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Purdue vs. Maryland Pre-Game Presser

NCAA Football: Nevada at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Darrell Hazell stepped to the mic today after can’t be right can it? Hold on...





Wow. It was a win! Let’s see what the coach has to say about the upcoming game against Maryland and some final thoughts on the team’s play against Nevada.

Opening Statement

Well, that was a really good win for us, to be able to overcome. I thought our kids had a lot of fight and I thought they never panicked. Really kudos goes out to the fans and the crowds. I thought they were outstanding throughout the course of the game, especially when we were down. They were loud on third down situations. So I really appreciate our fans that game.

Looking forward to go on the road for our first Big Ten opponent. Maryland, you watch their football team, they're 3-0 and they're doing a lot of nice things on all three phases of the game. It will be a good challenge for us as we hit the road on Saturday.

How does the team feel after that win?

I think our guys see a lot of play makers on the field on both sides of the ball. And that gives them the confidence, to be able to push the ball down the field and make some big plays in the passing game. To be able to run the ball efficiently and consistently gives you a chance at all times.

And then when you start to play good defense the way we did in the second half, really the last three quarters, you play good defense, you know you can get off the field.

People look around and they're starting to feel pretty good about themselves in the locker room.

Turnovers today, turnovers tomorrow, turnovers forever

Obviously we'll have to keep emphasizing the turnovers, which we've done since game 1. The two fumbles that Markell had, one they had a nice shot on and put their hand on the football. And the second one he's got to be a little bit more aware of the people behind him and rolling high and tight. David's interception, he'd like to have that football back, it was not a very good thrown football, and he knows that. And then Brian Lankford was a little bit careless with the ball on the one he turned over. Those are things that we have to clean up. Our guys know that, doesn't they'll work extremely hard to make sure that we eliminate those bad parts of our game right now.

I think the emphasis is always -- you never want to turn it over. But the emphasis has to be is we need to create some turnovers from a defense perspective. We're not getting a lot of turnovers ourselves. We have to get one or two or three, that's the thing that we need to start doing as a defense.

If you keep shooting yourselves in the foot you're not going to be as good as you can be, so we have to stop that and the offensive has a chance to be really, really good because there's multiple weapons that can hurt you.

Emotionally when you turn it over it drains you. But when you get one it charges you. Maybe that might be the biggest thing as you look at turnovers, other than the fact that field position plays such a big factor. If you get a turnover on the plus side of the 50, you're more than likely going to get points. So you've got to be really careful on obviously turning it over, but making sure you cross the 50 yard line.

For some reason someone asked about the Presidential Debate and if Hazell encourages his players to pay attention. Later on he was asked if he wanted to endorse a candidate.

I haven't talked to the team about it. But I certainly like to watch it. I came in 45 minutes last night. I got home at9:45 last night. So they were already in progress. But I sat up and watched them. I think it's interesting, to see those two go back and forth. It will be an exciting next couple of months.

No, I definitely don't want to do that. However, I do have a candidate but I will not give you an endorsement right now.

On Purdue’s run defense

I think every week is a big test in the running game. But I thought where we made the big step is we kept the edge of the defense. And we keep the edge on the defense, they only got out of us we think two times. If you keep the edge, you have a lot of good players on the inside. If you don't, all of a sudden you're outside one-on-one with the corner, one-on-one with the safety, which is not good. If we can continue to keep the edge on defense, eliminate gaps and penetrate, those three things, we'll play good defense, because we have good players over there.

Coach’s assessment of the team as B1G play kicks into gear

I feel really confident. We have to be consistent, I think that's the big key coming to this game. We have to be consistent in our energy and our style of play, relaxing not tensing up, being able to play the way we're capable, because we'll matchup.

Obviously the biggest (issue) is turnovers. But I think our energy has been good in all three games. I think our details can always be improved. I like the way we're trending right now.

On offensive coordinator Terry Malone

He's been really good. I think he's ahead of the sticks, the defenses most of the time. I think he's putting guys in position to -- I know he's putting guys in position. He's giving the quarterback enough options but not too many. So he always has an out. He's been really, really good for the first two or three weeks.

Third down defense (ducks)

A lot of our third down deals are coming on short yardage. Not a lot of them, but you're third and three, third and four, and those are hard to stop when you're getting quick outs and quick hitches. But it comes back to our actual technique. Because we have not been in blown coverages, and guys wide open in those situations. We've been in pretty good coverage, we just haven't made some of those third down plays.

Some thoughts on Austin Larkin and the defense in general

He (Larkin) wasn't a hundred percent, but he did play well. He's got a will about him, and whether it's his mode or his want-to, all those things that he has in his DNA, that's what makes him really special. And I went back and watched the sack that he had this morning, that was well dialed up. We had Brandon Roberts creeping off the edge, showing blitz. We had -- I can't remember which backer it was, stepping up in the big gap, it was Danny, he stepped up in the big gap. Garcia stepped in the other. Danny, he drops out to cover the short route and then the back has his eyes on Larkin right at the edge, right at the end he takes his eyes to take Roberts off the edge, and Larkin dialed up really well. Everyone was covered and the blitz got home, just the way you draw it.

On Evan Panfil specifically finishing plays

I don't know. That was a good sign, hoe (editor’s note: I know this is a typo but I just left it in for comic effect. This is how it came over to us.). You're right, he's -- in the past he's run by quarterbacks or slid off the quarterbacks. And this one he had two huge sacks in the game. Had a chance for a third one and ran by it. But we need him to play like that for us to be successful. He's got all the gifts. He's so fast. He's explosive, he's got a great will, also. Now he's starting to finish a little bit better, so we need him to execute and keep going that direction.

What is Purdue doing to be successful on third down offensively

I think it's a combination of a lot of things offensively. I think we're 59 percent in the country right now on third down conversions. If you can do that, you always talk about you get more play calls, you get more opportunities, you get more points. All those things correlated together. But I think we're getting some great calls by coach putting guys in matchups. Guys are making the plays, protection has been outstanding for us. All those things combined is what's leading to success on third downs for us.

Quick shout out to Bilal Marshall who has improved greatly.

I'm really happy for Bilal, because he worked so hard at it for the last few years. And trying to find his niche. He's a great team guy. To make that big play, to boost our sidelines right before the half. That was big, big for him. And I was happy for him.

There you have it folks. Those are what I consider the high notes of this week’s presser. Game day in four days. Boiler Up!!!