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Purdue Boilermakers

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There’s some hope for Purdue’s football team this season and it has nothing to do with how 2016 went. That’s a good thing because the Boilermakers went 3-9 and lost their final seven games. It’s all about new coach Jeff Brohm, who comes over from high-flying Western Kentucky and gained a name under Louisville’s Bobby Petrino. Now it’s whether Brohm can bring that offense to the Big Ten, a rough-and-tough, defense-first conference.

To help, Purdue returns its quarterback David Blough, who was the ultimate gunslinger a year ago completing 57.1% of his passes for 25 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. If he can limit the interceptions, this offense will be in business. The problem is that he lost most of his top targets with tight ends Cole Herdman (344 yards, 3 TDs) and Brycen Hopkins being his top returnees. Someone will have to step up at wide out because Brohm’s offenses always have one or two guys that catch a ton of passes. Senior Gregory Phillips looked solid in the spring, but he doesn’t have a firm starting spot, with Notre Dame transfer Corey Holmes also in the mix. At the least, top running back Markell Jones (616 yards, 4 TDs) returns, although he’s still behind a mostly questionable group on the line.

While there’s hope for the offense, the defense remains a problem (38.3 ppg allowed) even with new coordinators Nick Holt and Anthony Poindexter taking over. The line loses most of its pieces outside of Gelen Robinson, but that’s probably not a bad thing as the Boilers gave up close to 240 rushing yards per game last year. Something to build off will undoubtedly be at linebacker with sophomore Markus Bailey to go with Ja’Whaun Bentley, Danny Ezechukwu and incoming T.J. McCollum from Western Kentucky. The secondary has some experience, as well, but that experience needs to improve.

Purdue has hope, but it’s still a bit too early to expect success from Brohm in his first season with the team. The Boilermakers were +16000 in the spring to win the Big Ten (at 5Dimes Sportsbook), which places them on the same line as Maryland and Illinois.

The schedule isn’t too kind for Purdue with non-conference tilts against Louisville and at Missouri both looking like possible losses. From there, they open with Michigan and Minnesota at home. It’ll be important for the Boilers to beat a team like Minnesota, otherwise, they’ll be looking at another three-win season. The best chances for wins include Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana all at home while they travel to Rutgers. This team could reach five wins, but expecting a bowl is a little too much with a defense that remains a question. The Boilermakers should compete in more games due to the offense, but that could be it.


2017 Purdue Boilermakers Football Schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Louisville
Sept. 8 vs. Ohio
Sept. 16 at Missouri
Sept. 23 vs. Michigan

Oct. 7 vs. Minnesota
Oct. 14 at Wisconsin
Oct. 21 at Rutgers

Oct. 28 vs. Nebraska
Nov. 4 vs. Illinois
Nov. 11 at Northwestern
Nov. 18 at Iowa
Nov. 25 vs. Indiana

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