It’s time to take a look back at the 2023 team and put a bow on the season. I’m going to look back at each position group over the next few weeks. Then it will be time to reset the roster and look at what Purdue has going forward for the 2024 season.
Quarterback seems like the logical place to start.
Hudson Card showcased many times this season that he was the gunslinger with legs we anticipated, but it was apparent that he endured numerous hits early in the season.
Card began the season behind a thin offensive line depth chart (metaphorically, of course; those guys are some big dudes) that eventually got healthier and deeper. He only missed one game, but when given adequate time, Card looked great and unfortunately took many shots to the ribs.
Considering the circumstances, Hudson Card performed overall very well. He found himself on a new team with a multitude of offensive transfers, both in and out, and an entirely new coaching staff. His only two “bad” games in terms of completion percentage came against Michigan and Ohio State, the conference powerhouses.
Throughout the latter half of the season, there were several catchable passes dropped. However, Card threw a plethora of accurate passes from crossing routes to fade routes, and his overthrows decreased significantly. Given the chaos surrounding him, I’d grade his accuracy as high as a B+.
He completed 59% of his passes for 2,387 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. While the interception ratio isn’t ideal, some interceptions resulted from panic situations due to inadequate pass protection, which impacts my assessment of Card’s decision-making.
What elevates him from a C+ (according to my remaining brain cells) is his ability to use his legs to extend plays when the offensive line performed well. Despite occasionally leaving himself vulnerable to heavy hits, Card’s evasiveness and ability to find open receivers on the move showcase his decisiveness. In the context of 2023’s offense, I’d give him a B- for decision-making.
In summary, an A+ athlete dealt a challenging hand (last card joke, I promise), B+ accuracy (excluding games against NFL-caliber teams), and B- decision-making. I look forward to seeing what he can accomplish with the next nine months of preparation.
Now, let’s address the game he missed.
Bennett Meredith saw some action in the losses to Ohio State and Nebraska, but the game he missed was the first time he’d see serious action, splitting time with Ryan Browne. Browne, considered the better runner of the two, got the majority of the calls, but neither had a statistically terrible game.
Browne threw two interceptions, which isn’t entirely surprising for his first game of the year. Despite this, he completed 12 out of 16 passes for 104 yards. Not bad for a newcomer.
Meredith was quiet but completed five out of seven pass attempts. Currently, rating them as a unit, I’d give them a C- with future B- potential until further developments such as transfers occur.