Connect with us

Featured

Purdue Boilermakers Football Preview: Predicting the 2015 season

Published

on

Winning games against FBS teams was certainly a step up for the Purdue Boilermakers in 2014, but as Darrell Hazell leads his third team things need to trend dramatically upward or it could be trouble in West Lafayette.

That all leads us to looking at the 2015 schedule and figuring out that answer.

Other Big Ten Predictions:
WestIowa | Northwestern | Minnesota | Illinois | Nebraska
EastMichigan | Rutgers | Penn State | Indiana

Let’s get right in to the 2015 season and see how our crack staff sees it all playing out.

2015 Purdue Boilermakers Football Schedule

Date Opponent Time/TV Tickets
Sunday
Sept. 6
Thundering Herd at Marshall Thundering Herd
Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV
3:00 p.m. ET
FS1
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Sep. 12
Sycamores Indiana State Sycamores
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
12:00 p.m. ET
ESPNews
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Sep. 19
Hokies Virginia Tech Hokies
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
3:30 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Sep. 26
Falcons Bowling Green Falcons
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 3
Spartans at Michigan State Spartans
Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
12:00 p.m. ET
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 10
Gophers Minnesota Golden Gophers
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 17
Badgers at Wisconsin Badgers
Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
12:00 p.m. ET
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 24
Open Date
Saturday
Oct. 31
Cornhuskers Nebraska Cornhuskers
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 7
Fighting Illini Illinois Fighting Illini (HC)
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
12:00 p.m. ET
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 14
Wildcats at Northwestern Wildcats
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 21
Hawkeyes at Iowa Hawkeyes
Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 28
Hoosiers Indiana Hoosiers
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Dec. 5
Big Ten Big Ten Championship Game
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
8:00 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets

*courtesy FBSchedules.com

at Marshall
Andy — Win
Dave — Win

Any team losing a quarterback that puts up 3,900 yards and 40 touchdowns is going to have trouble replacing him. Such is Marshall’s case, and even if this game is on the road that is advantage Purdue. Look for this to be a tone-setter for the Boilermakers, and we both se it as a good tone being set in the form of a road win.

vs. Indiana State
Andy — Win
Dave — Win

Indiana State is a very good FCS program, but it is also a program very familiar to Purdue and that means the Boilermakers won’t take this group lightly. The question is, can one of the top FCS programs give Purdue’s questionable defense enough trouble early on and pull off the upset? Simple answer — NO. Purdue has turned the roster over and honestly it appears things are better. It just won’t reflect much beyond this week.

vs. Virginia Tech
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

All the positive feelings of a two-game win streak to start the season are going to crash back down to earth in this contest against the Hokies. Both teams are in interesting spots with transition happening at key spots, but Va Tech has the pedigree to make it more like replace not rebuild. While this game is in West Lafayette, don’t expect an upset in the making.

vs. Bowling Green
Andy — Loss
Dave — Win

This is where things get tricky for the Boilermakers, because any real progress or stalling of the season will come down to this contest. Bowling Green can’t be taken lightly, finishing last season 8-6 overall and 5-3 in MAC play. However, that was a rebuilding year for the program and it was dealing with a season-ending injury to star quarterback Matt Johnson. Look for this team to compete at the top of the MAC East this season, and that spells trouble in West Lafayette. The Falcons are loaded on offense and actually may the biggest test to the Boilermakers defense, a test that D is going to fail in my estimation.

at Michigan State
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

If there’s one thing I know about the Purdue season in 2015 it’s that it gets few breaks on the scheduling front. Getting Michigan State off the heels of a loss to Bowling Green certainly counts as that. Sparty rolls and it isn’t likely to be pretty in East Lansing.

vs. Minnesota
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

Back-to-Back losses aren’t fun as the meat of the schedule comes, but three-straight losses? You can bet people are going to be calling for Hazell’s head. After a crazy 39-38 loss to Minnesota in Minneapolis, the Gophers make a statement that they are in the West division race for real. The Gopher defense is potent and with Jeff Jones in the mix at wide receiver the offense could be more dynamic than it has been in the past, which spells trouble for Purdue.

