense this year. They have got a great staff. I know a lot of those guys. They are great men, great football coaches, and they've done a great job. They've got plenty to play for in preparing to try to get bowl eligible, something they did last year as well. So there plenty to play for on their side.
Then on our side, we have, in my opinion, just as much or more to play for, in the legacy of the seniors to leave here at Purdue and how we all want to leave this program. We are all sitting here with a big long week of one more. It's one that matches up with our seniors and our coaches, because they have one more Tuesday left, we do too. We have one more Wednesday left together, we do too. It's our last game together.
We all have one more, sp we're going to act like that and behave like that. That's what's going to be requested asked of everybody in the whole program, is to behave like this is your last one, because it is, for the most part.
We've very, very excited about the opportunity to go over in Bloomington and play in the Bucket game. We understand what a great, great tradition, and it's a huge rivalry week for everyone in the country, and we're treating it no less to us.
What are the keys to beating Indiana?
The key is a going to be handling their tempo on offense and having good answers for what they are going to do with their offensive package, how they love to look at and you threes and get into good plays and bad plays. He's done that his whole career. They've done a great job. He's always had great numbers on offense, and they do this year.
So it will handling that tempo, and doing those things on our end on defense. On offense, we'll have to handle all their movement and aggressive nature on defense, which is a lot of bring one blitzes and a lot of movement up front to try to create negative plays to try to get you in third and long situations and compress you.
So there will a lot of man-on-one-on-one matchups in our pass game that we're going to have to win in order to get where we want to go. Then the kicking game will be huge, as always.
On recruiting at Purdue:
With every job -- I'll say this -- with every job you've got to find your niche. This is not avoiding. This is not a hard place to recruit to. The academics are excellent; the town, the city of West Lafayette and Lafayette is a great place to be. It's all about Purdue within these two cities. People love this place and want to see it do well.
Facilities are now caught up with the new building coming. There is always challenges every place to recruit, minus a couple places. But you find your niche and find what works and you can get guys here. Other people with similar situations as Purdue have done it and are doing it now in our league.
You can do it, but you got to have a great, great plan. You got to have ten guys with their hair on fire ready to recruit. When you go on the road, that's what it's got to be. I think if you do that, they'll come. They'll come. You know, like anything.
When you get them there, things build onto each other, breakthrough, and breakthrough again, and before you know it you're in a situation you're really, really happy about. There are challenges. Find your niche. This is a great university, great school, great place to live that kids will come to. They go everywhere else, similar places. Just got to know what you're selling and have ten guys that are on fire.
Does possibly being a spoiler to IU’s bowl season impact the motivation?
Sure. I don't know if it'll motivate them more or not. They know the situation. No one is talking about being a spoiler. You want to win the game. It's a rivalry game.
They certainly want to win it. They want to get bowl eligible. They want to keep the Bucket.
On our side, common sense tells you heck yeah, we want to get our win, get these seniors out the right way, and get the Bucket back to West Lafayette.
It's rivalry week. A lot riding on it for both teams. Again, I really believe -- and I'm not just saying that -- we have plenty to play for. Our guys believe we have plenty to play for.
So being highly motivated will not be a factor in this game for us.
What scares you about IU on offense?
Well, they use the whole width of the field. That's the thing you can bank on with Coach Wilson. Those guys, they do a great job. They've done a great job historically everywhere they've been on offense.
It's no different this year. They'll use the width of the field; they'll run the football and make sure to stop the run. They love to hand it off. They will do that. They take pride in playing great up front. Their offensive line is really, really good. It's been really, really good since the time I've been sear.
Any time you get a staff like that that's worked together and continue to build on it, you're getting a great run game and then they'll throw the football and break you out and get you in space. They do a good job of taking a picture of your defense, too. They'll do the freeze count and you'll see them looking through the sidelines. They do a good job of being able to take a picture and get them into the right plays they want to see. They do a good job of it.
What happens with Coach Parker and the rest of the staff after Saturday?
We don't know. There is a lot of stuff in question, and rightfully so. Nobody can fix it. Nothing we can do. We'll get through the game Saturday and come back Sunday and kind of wait on things.
Everybody obviously will take care of things they can take care of with getting stuff put together for them professionally as far as resumes and those things. Have that stuff in order and get ready to wait and see what happened here in the future for football and everyone's future outside of here.
What does the Bucket mean to Coach Parker?
The Bucket, to me, means a chance to serve our players and serve our staff one really good smile.
You know, it's funny you ask that question. Going to be a question everybody answers today in our team meeting. For me, that is what the Bucket means. I am working this week doing everything in my power to get our guys ready to go try to do this.
What the Bucket means to me is to serve our staff and players and afford them the right to be able to walk off as seniors with the Bucket, and the staff the same.
And last, but certainly not least, what is the Thanksgiving food Coach Parker must have?
Probably mashed potatoes and gravy.
While I respect that answer it’s hard to argue against either a delicious moist turkey or a pumpkin roll. I’ll duck my head as you all tell me in the comments how wrong I am about pumpkin rolls and/or Turkey. Happy (early) Thanksgiving folks.