After having an unexpected bye week in this season of Covid Purdue football head coach Jeff Brohm stepped to the microphone to talk about his team and the game preparation for this weekend’s game against Wisconsin. The thing that everyone always wants to know about, but is often the least illuminating is the injury report. The only news broken here was already posted about on the site and that is that offensive lineman Cam Craig is out for the season after going out in the game against Illinois. Without Craig able to return Borhm confirms that it will be Spencer Holstege taking over the starting role. On the continued injury front Brohm again coach spoke his way through injuries to GK, Rondale, Anthrop, Carr, Rice, and Doerue. They are always doing what they can to get those guys back, etc. and so on. Basically no news.
Spencer Holstege moving into the starting lineup might not the only change you see on the field this weekend. Brohm indicated for the second press-conference in a row that he was likely going to switch things up at the punter position after a disappointing game from Brooks Cormier. If Brohm does pull the trigger Zach Collins would be the one to make the move into the position.
Brohm thought the team used the extra week “very wisely” and should be well prepared to face Northwestern. One player in particular who should be prepared for this game will be Aiden O’Connell who made just his fourth appearances last year in the win against Northwestern. In that game O’Connell was 34-50 for 271 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs as he led the Boilermakers to the victory. It was an uneven performance but it should give him an idea of what to expect from this Northwestern squad.
One thing that has changed about this Northwestern team is the addition of Peyton Ramsey as the starting QB. You might recognize Ramsey as the former IU QB who torched Purdue last season to the tune of 337 yards to go along with 3 TDs and no interceptions. It was not a great day for the Purdue defense. Well, Ramsey graduated from IU, no big deal there, with a degree in secondary education and headed across state lines to play for Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats. He hasn’t had quite the success at Northwestern with a line of 5 TDs and 5 INTs so far this season but he’s a dangerous player that Purdue has to prepare for.
Brohm had some interesting things to say about changes in drills and practice. It sounds like running back Zander Horvath had some special one on one time with the football after having some fumbling issues early in the season with Brohm specifically stating they “have had numerous drills” relating to ball security for not only Horvath but all the skill positions. On the defensive side of the ball new Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco has made it a priority to try and create more turnovers including not just a mentality of stripping and ripping but also “separate drills” to make sure the players understand the focus. Brohm pointed out that as with anything “there’s always a little bit of luck that goes into it” but that you’ve gotta be ready for when luck happens.
In preparation for Northwestern Brohm gave the usual “this team is very good, they’re strong, they’re smart, etc. etc. and so on” that all coaches give every week. I’ve gotta say wouldn’t it be nice if a coach just went up to the microphone one time and just said “look, I don’t think these guys are any good” or “these guys are gonna crush us” and was actually honest? I suppose it wouldn’t last for that coach but maybe someone on the way out one day. Until then you get quotes like this, “they’re physical, they’re tough, they play sound football, they’re well coached and they play hard. So once again, we’re going to have to really do a lot of things well, eliminate the penalties, eliminate the turnovers, play as hard and as tough as we can, and just find a way to make enough plays and figure out a way to get a few stops and turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. So I know our guys are excited about this opportunity and we’re looking forward to getting out on the back on the game field and getting back in a rhythm.”
He’s not necessarily wrong with anything he says but I would just love some actual insight into the other team. Ahh well. Maybe next week.