I am a bit of a stats nerd. I have a hard copy of Purdue’s basketball media guide on my desk at home, ready to reference for virtually any game like last year’s 40 point explosion by Carsen Edwards at Illinois. I love seeing guys climb career lists and where they will place in the Purdue pantheon.
The good news is that with Jeff Brohm, we have a functional offense again. It means the all-time lists will receive additions over hte next few years. I am already dreaming of Rondale Moore becoming the next Dorien Bryant (our all-time all-pupose yards leader by a wide margin at 6,219). That is a ways off though. This season we do have a few players that are close to some statistical milestones that will place them in the top 10 all-time at Purdue.
David Blough - QB
This is mostly a longevity award since Blough was starting as a freshman, but he is already highly placed on the all-time passing lists. With 6,029 passing yards he is currently 7th in school history. Where he finishes depends on how much he plays this year. He only had 1,103 yards last season, so if you give him a conservative 1,500 yards assuming he stays healthy and he splits time with Elijah Sindelar again he would pass Jim Everett for 6th and be close to Scott Campbell for 5th. If he becomes the full-time starter and blows up for a 4,000 yards season he would be only the third QB to reach 10,000 yards passing behind Curtis Painter and Drew Brees.
Blough also has 44 career passing touchdowns, which is one behind Campbell for 5th. He would need 19 this season to catch Kyle Orton for 4th, so considering he had just 9 last season that might be a tad lofty.
Blough is currently in the top 10 in completion percentage at 58.5% for his career. His 967 passing attempts is 6th on the all-time list, and I think he becomes the 6th player at Purdue to throw 1,000 passes, joining Brees, Orton, Painter, Mark Herrman, and Campbell. With 566 career completions he is six behind Everett for 6th place, and if he gets to 610 for his career he’ll pass Campbell for 5th.
Markell Jones - RB
A few years ago it looked like Jones was going to challenge for the all-time rushing mark. He nearly had 900 yards as a true freshman, and Purdue has only had eight seasons with a 1,000 yard rusher (Montrell Lowe missed it by 2 yards in 2000. In the bowl game Jones passed 2,000 yards for his career, and at 2,057 he is currently 11th on the all-time list, just 37 yards behind the legendary Leroy Keyes. It would take the greatest single season in school history to reach Mike Alstott’s 3,635 yards, but should Jones have a 1,000 yard season he would be only the 4th player in school history to rush for 3,000 yards, joining Alstott, Korey Sheets, and Otis Armstrong.
Markell currently has 15 rushing touchdowns, which is tied for 13th in school history. He only added one last season, however. He has 16 career touchdowns (15 rushing, 1 receiving) and can reach the top 10 with 11 this season. He had 11 as a freshman. With 2,594 all-purpose yards he is close to getting into the top 20, and if he reaches 4,000 he would be 7th.
Joe Schopper - P
It will take a while for Schopper to pass the legendary Shawn McCarthy for passing yards from a punter, but his 187 career punts currently has him 4th all-time at Purdue. If he punts 87 times this year he will leave Purdue as the player with the most punts in school history. Last year he punted 73 times, so it seems likely he’ll pass Cody Webster for second place. He is currently 7th in school history with a 40.4 yard average.
J.D. Dellinger - K
Through two years Dellinger has made 19 field goals, and that has him 9th in school history in that category. last season he split time with Spencer Evans and made 9 attempts, so a similar season would move him to 6th. The record is 68 from Travis Dorsch.
Spencer Evans - K
Last season Evans made 8 field goals, and if he replicates that he would hit 16, good for a tie for 11th place. He has a big leg though, putting the long-range field goal marks in play. Carson Wiggs has kicked the 4 longest field goals in school history at 59, 55, 53, and 53 yards. Paul Griggs also hit from 53 against Wisconsin in 2014, and from 52 later in the same game. Wiggs hit from 52 at Michigan State in 2010.
Evans hit from 49 last season at Wisconsin for his career long, but has shown he has range from 60+ if needed. It would likely take an end-of-half situation to get there (like the record 59 from Wiggs vs. Ohio State in 2009), but it is possible.