This week we have a new depth chart, rather than working off of the one left from the Michigan game. Here is a look at it before getting into coach Brohm’s weekly remarks:
QB: 1. David Blough 2. Elijah Sindelar 3. Jared Sparks
RB: 1. Richie Worship 2. D. J. Knox 3. Markell Jones 4. Brian Lankford-Johnson
WR1: 1. Anthony Mahoungou 2. Corey Holmes 3. Jared Sparks
WR2: 1. Jackson Anthrop OR Terry Wright 2. KeyRon Catlett
WR3: 1. Gregory Phillips 2. Isaac Zico
TE: 1. Cole Herdman 2. Brycen Hopkins 3. Darius Pittman
LT: 1. Grant Hermanns 2. Eric Swingler
LG: 1. Shane Evans 2. Michael Mendez 3. Peyton Truitt
C: 1. Kirk Barron 2. Shane Evans 3. Bryce Brown
RG: 1. Matt McCann 2. Bearooz Yacoobi
RT: 1. Dave Steinmetz 2. Ethan Smart
The most significant thing here is the removal of Tario Fuller, who has already been ruled out for a third straight game. Knox and Jones played extremely well without him on Saturday agaisnt Minnesota. Both scored their first touchdowns of the season, and for Jones it was his first significant action of the year.
DE: 1. Austin Larkin 2. Antoine Miles
DT: 1. Lorenzo Neal or Eddy Wilson
DT: 1. Gelen Robinson 2. Keiwan Jones
DE: 1. Danny Ezechukwu 2. Kai Higgins
WLB: 1. T.J. McCollum 2. Derrick Barnes
MLB: 1. Ja’Whaun Bentley 2. Garrett Hudson
SLB: 1. Markus Bailey 2. Rob Simmons
CB1: 1. Josh Okonye 2. Antonio Blackmon
CB2: 1. Da’Wan Hunte 2. Kamal Hardy
FS: 1. Navon Mosley 2. T.J. Jallow
SS: 1. Jacob Thieneman 2. Navon Mosley
Mosley is now officially listed as the starter at free safety over Jallow, and he played well against Minnesota. Mosley had 5 tackles, 2 pass break ups, and a fumble recovery. Larkin was limited in practice last week and did not play much. Keiwan Jones sustained a “major” injury against Minnesota and is very likely out, possibly for a while according to Brohm’s remarks. McCollum also got banged up on the final play and continues to battle injuries.
The McCollum injury is interesting because this is the first time Barnes has been listed on the two-deep. The true freshman could see even more playing time, but McCollum is Purdue’s leading tackler.
Punter: 1. Joe Schopper 2. Jake Herr
Placekicker: 1. J.D. Dellinger and Spencer Evans
Kickoffs: 1. Spencer Evans 2. Myles Homan
Long Snapper: 1. Ben Makowski 2. Ryan Sadkowski
Holder: 1. David Blough 2. Elijah Sindelar
KR: 1. Brian Lankford-Johnson 2. D.J. Knox
PR: 1. Jackson Anthrop 2. Isaac Zico
Knox had a great game on kick returns against Minnesota, including a big 44 yard return that set up the winning score by Markell Jones. Keyron Catlett, a freshman that has played on special teams, is off this list. Does that mean Purdue is preserving his redshirt? he has only played in two games, so in theory he could still redshirt.
Coach Brohm Comments
First, coach Brohm spoke about how good the defense has looked in all three wins:
Well, I think it's a lot of factors. I did like the personnel when I got here, and the more I watched them and got to be around them and our guys got to work with them, I liked some of the parts we were able to work with.
We had some experience. We had some guys that really not only looked the part but they played the part from what we saw in practice, and you know, it really was about just getting some of the other guys that had not played a lot in the mix and see where they fit in and trying to build some depth so that we can spell those guys and not make them play every single rep. I think we've been able to do that to this point pretty well.
I think our defensive coaches have done an outstanding job. We do try to play an attacking style of defense and try to take away the run and make a team beat us throwing the football. You know, load the box, so to speak, as much as we can, to make a team earn every touchdown they get.
I think our guys have played very well and they stood up to the challenge and they've responded many times. Like I said before, without the spring and summer and fall, going against our defense, we were not very good on offense.
So you know, I was hopeful that it was because we were putting on defense and not the latter, but I didn't know that. I think that it's been good for our offense to work against those guys. I think we'll continue to get better on that side hopefully but our defense has been solid and they have been stout. If we can keep them healthy in, my opinion, that's the key, and if they are somewhat fresh for the game, I think they will continue to play hard and perform well.
