Saturday, the Purdue Boilermakers take the field against South East Missouri State. This is the
first game since the dramatic lost at Rice last week. The Boilers got a last second field goal blocked with a chance to win the game, losing to a Non-AQ school for the third straight season while I have been on campus at Purdue. While this is becoming the normal thing to see at Purdue, it is just not acceptable for a team with the potential of Purdue to fail against the almost guaranteed wins that are on the schedule for that reason. If Purdue has any aspirations for going to a bowl game this season still, here are a few things that I think that Coach Hope needs to consider for Saturday's game.
1. Implement the Run Game Early
While the offensive line's play isn't always the strongest thing for Purdue, there are many reasons to believe that this is a key. Ralph Bolden is arguably the best player on Purdue's roster. There are obvious reasons why they need to feed him early and often. Bolden should get about 15 carries in the first half and shove the ball down the throats of SE Missouri State. While Bolden is not the lone back in this system, they should feature him, while giving Shavers his fair share of looks as well. Overall, the Boilers should set a tempo to overpower a weaker opponent.
1a. Learn Some Discipline
There is no excuses for the amount of penalties that the Boilers are committing per game. Ultimately it comes down to the coaching, which I am not the biggest fan of personally. Hope needs to get control of this team and their discipline before they lose their jobs because they keep shooting themselves in the foot.
2. Stick With One Quarterback
While headlines in The Exponent read earlier this week praising the return of Robert Marve from injury, we can not have a dual quarterback system. While I think that TerBush is playing fairly well for the start of the season, I do question who the true leader of the offense is. Hope needs to make a decision at the start of the game, and stick with it. If you go with TerBush and he struggles, decide if you want to pull him or stick with him, but when you make that decision, make it the answer going forward. The team needs stability and it starts with the leader of your offense.
3. Get a Solid Pass Rush
The Ryan Kerrigan era at Purdue is over. Our defensive line needs to step up right now and apply pressure when there is only a four man rush. If they can't start doing that this week, our defense will be in trouble against the powers of the Big Ten this season. Our secondary has some bright spots, but on a whole needs some help in coverage from our linebackers. If we can't drop back in obvious passing situations without applying pressure, the opposing offense will make plays that will keep drives alive and produce touchdowns.
I truly don't see there being much of a game in this one. If Purdue plays to what they should, this should be one that the fans can enjoy. Hopefully our defense steps up, and hopefully we can see Carson Wiggs put one through for a record. Purdue wins big 38-10.