Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Midseason report: Purdue
By Chantel Jennings
Purdue’s 20-14 win over Indiana State in Week 2 this season will likely be the only win the Boilermakers will pick up this season. Nationally, they rank 121st overall in points per game (15.3) and 117th in opponent points per game (37.8). Things really can’t get much worse and it doesn’t seem as though anything will be looking up any time soon. The Boilermakers (1-5) have a tough month ahead of them with Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa and Penn State on the schedule.
It definitely isn’t what the Purdue faithful had hoped for under first-year coach Darrell Hazell, but from an honest perspective this seems to be the kind of year expected of Purdue. The Boilermakers appear to be at least a few years from a bowl berth.
Offensive MVP: This is kind of like picking out the brightest pastel or the sweetest lemon drop. Purdue really hasn’t shown much on the offensive side of the ball (or the defensive side of the ball, for that matter), but we’ll go with a bit of positivity and potential for this MVP and say freshman quarterback Danny Etling. The early enrollee made his debut for the Boilermakers against Northern Illinois, and though the 55-24 loss wasn’t the result they wanted, Etling showed some promise. He threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns, but his two interceptions and 49 percent completion rate weren’t exactly MVP material. He followed that up with a lesser performance against Nebraska, but still, there’s hope for the young QB -- maybe not this year, but someday.
Defensive MVP: Senior defensive tackle Bruce Gaston. Six games in, with 27 tackles, he’s just one tackle shy of his 2012 total. Gaston has also accounted for a team-high 4.5 tackles for loss and a team-high three sacks, which ties him for sixth in the Big Ten. Gaston seems to be one of the few bright spots on a very dull Purdue defense.