Next he talked about the interceptions thrown by David Blough:
Well, you know what, I think on the first one, he kind of predetermined a little bit, which he occasionally does. They disguised the coverage a little bit, but I think he should have been able to see that they were going to Cover 2 and we got over the ball a little bit and checked out open, and I think he just tried to force it a little bit.
The second one, I think he kind of got locked on again. Had a little push that blocked his vision and didn't see that the underneath throw was very open because of what they did. And you know, I think him, we've just got to get him to relax and feel comfortable in the pocket; and if he can't see things or just not have the rhythm, he's just got to continue to move up and find a lane.
You know, I was talking to my brother, Brian, just yesterday, and as you guys know, Drew Brees came in for the game and he was actually -- my brother was in the same camp for a little while, and he talked about one of the training tapes that they made all the quarterbacks watch was video cutups of Drew and his ability to find lanes and throw, was definitely a strength, and you could see it on the video.
So those are the things with guys that maybe aren't 6-5, you have to make sure they are working on and if you don't have clear vision and you miss an open guy, that's okay, just maybe slide up or buy a little extra time and see if maybe you could locate him and if not, come underneath and we've just got to continue to work on that.
Also, he talked about how the sorcery of the 2 QB system is working:
I think first off, just because they are great teammates and great young men; they understand they all want to win and they want to be the guy but they understand it's all about winning.
So they have been outstanding to this point in that aspect and that's been a big reason why we've been able to do what we've done at that position.
I do think they are both getting better. I do think it helps to have two guys that you feel comfortable you can play and I'm sure sometimes that will play itself out but you know, both guys have gotten better. Both guys are good teammates and they want to win, and I firmly believe that our team feels comfortable when both are them are in there.
He also talked about Wisconsin coming up:
It's an elite defense and they do a great job, not only in their scheme but their personnel. They have got big guys that can play and challenge you, and they don't give up easy plays.
As good as they are, you can times it by two, and that's how hard they play. They set the standard. It's something on video that's impressive to watch.
So we've got our hands full. But it will be a great environment. It will be great for our guys to go up and play in it. It will be a great challenge and we've just got to embrace it.
He addressed the injury situation on a few players, starting with T.J. McCollum:
Unfortunately it was the last little handoff when the game was out of reach and they just handed it off to run the clock out. It was mostly an ankle but slightly the knee a little bit, as well. We're hopeful he'll be back but I'm not for sure.
No, I'm not for sure exactly where it's at. I'm hopeful he'll be back this week but I don't have any clarification. I think we're going to have to wait and see. Maybe tomorrow we'll know a little more. He was in some pain after the game. So we'll see where it's at. But he's done a really good job for us. I'd like to have him back.
Then Terry Wright:
Terry does have a shoulder that has some issues. He's been able to play through it. You know, we have to manage it to a certain degree, so I don't know exactly where it's at right now, but he'll probably have it all year.
You know, he's gotten better each and every week. He's got some explosive play-making ability for us. Yeah, we've got to take care of the ball. He's had fumbles the last two games and that's not good, so we have got to get that corrected. Hopefully we can get him improved in that aspect.
Then Keiwan Jones:
Yeah, it's not looking good. We don't have a full test back, but probably a pretty good injury.
And finally, Tario Fuller:
You know what, he's got an ankle that is a pretty good bone bruise; that he's probably going to be out more. It's taken longer than we had thought, and it probably will take a little bit longer for sure.
With Austin Larkin also struggling with injury, there is a question of depth up front:
Well, I think we've been able to add some depth there. When you have Gelen Robinson that can move back and forth helps, and then you've got Lorenzo and Eddy; you've got Kai in the game a little bit; Antoine in the game a little bit in the end. You know, Danny E. played really a stand-up end for us, as well.
Gives us some flexibility. So I think we've got depth there and whether another guy gets in the mix, we'll see. But I feel good that we still should be in a decent position.
He worked in a bubble screen for coach Tiller:
I did want to sneak in a bubble screen right off the bat in honor of Coach Tiller and I thought it would get more yards. When we lined up to an empty set and they walk everybody out with no linebackers in the box area, I'm like, okay, (chuckling) not really the look I thought we'd get.
Markell Jones will also get more in the offense:
Yeah, I thought that was pretty decent amount for the first game back, and I think that the more he was in there, the more comfortable he got, and he started running a little bit better towards the end.
I think that he's got good vision. He's got good hands. And he had this knee brace on earlier that I think kind of hindered him a little bit. He took it off towards the end. He said he felt better. There were a couple shoestring tackles, whether he got tripped; that probably as he gets in rhythm, gets some more yards on a few. But he did a good job. I think it's good to add him back to the mix.