Following the loss at Nebraska, Ryan Walters is forced to move on to a night game at Michigan with more injuries and an offense that can’t get the train rolling.
The Boilermakers will head to Ann Arbor to face an undefeated Wolverines squad with a much-improved quarterback in JJ McCarthy, against whom Walters had to scheme in his final season as the defensive coordinator at Illinois.
You can definitely tell his improvement from last year to this year. Very talented, can make every throw, can get you out of trouble with his legs…where I think he’s grown this season is that last year he had some questionable decisions at times…you don’t see him making those mistakes this season.
That said, the Head Boiler opened his press conference with praises of the DL tandem of Jenkins and Sourton, who have only done this so far this season.
Even with more turbulence added to a rough start, Walters maintains that this season will be a learning experience.
Naturally there’s frustration, there’s anger, there’s disappointment. I did think we had a very productive meeting on Sunday. We sat in and watched the game in its entirety as a full team: staff, players, coaches…talked through every play. The good, the bad, the ugly.
The offense started the year showing flashes of brilliance and the ability to score around the 40-point-range while the defense struggled to coalesce. In recent games, there has been a noticeable trend where both sides of the ball are going in the opposite direction.
We aren’t playing complementary football right now….earlier in the year, I thought offensively we were a little ahead of where we were defensively. [The offense was] making plays and we were struggling on defense…the defense is starting to hit its stride and make some plays. Now we’re struggling a bit offensively.
On the injury front, Walters says Yaseen is still questionable for Saturday.
If we had to play tomorrow, I don’t think so. Hopefully by Saturday he’ll continue to improve.
Then, some painful news for an already thin roster:
[Mahamane] Moussa and OC [Brothers]…I’d be shocked if we get them back at some capacity this season.
Seems like a rough go of it given the competition, but there were always going to be some growing pains in the first year of a new regime.
The Boilermakers and Wolverines will kick off at The Big House at 7:30 Eastern on NBC.