at Wisconsin
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

Darrell Hazell’s march towards the unemployment line continues thanks to the Big Ten schedule makers. Seriously? MSU, Minnesota and Wisconsin all in a row…why not just throw in Nebraska (oh just you wait, they are next) and some Ohio State in the mix for good measure. Purdue has historically struggled with games in Madison and the 2015 season won’t be any different as the Badgers roll.

vs. Nebraska
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

Oh, you thought I was kidding that Nebraska was up next? Nope, and if you’re counting at home, this marks a five-game losing streak as October ends. While Mike Riley’s bunch has plenty of questions to answer as the season begins, I fully expect those things to be sorted out and the Huskers looking to make up for an early season loss to Wisconsin. That’s bad news for Purdue.

vs. Illinois
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

Really this is Purdue’s first chance to see a winnable game on the schedule. Illinois’ defense has been equal to the disaster that is Purdue’s. This game is even at home. So why am I not seeing this as a win for the Boilers? Simply put, Wes Lunt and the Illini offense is going to torch this Purdue defense, while Purdue’s offense can’t sit here today and claim to be anything close to explosive. Give me the better offense against a terrible defense any day.

at Northwestern
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

If I’m right, this could be the week we see Darrell Hazell gone from the Purdue program. Not only is a five-game Big Ten losing streak unacceptable at this point in time during a coaching tenure, but especially so when you’re looking to build something strong. Hazell may or may not coach this game, but he won’t survive it and that has a lot to do with Justin Jackson at running back and this game being in the vortex of the Big Ten that is Ryan Field.

at Iowa
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

With Hazell likely out or at least the sharks circling until the end of the season, it won’t matter where these two teams stand. Make it a seven-game losing streak here as a trip to Iowa City is never fun, and likely not so for even the best of Big Ten teams at times. The outside distractions of questions about Hazell’s status as a head coach or who will replace him full-time are likely to be in full swing. C.J. Beathard has himself a career game amidst all that and the Hawkeyes earn a much-needed win.

vs. Indiana
Andy — Loss
Dave — Loss

This could be the rally game for the Boilermakers of 2015, given it’s an in-state rivalry and it may be the chance to send Hazell out a winner. It’s not going to happen, especially if Nate Sudfeld is still upright and throwing passes. Additionally, I expect the Hoosiers defense to be much improved this season and that isn’t good news for an offense that could struggle in West Lafayette. The Old Oaken Bucket goes to Bloomington and the Hazell era ends (if he’s actually still around) on a very sour note.

Purdue’s 2015 Final Record/Big Ten Finish:

Andy: 2-10 (0-8)/7th in Big Ten West
Dave: 3-9 (0-8)/7th in Big Ten West

Our Predicted 2015 Big Ten Standings: 

West:
1.
2. Minnesota Gophers (Andy)/Nebraska Cornhuskers (Dave)
3. Iowa Hawkeyes (Dave)/Nebraska Cornhuskers (Andy)
4. Iowa Hawkeyes (Andy)/ Minnesota Gophers (Dave)
5. Illinois Fighting Illini (Dave)/Northwestern (Andy)
6. Northwestern Wildcats (Dave)/Illinois (Andy)
7. Purdue Boilermakers (Andy/Dave)

East:
1.
2.
3. Penn State Nittany Lions (Andy/Dave)
4. Michigan Wolverines (Andy/Dave)
5. Indiana Hoosiers (Andy/Dave)
6.
7. Rutgers (Andy/Dave)

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

Continue Reading
Comments

Big Ten

Top 25 Players in the Big Ten for 2017: No’s 20-16

Published

on

It is almost time for pads to start popping and helmets to start cracking together…and that means football season is right around the corner. Here at talking10 it also means the release of our annual Big Ten Preseason Top 25 Players list.

Top 25 List: No’s 25-21 |

After unveiling the first five players for the 2017 season, we continue our annual countdown of the best the Big Ten has to offer according to our staff.

Don’t forget to follow our staff of Andy Coppens, Phil Harrison, Philip Rossman-Reich and Zach Worthington on Twitter for their breakdowns of the Top 25 and their individual lists.

