If it’s Saturday, and there’s not a football game, it must be the roundtable. Purdue has a bye this week so thought I’d give anyone who was interested a chance to answer a question this week.
The Purdue football season is now more than halfway over. What would you see has been the biggest surprise so far pleasant or otherwise?
I think to me it has to be Dillon Thieneman (who I have to look up how to spell every time no matter how many of them there have been). His emergence as a sure tackler with a nose for the ball in Purdue’s defensive backfield has been a revelation. Without him back there I’m not sure where this team would be and that’s saying something considering where they currently sit record wise.
Thieneman is of course a guy with a huge Purdue connection considering his brothers also played for Purdue but as they mentioned on one of the earliest Purdue broadcasts, it looks like Dillon might be the best of the lot. As someone who is the youngest of four boys I will always root for the little brother.
I think there’s a few really nice surprises on this team but the best to me is Tyrone Tracy Jr. Tracy had been used as a gadget guy in previous years and his emergence as half of the top RB duo alongside Devin Mockobee has been great. Of course, Tyrone can still be used on some trickier plays but as a straight up running back, he has been a great surprise, even taking over as RB1 when Mockobee struggled.
I mean this season was kind of a question mark coming in and there was a lot of hype and excitement around the new coaching staff that I kind of bought into the whole 6 wins thing. But I don’t think it’s so much of a surprise that we have struggled to win games but maybe the way we are losing. I thought our offense would be more versatile and I’ve been less than impressed with the play calling at times. Pleasant surprise is freshman Dillon Thieneman. Not only has he dominated on the field for Purdue he now ranks as a top back in the nation that has really made a statement for the future of this Purdue team. Freshman Max Klare was also somewhat unexpected with the season he was having before getting injured. It’s been a frustrating season so far at times but I’m still optimistic with the future of this program under Walters and the recruits he has coming in.