#89 Purdue Football 2014 Preview

Purdue Boilermakers

Overall Rank: #89
#14 Big Ten

Purdue Team Page#89 Purdue Football 2014 PreviewBuy Purdue Football Tickets

Purdue endured an awful 2013 campaign. Their only win of the year came in a six-point victory over Indiana State. That was an ugly win, but it beats the 11 ugly losses. But the Boilermakers should not have been that bad. There were pieces on the team that were good enough to compete for a bowl game. Unfortunately, it seemed like Coach Darrell Hazell and his players were never able to pull it together and it all spiraled out of control very quickly.

2013 Record: (1-11, 0-8)
2013 Bowl: None
Coach: Darrell Hazell (1-11 at Purdue, 17-21 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: John Shoop
Defensive Coordinator: Greg Hudson

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Akeem Hunt, RB, 464 yards
Passing: Danny Etling, QB, 1,690 yards
Receiving: David Yancey, WR, 546 yards
Tackles: Anthony Brown, DB, 69
Sacks: Ryan Russell, DE, 2.0; Collin Link, LB, 2.0; Jalani Phillips, DE, 2.0
Interceptions: Frankie Williams, DB, 2

Other Key Returnees: S Taylor Richards, TE Justin Sinz, WR Danny Anthrop

Key Losses: LB Will Lucas, DT Bruce Gaston, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Rob Henry, P Cody Webster

It is a new season and that is the best football news anybody in West Lafayette has heard in a while. As crazy as it sounds for a team that scored 14.9 points per game, the Purdue offense has potential at the skill positions. Sophomore quarterback Danny Etling threw for 1,690 yards and ten touchdowns in his eight appearances. More importantly, he threw just seven interceptions, which is not bad considering that he was just a freshman on a team that had to force passes to play catchup. Receivers DeAngelo Yancey and Danny Anthrop can stretch the field. As a freshman, Yancey caught 32 passes for a team high 546 yards. Anthrop was limited to just 17 receptions, but his speed makes him an interesting option moving forward. Speaking of speed, Raheem Mostert and Akeem Hunt add plenty of it. Both are basically hybrid running backs/wide receivers. Mostert has yet to make a big impact, but he is a track star who Coach Hazell wants to use to stretch the field east and west. Hunt is the team’s top rusher, carrying the ball 123 times for 464 yards. Speed is nice, but Hunt does need to run through people occasionally if Purdue wants to seriously balance things out.

However, the offense may look about the same as it did last season if the offensive line cannot replace some key starters. The Boilermakers did allow over three sacks per game and Etling will need more time than that even if the offense works off of quick, wide passes. Thanks to Indiana, Purdue did not quite rank last in the Big Ten in scoring defense at 38.0 points per game. The unit is much, much more experienced now than they were heading into the 2013 campaign, but if the secondary cannot stop giving up big plays and the rush defense keeps letting teams chew up clock and ending long drives in the end zone, that experience will not mean much. The front four can build around Ryan Russell and Jalani Phillips. Russell, a 6-5, 275 pound senior, has the potential to be a very dangerous pass rusher.

The Bottom Line:
This is a tough Purdue team to figure out, but the bottom line is they cannot be any worse. If everybody can forget about last year and get on the same page, this team will be seriously thinking about a bowl. For that to happen they better start off 3-1 with a non-conference schedule of Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Notre Dame and Southern Illinois. After that Purdue fans will start thinking that they can steal wins away from Illinois, Northwestern and Indiana and end up 6-6. It won’t happen, but they can dream.

Projected Bowl: None

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 67.1 (122nd in nation, 12th in conference)
Passing Offense: 215.8 (77, 6)
Total Offense: 282.9 (119, 12)
Scoring Offense: 14.9 (119, 12)
Rushing Defense: 235.4 (114, 10)
Pass Defense: 224.5 (55, 6)
Total Defense: 459.9 (104, 10)
Scoring Defense: 38.0 (111, 11)
Turnover Margin: -0.3 (79, 9)
Sacks:  1.17 (115, 12)
Sacks Allowed: 3.17 (115, 12)


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