No. 20 — Michael Deiter, OC/G (Wisconsin)

http://gty.im/615527018

2016 Season Stats: Started all fourteen games in 2016 (ten at center and four at left guard). He was a consensus all-Big Ten honorable mention for the second year in a row, and anchored a line that saw the Badgers rush for 203.1 yards per game.
Best Game: vs. Illinois (led the O-line in a team effort of 363 yards rushing, 6TDs and no INTs)

Deiter is the arguably the most valuable and versatile player on the offensive line. He returns for his third year, so there’s also tons of experience to draw from. Wisconsin will always be a run first team, but we can’t forget about the passing game. To that end, he has been worked at left tackle some in the spring, so there’s a good shot he’ll at least be seeing some time against edge rushers that will be hell-bent on getting to the quarterback.

He’s played the interior of the line, has had to call out blocking assignments, and is a two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten performer. He’ll be counted on again to be the leader of Wisconsin’s vaunted offensive line tradition in 2017.

No. 19 — David Blough, QB (Purdue)

Embed from Getty Images

2016 Season Stats: 3,352 passing yards, 295 for 517 (57.1%), 25 TDs, 21 INTs, 4 TDs rushing
Best Game: vs. Iowa (458 yards passing on 30 for 59 (50.8%), 5 TDS, 1 INT

There’s no questioning the talent No. 11 possesses. But up until last year, it had just been potential with a lot of inconsistent play. While the decision making still needs to get better, Blough can make all the throws in the book. He is accurate deep, has a big arm, and when hot, can give even the best of secondaries fits.

Purdue has long been known as the cradle of quarterbacks in the Big Ten, and if Blough can cut down on the interceptions and learn the new system head coach Jeff Brohm, we might be looking at a first team All-Big Ten type talent. He’ll get the volume, he just needs to grow as a decision maker and be more consistent — especially against the better defenses in the league.

No. 18 — D’Cota Dixon, S (Wisconsin)

http://gty.im/625991878

2016 Season Stats: 60 total tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 1 sack, 4 INTs, 4 PBs, 1 FF, and 1 recovered fumble
Best Game: vs. Ohio State (9 total tackles, 1 INT)

Dixon is the steady safety that never misses an assignment and seems to have a knack for the big play. His interception late in the game sealed the win over LSU on September 3, and another INT in the end zone in overtime ended Nebraska’s bid for an upset in Camp Randall on October 29.

He earned third team All-Big Ten as well as Academic All-Big Ten last year. He is a great leader on and off the field and is very involved in the community, but it’s his play on the field that gets him the recognition in our Top 25. As the game has progressed to more and more spread attacks — with the Big Ten being no exception — having a safety as a leader and big-play guy who can read things is paramount to the success of the defense. Dixon fits that bill.

He’s already been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watchlist this preseason. The award is given annually to the player judged to be the best defensive player in the country, and is handed out by the Football Writers Association of America. The Badger D is counting on his steady play in the back-end of the defense to keep up the high level they’ve been playing at over the last few years.

No. 17 — Jack Cichy, LB (Wisconsin)

Embed from Getty Images

2016 Season Stats: 60 total tackles, 7 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 2 passes defended
Best Game: vs. Ohio State (15 tackles, 3.5 TFLs)

Cichy probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Part of that is likely because of his size, and another part is largely due to an injury that cut his season short last year. Still, No. 48 is another hard-nosed, 100% effort Wisconsin inside linebacker who is not afraid to throw his body into the fray.

In 2016, he was a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy quarter-finalist, and All Big Ten honorable mention. And that was in just seven games of duty.

He’ll once again be looking to anchor a defense that has set the template for being stingy and aggressive. If he can stay healthy in 2017, he will be a force once again, and get further notoriety than what he already has.

As far as the preseason awards go, he is on the Bednarik, Nagurski, and Lott IMPACT Trophy watch-lists, and for good reason.

No. 16 — Marcus Allen, S (Penn State)

http://gty.im/602967178

2016 Season Stats: 110 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 3 passes defended
Best Game: vs. Minnesota (22 tackles)

Allen led the Nittany Lions in tackles last year — as a safety. Yes, a player out of the secondary led the entire defense in tackles. Let that sink in for a moment, because it’s the first time a safety has done that in Happy Valley since James Boyd did it in 2000.

