It’s obvious that things didn’t go as we all would have liked this past weekend against Minnesota. The injuries alone are enough to turn your stomach. How often has a team lost their starting QB and their best WR on the same play? I have to imagine that rarely ever happens. Though Purdue fought back to give themselves a chance in the end it wasn’t enough and they fell yet again to a scrappy Minnesota team. Head Coach Jeff Brohm stepped up to the mic to discuss the aftermath of the game, the injury situation, and the upcoming game against Penn State. TO THE TRANSCRIPT!
On the injuries:
When it comes to where we’re at from a health standpoint, Elijah Sindelar will be out. He’s having surgery this morning as we speak an a broken clavicle. Washington will be out. He’s having surgery tomorrow on a broken fibula/ankle.
Rondale Moore will be out this game.
Lorenzo Neal will be out this game.
Tario Fuller will be out this game.
Richie Worship will be out this game.
And Jared Sparks will probably be out this game.
Will Sindelar be out for the year?
It’s too early to tell. We’ll see how this goes, and go from there; that he will be out an extended period of time.
Assessing the cornerbacks:
We have to get better. It’s not all in the corners as far as mistakes. We have to coach better. We have to get our guys in the best position to succeed and win. We have to work extremely hard in practice.
As you guys saw, I want to challenge routes. I mean, way too many open guys down the field. Way too many guys not being disruptive at the line of scrimmage. Way too many huge holes in the secondary, and sometimes it’s not all them.
Those things need to start to decrease, and I’d like to see us be more sound in what we are doing. Make sure we understand what the strength of the offense is coming in and what we need to take away, which has to happen and then we’ve got to find a way to take that away and make them beat us doing something else, or at least make them beat us as we contest something very closely and they just found a way to be better.
We have to be sound in what we’re doing. We have to make sure that our guys understand exactly where we need them to be and how to play it. We’ve got to make sure that when we’re playing press coverage, we’re not allowing receivers to free and untouched the entire time we run the route. We have to disrupt it. We have to disrupt the timing. We have to, you know, in our zone coverage, be where we’re supposed to be, and be in those zones and areas and there were just way too many open guys running around the field all day long in my opinion.
On Jack Plummer and his ability to learn and understand the playbook:
Well, that is Jack’s strength. He’s very intelligent, and yes, he picks things up very quickly and he has a great grasp of what we are doing. He has very good knowledge. You know, the things he just has to work on is just getting some experience out there on the playing field. I think driving the football and throwing it with conviction a little bit more can help him.
But you know, with Jack, and really, our quarterback position, we’ve got to get better around him. So you know, fortunately for us he was able to make a few plays with his feet when he needed to and that gave us a spark. He competed and played hard to the end, and that was great to see.
But we’ve got to get better up front. We’ve got to get better running the ball. We’ve got to get better at being more physical. We’ve got to get better at knocking people back in everything we do. Even if it’s receivers and tight ends and guys that are in press coverage and they are guarding us; no, we have to knock those guys back, as well.
So a lot of things have to continue to improve, but I think Jack is going to work hard and give us everything he’s got, and hopefully do his part, which I know he’s going to compete very hard but we’ve got to get better around him.
On how to coach when the injury bug hits you like it has this team:
Well, you’ve got to play with the cards you’re dealt with, and that happens every year. You know, we definitely want to do that and there’s no excuses whatsoever. There’s no complaints.
It’s our job to develop our players and get them ready to play and that’s everybody on the team. When guys go down, the others have to be ready to play.
So yes, it creates some challenges, but you know what, I expect our guys to compete and work hard and get better and I expect us to play better. I expect us to take the field, and the guys that are out there want to get it done, show that they have toughness. Show that, you know, they are maybe more ready than people think and go out there and compete.
Now, you know, doesn’t always happen perfectly, but you’ve got to adjust and you’ve got to hang in there. You can’t give in. That’s the one thing that, you know, we tell our football team, or I do, is that, you know, you have to really hate losing and it has to bother you. It has to really burn you inside to want to work to get it fixed.
Sometimes it doesn’t get fixed right away, but if you stick to it and you work hard and if you do the best you can, hopefully good things happen, and I think that, you know, we want to take the field this week with a great attitude and practice, work hard, have fun competing, but push ourselves to get better, and whoever plays, we expect them to go out there and play the way they would want to, and we hope that they play well.
On Penn State:
We face a very, very good football team in Penn State, as I’ve watched tape on them the last day and a half, they are very good. Big, physical on defense. They fly around, they make plays and their offense is productive.
This will be a tough contest, but it will be good for our players to go experience an environment that we are going to go into against a very good football team.
Well, they are a very efficient football team right now. I think it starts with their defense. When you shut teams out, when you have some of the personnel that they have, when you look across the board at where they are at, when you watch them on video, man, they play hard, they go hard. They attack.
They do a lot of things on defense. They are very aggressive. They get penetration. The linebackers can run and hit and tackle, and the secondary does an outstanding job. I think that’s their strength, and an offense, they do have a couple good young receivers. The quarterback is playing efficient. The line is doing a very good job. They are taking care of the football. They move the chains and get it to their playmakers, and they have just kind of executed.
I think a combination of all those things have helped them play at a very high level to this point.