Jeff Brohm stepped to the mic and said bluntly “I think all three components really need to play better, without question.” On this we agree Mr. Brohm, on this we agree. There’s simply no excuse for the way this team played on Saturday. The number of penalties, and boneheaded penalties at that, was inexcusable. Brohm tried to explain the situation with the penalties but I’m not sure how much you can truly do that. “Well, we had quite a few holding calls or our offensive line and we’ve been pretty good with that this year, but really two guys that had a lot of holding calls and when you’re in passing situations, you have to be able to set thing up and be physical and firm and not think that you have to hold to make the block, and that’s what happened on a few of these plays and it was costly. We had a big 50-yard play negated, and another about 25-yard play negated, and one took us down to the two-yard line on plays like that.
We had a false start on offense one time that we would have had the first down easy that set us back. We had an off-sides on defense, and then really from there, we had the three 15-yard penalties on defense. And those are the ones that can’t ever happen and occasionally one may slide through every now and then but we had three very costly ones on that side of the ball, and those are hard to overcome. And of course one of them was a situation where it’s going to be a third and 25, and we were going to get the ball in good field position.”
A reporter asked Brohm if the team was still “connected to one another and to the coaching staff” and interestingly Brohm sort of ducked the question. There was nothing about team cohesion and fighting for one another in his answer. Rather, he focused on the fact that the team has “practiced well every week.”
As I sometimes like to do each and every week I’m just going to quote the question and the answer in full because it’s just a great bit of non-answering.
Q. Can you let us know, how come Jalen Graham didn’t play Saturday?
COACH JEFF BROHM: Well, as you know, there’s things going on in in the world with sickness things, so I can’t reveal what’s going on, but he’s going to be out with some issues because of that.
Now, does this mean that Graham opted out or does it mean he has Covid? Or does it mean that someone near him has it and he has to quarantine? I have no idea. It would seem unlikely to be the fact that he has Covid as the team announced GK had the disease with no issue. Perhaps Graham didn’t want it public. Who knows. I guess we will just leave it there.
Brohm noted that punting will be an open competition this week as Brooks Cormier missed practice this past week so he was unable to punt this weekend. In his place Brendan Cropsey punted and had his punt blocked but Brohm pointed out that it wasn’t his fault and that in fact Cropsey “got it off, and quicker than” most punts but that there was a missed block. It’s gotta be frustrating for the young man.
Not a whole lot going on this week so I’ll leave you with Brohm’s thoughts on the Old Oaken Bucket game and this strange scenario of not having fans at a rivalry game.
Well, we’re excited to get back on the field and play a very good football team that’s playing well on their home turf. The Bucket means a lot to us as a team and as a fan base, and we want to work hard to go out there and try to win the game.
And I want to see coaches and players that want to compete and show some fight and that want to do everything in our power to get the Bucket and bring it back to West Lafayette.
So I think it’s important to have a great week of practice. Put in the work. Build up the inner anger, so when you take the field, you’re ready to compete and fight for the win.