Allen is very good at diagnosing plays on the back-end, but even better at coming up in run support, and off his initial read to make stops closer to the line of scrimmage. He’s not afraid to stick his head in on bigger players, and has great break and explosion after recognition.

In 2016, he was named All-Big Ten third team by the Coaches, and so far in 2017 he is on the Nagurski, Lott IMPACT, and Bednarik watch-lists. He is another talented defender on the back end that should play a huge part in the continuation of the Penn State resurgence.

Continue Reading

Boilers Football

Purdue Boilermakers 2017 Spring Football Game: What We Learned

Published

on

Spring games and spring football mean very different things to teams across the country. Some are trying to find starters or replace a bunch of talent that is off the NFL, others are hoping to just stay healthy and get work done.

However, with a new coaching staff, the Purdue Boilermakers’ 2017 spring camp has been all about finding out who this team is.

On Saturday afternoon at Ross-Ade Stadium, the Boilermakers presented themselves to the general public for the first time in the Jeff Brohm era. It is all about tempo, big plays and getting back to the basics of attacking through a pass-happy offense.

But, was that what was on display in the 2017 Purdue spring game? Let’s find out what we learned from the spring game and camp.

There’s Reason For Hope

You know a program is down in the dumps when fans stop showing up to games in droves. All hope seems lost.

Well, if the spring game is any indication, Purdue fans should be ready to have a bit more optimism heading in to the 2017 season. Things were far from perfect during Saturday’s spring game, but both sides of the ball provided big moments that should provide hope to the fans going forward.

Brohm’s offense is predicated on hitting big plays and creating mismatches with tempo. We bore witness to some of the big-play ability that could be there this season in the first half of the spring game. Jackson Anthrop and Gregory Phillips seems to have found an ability to make big plays happen in the pass-catching department and that was good to see.

Defensively, the aggressiveness that was talked about all spring camp long also was on display. There were big plays, big hits and plenty of individual talent on display. There were also 11 “sacks” on the day (as quarterbacks weren’t actually live). It all added up to the defense winning 45-30 over the offense.

Names like safety T.J. Jallow, LEO linebacker Rob Simmons and fellow linebacker Kai Higgins were huge for the defense. Simmons was a stud and couldn’t be a matchup nightmare for opposing offenses based on his size and athleticism. Higgins recorded three sacks on the day and Jallow, a JUCO transfer from East Mississippi Community College, showed he was more than a hitting machine on the field.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a long way to go for this team. The defense blew some big assignments and it cost them early on in the game. The offense was brutal as well, scoring just three touchdowns on 23 possessions in the spring game.

But, this was at least a positive start to the Brohm era and a showcase that a solid foundation for future success is being laid.

David Blough Better Stay Healthy

One thing was abundantly clear from the spring game, and that is this offense without David Blough is in trouble. Many believed Elijah Sindelar would be the easy call as the backup, but reports out of camp said he was struggling at times and that was on full display on Saturday.

Sindelar took plenty of snaps before bowing out in the second half of the game, but couldn’t lead the Boilermakers offense in to the end zone at all. He finished the day 14 of 25 passes for 177 yards and no touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the athletic Jordan Sparks showed he still has plenty to work on as a passer — going just 9 of 18 for 106 yards and an interception.

Those aren’t exactly confidence-inducing numbers in an offense that is predicated on good quarterback play. Purdue’s quarterbacks need to step up to the plate in case the worst happens to Blough, because what we saw from them as a whole on Saturday was not good to say the least.

Wide Receiver Needs An Upgrade

Jackson Anthrop is a name to watch after the spring game. He at least stepped up when the big plays were needed. The younger brother to former Purdue wide receiver Danny Anthrop got free for a 69-yard reception on a simple go route early on in the game and then scored a 19-yard touchdown when the defense failed to cover him on the same route later in the first half.

But, outside of that kind of play it was a bad day for the Boilermakers wide receivers group. Even Gregory Phillips, the most experienced returning option, had a bad day overall. He followed up a big play early on by dropping easy passes and being largely irrelevant most of the day.

There will be an influx of names coming this summer, including former Notre Dame player Corey Holmes. One would expect the three newcomers will have ample opportunity to make the most of their arrival.

