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Five Guys and Whys: Who is your QB?

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Can a two-qb situation be the answer?

NCAA Football: Purdue at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I want to share a story with you. There's a new coach in town and his first season has brought on a big change in a program that used to be bum. Everyone is thrilled. We all believe, but there's still one nagging mystery. Who is our qb?

Here are the QB's stat lines through six games:

62-90, 688 yards, 7 tds 4 ints

63-119, 769 yards, 6 tds 3 ints

Which QB is which?

Follow up.

Who do you want behind center going forward?

Travis Miller:

QB 1 is Blough and QB 2 is Sindelar, and I choose Blough. Despite throwing one more interception he has been more accurate and he had the longest run of sustained excellent play so far. Sure, it was against Ohio and Missouri, but that was the most potent run of offense we have had. Guess what? The remaining teams aren't exactly a lot better than Ohio and Missouri! Rutgers and Illinois are, well, Rutgers and Illinois. Nebraska looks bad too. Iowa and Northwestern will be tricky on the road, but Blough can get us a split.

To me, Sindelar has looked just a little too shaky at times. He hasn't had a run of consistency like the end of the Ohio game and the first half against Missouri. I'll pick Blough.

Juan Crespo:

Blough is the 62-90 guy, while Sindelar is the 63-119 guy.

Honestly, I'm okay with keeping the 2-QB system. Blough has more accuracy and can move the ball with his feet, while Sindelar is cool, calm, and collected behind the line. I'm still #TeamBlough, but I'm okay with Sindelar being QB because I know he too can get the job done.

Sindelar offers a nice spark to the offense when he takes the field, but it can quickly diminish the longer he stays out there. If you look at his touchdown drives, they're either within the first two drives of a half (or after a rain delay), or after he subs in for Blough. Pretty soon, though, the offense starts to break down and you start to get a string of 3 and outs, which can really kill momentum and tire your own defense (see the Michigan game). Blough, on the other hand, is almost a guarantee and can move the offense down the field like a well-oiled machine...until he turns it over. The problem with Blough and his turn overs is that when it starts to rain, it pours. He's only thrown 4 interceptions (I say only because he had 21 last year), but they've come as back-to-back INTs against Louisville and Minnesota, and that's the problem.

Turnovers happen, and even the best quarterbacks will throw interceptions, the question is how do you respond to them? Unfortunately for Blough, he responds to them by throwing another interception. The painful thing about his 2nd interceptions against Louisville and Minnesota were that they both occurred AFTER he drove the offense down the field past the 50, and both passes were picked off in the endzone for touchbacks. Those are absolute back breakers because the offense is about to respond well to a turnover only to have it taken away because of a bad throw. Blough is this close to being a near-perfect quarterback for Purdue, and if he completed either one of those drives, especially against Minnesota, we would have seen more of him against Minnesota and Wisconsin.

I think that Blough needs a bit more playing time. He only came in for one series against Wisconsin, and the offensive line gave him no help as they let him get sacked twice. He barely got the snap off before getting sacked the second time, yet Brohm yanked him right away. We saw his potential against Ohio and Missouri as he played nearly perfect game, as well as in the Louisville game before the interceptions. If he can cut down on the turnovers, or at least respond better to them, Blough is the way to go, with Sindelar as a very-very good back up.

Andrew Ledman:

I'm pretty sure Blough is the top stat line with 7 TDs and 4 INTs. I think I can remember each one of them so that's what I'm basing this on. I could be wrong though (I'm purposefully not googling it).

I stand by my statement from our earlier podcast that Sindelar is the one I want playing going forward. The stats show that there's not a giant difference between them (the one I believe is Blough does have a better completion percentage), but I just feel like Sindelar has something there that Blough does not. Plus, I said it earlier and I'll say it again, Brohm is building toward the future and stability at QB is one of the biggest things this team has lacked for roughly the last decade. If they can go with the guy who is a year younger and ride him to the QB of the future I say go for it. No disrespect to Blough but I just expect more out of him and I'm not seeing it. Make mine Eli.

Kyle Holderfield:

I think I know who is who on the stats.

The top stat guy is who you want, but stats can be skewed. Give me the top guy just based on stats.

Who do I want though? I want Elijah Sindelar. He is great in the system. Sure, he makes some mistakes, but it is less than Blough right now.

Sindelar takes care of the ball a bit better, but is definitely less accurate. It hurts him, but he has the bigger arm and makes the best choices.

Don't forget, Sindelar was recruited by Jeff Brohm at Western Kentucky as well. It isn't his guy, but at the same time, it is. He is more familiar with Elijah.

Casey Bartley:

They’re all right. The top stat line is Blough, the bottom Sindelar.

Look, I get it. Those four Blough interceptions have been really bad. But I can’t get over Sindelar’s completion percentage. You just can’t have a successful offense if you’re only completing half of your passes. The run game has stalled, particularly with Sindelar in, and our receivers just aren’t going to get open on their own. The offense has looked significantly better with Blough all year. His passes are crisper, he reads the field better, and he can make plays with his legs and keep plays alive.

And he throws terrible picks. I don’t understand what happens. But I’ll take the plays he does make over a game and take my chances with him. When he starts to go Blough, that’s when you bring in Sindelar. But this Purdue has to move the ball better than it did against Wisconsin. Our defense has been great. They set up the Boilers offense all day and Sindelar could not capitalize.

Maybe Eli is the answer long term, but I’m at a loss to see anything on the field from him that makes me think he’s definitely won the job over Blough.