#47 Purdue Football 2013 Preview

Purdue Boilermakers

Overall Rank: #47
#8 Big Ten

Purdue Team Page#47 Purdue Football PreviewBuy Purdue Football Tickets

Purdue thought it was time for a change and went out and grabbed one of the hottest coaches in the non-BCS level. Coach Darrell Hazell led Kent State to a memorable 2012 campaign, even though it ended with a couple tough losses. The new staff hopes to establish the run a bit more than the Boilermakers have been used to and that should help keep this team, who lacks experience at quarterback, in the mix for a bowl berth.

2012 Record: (6-7, 3-5)
2012 Bowl: Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Oklahoma State (L 14-58)
Coach: Darrell Hazell (0-0 at Purdue, 16-10 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: John Shoop
Defensive Coordinator: Greg Hudson

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Akeem Hunt, RB, 335 yards
Passing: Rob Henry, QB, 216 yards
Receiving: Gary Bush, WR, 360 yards
Tackles: Landon Feichter, S, 80
Sacks: Ryan Russell, DE, 4.5
Interceptions: Landon Feichter, S, 4

Other Key Returnees: RB Brandom Cottom, WR Dolapo Macarthy, TE Gabe Holmes, OL Kevin Pamphile, OL Justin Kitchens, DT Bruce Gaston, LB Will Lucas, LB Joe Gilliam, CB Ricardo Allen, CB Frankie Williams,

Key Losses: QB Caleb TerBush, QB Robert Marve, RB Akeem Shavers, WR Antavian Edison, WR O.J. Ross, TE Crosby Wright, DT Kwann Short, CB Josh Johnson, DE Robert Maci

The Purdue defense returns eight starters, but this was a unit that ranked 11th in the Big Ten in total defense and has to replace Kawann Short. Short led the squad with 7.0 sacks and 15.5 tackles-for-loss. However, even with the absence of Short, there is plenty of talent on the line. Tackles Bruce Gaston and Brandon Taylor are experienced seniors and there is a load of depth behind them. End Ryan Russell is back after tallying 4.0 sacks and 8.5 tackles-for-loss as a sophomore. The linebackers do return Will Lucas, Joe Gilliam and Sean Robinson, but the unit was not all that productive in 2012. The new schemes for defensive coordinator Greg Hudson could help improve their numbers. The secondary is led by safety Landon Feichter and cornerback Ricardo Allen. Feichter led the Boilermakers with 80 tackles and four interceptions. Allen is one of the best corners in the Big Ten. Purdue will not be one of the better defensives in the Big Ten right away, but their depth and experience will make them much better than they were in 2012.

The offense needs to find a new quarterback after Robert Marve and Caleb TerBush took a majority of the snaps in 2012. The experienced option is Rob Henry. He only threw 38 passes last season, but he was a starter back in 2010. That season he threw for 996 yards and eight touchdowns and even led Purdue with 500 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Austin Appleby and true freshman Danny Etling are more traditional passers. Coach Hazzell will likely have a tough decision to make between Henry and Etling. But it has also seemed like a long time since Purdue actually made it through a year with one quarterback, so do not be surprised if both make an impact. There are plenty of talented receivers to work with, most notably Gary Bush, Dolapo Mccarthy, Raheem Mostert and tight end Gabe Holmes. Replacing the speed and explosiveness of Antavian Edison and OJ Ross should not be too much of a problem. But the key for Purdue will be on the ground. Akeem Hunt will get every chance to put up some big numbers this year. The new staff wants to see a power run game and Hunt is a speedy back who can get to the outside. After tallying 335 yards and two scores on 42 rushes a season ago, Hunt is poised for a breakout year. Purdue does still need to find the thunder to his lightning to help balance out the ground game.

The Bottom Line:
Purdue has reached two straight bowl games and has the talent to make it three in a row. The schedule is extremely tough, with non-conference games at Cincinnati and against Notre Dame and Northern Illinois. The Big Ten slate is not any easier with Michigan State and Nebraska making an appearance from the Legends Division. The defense will be better and the Purdue offense is almost always better than they look. With some consistency in the backfield, the Boilermakers could win six or seven games.

Projected Bowl: Meineke Car Care Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 164.23 (58th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 238.46 (55, 3)
Total Offense: 402.69 (58, 5)
Scoring Offense: 28.69 (64, 8)
Rushing Defense: 182.31 (78, 9)
Pass Defense: 233.92 (61, 10)
Total Defense: 416.23 (77, 11)
Scoring Defense: 31.23 (87, 10)
Turnover Margin: -0.15 (69, 7)
Sacks: 1.69 (78, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.92 (60, 8)

Madness 2013 Recruit Rankings:
#243 Danny Etling


See All College Sports Madness Top 104 Football Previews