After all, this group has done next to nothing to show they are consistent enough to move this offense and this team to a different level than before.

Continue Reading

Boilers Football

What to watch for in Purdue Boilermakers 2017 Spring Game

Published

on

Few new head coaches in the Power 5 conferences have the challenge ahead of them as Purdue Boilermakers Jeff Brohm does. The good news is Brohm hasn’t buried his head in the sand so far.

Instead, this spring has been all about “going to work” and taking it back to fundamentals. Purdue has broken things down to the basics in hopes of building a solid base to work with, and given the disaster that was the Darrell Hazell era in West Lafayette, Ind. it probably has been the wise move.

But, as all new coaching regimes go, intrigue on just how quickly a turnaround may happen starts with the first public event — the spring game. With so many questions to answer, what are going to be the biggest ones facing Purdue in this particular moment?

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest things to watch for on Saturday

Defensive Improvement

There’s no way to sugarcoat it, Purdue’s defense has been in decline for a long time and it hit rock bottom in the Darrell Hazell years. Of course, there were individually talented players, but as a unit this group has been brutal for a while now.

Brohm isn’t exactly know as a defensive coach, so he’ll be trusting co-defensive coordinators Nick Holt and Anthony Pointdexter to turn this train around. Holt and Pointdexter are familiar names to Brohm, with both coaching on his staff at Western Kentucky.

Reports from camp have highlighted a huge pick up in hard-hitting JUCO safety T.J. Jallow from the now infamous “Last Chance U” series about Eastern Mississippi Community College. He’s been laying the wood when he can this spring and that certainly will be helpful to a defensive scheme that wants to be aggressive.

Gelen Robinson has slid inside and been a monster and overall the aggressiveness of the defense has certainly been turned up. But, is it because of pure improvement from the players or because of offensive deficiencies? Saturday’s spring game should help provide some of the answers and if they are positive for the defense, that will be a welcome bit of news for Boilermakers fans everywhere.

Any Help for David Blough in Passing Game

Let’s just say new head coach Jeff Brohm has laid down the gauntlet for the wide receivers this offseason. Simply put, the cupboard appeared bare and anyone willing to step up and showcase themselves in a positive light is likely to see the field this fall.

Has anyone taken advantage of the opportunities presented to them? Reports out of practice have not been too positive for the receiving group so far. Instead, most have been about how good the secondary has looked.

If anyone can show some consistency and some pop in the spring game, they are certainly going to find themselves in the mix for large amounts of snaps this fall. Let’s see if anyone can actually show out on Saturday.

Offensive Line Play

If you’re familiar with the Big Ten, then you know championships are largely won with the play of the offensive and defensive lines. Have an elite group on both sides and watch your championship chances skyrocket.

Purdue has been as far from stellar on that front as possible for the last few years. Can Brohm and offensive line coach Dale Williams get this group to a quality level quickly? The good news is that this group is young and inexperienced, meaning Williams won’t have to break them of habits he doesn’t like and can mold this group in his image.

Judging by the fact he was able to get a player like Frank Martin, who was named third team All-American this past season, to elite levels, expect the Boilers offensive line to get better quickly.

However, it hasn’t been an easy spring. Reports indicate the offensive line has had trouble handling the aggressive nature of Purdue’s new-look defense. Will that show up in spring ball or will Williams be able to show his group has improved enough over 15 practices to be excited about come the fall?

There are a lot of holes to fill in on this team and this spring game will likely be about finding those players who want to step up and do something about those holes. The offensive line included.

Continue Reading

Badgers Basketball

2017 talking10 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Awards Special

Published

on

The Big Ten may have its awards, but what is the point of watching endless hours of Big Ten basketball without putting our two cents in, right?

Welcome to the 2017 taking10 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Awards special. Our hope is to educate you on the names that dominated our conversations and the hardwood across the Big Ten this season.

So, sit back and enjoy our special for your viewing pleasure.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

talking10 Podcast

Most Popular

Copyright © 2018 talking10.com. This site is not affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by the Big Ten Conference. It is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only and is no way associated with the NCAA, the Big Ten or any member institutions.