After Tony Levine left, Purdue’s special teams was in flux. Levine had Purdue solid when it came to special teams, but last year there wasn’t a ton of pop there. Hopefully that improves in 2020 as Jeff Brohm has hired a new Special Teams Coordinator:
Sources tell FootballScoop Jeff Brohm is making a change at special teams coordinator, hiring Marty Biagi from North Texas.
Purdue finished this season in the lower third of both national and conference rankings in special teams efficiency and in nearly all special teams categories. North Texas finished in the upper third nationally and tops in their conference in efficiency.
Biagi, a two time FootballScoop Finalist for Special Teams Coordinator of the Year, has served as special teams coordinator at North Texas the past three seasons. Biagi spent the 2016 season at Notre Dame assisting with special teams, coaching All-American kicker Justin Yoon.
Of course, a large reason that Purdue struggled on special teams was the absence of Rondale Moore. Once he went down Purdue had virtually no return game to speak of. The longest punt return was 17 yards by Jackson Anthrop and longest kickoff return was 38 yards, also by Anthrop. The biggest problems were int he Nevada game, as multiple fumbles on punt returns cost Purdue dearly.
In the kicking game J.D. Dellinger was pretty solid. He was 13 of 16 on field goals with a career long of 53 against TCU. He also had the game-winning 39 yarder into the wind at Northwestern. The punting game was definitely inconsistent though. Brooks Cormier and Zac Collins split time almost evenly with Danny Carollo handling 5 pooch punts. Dellinger was also good on kickoffs with 40 touchbacks on 59 kickoffs.
Clearly, there are pieces to work with. Dellinger will be a huge positive. Moore may be moved off of returns to be preserved, but someone like TJ Sheffield or Maliq Carr could be used there with positive results. With all of the talent Purdue has at receiver there is no reason that one of the lesser used guys can’t be used in the return game. The punting game on both sides has to get better though.