It’s that same old Purdue feeling, inconsistency, heart break and leaving fans frustrated with questions of what if. The start of season number two for Jeff Brohm had everyone shaking their heads with expectations of a big step forward in West Lafayette but instead Purdue was 0-3 with a home loss to Eastern Michigan. Will the Boilers make it to a bowl game with #23 Boston College coming to West Lafayette and still most of the Big Ten slate left? It sure was looking ugly and a familiar feeling for Purdue fans, having expectations that didn’t seem they were going to come anywhere close.
Then Brohm showed everyone why those big jobs have been rumored, four straight wins that started with a drubbing of #23 Boston college and ended with a dominating performance to knock off unbeaten and #2 Ohio State. That was the team we all expected this year and that 0-3 start turns in to three close games with mistakes that were decided by eight total points. The Boilers captured national attention and put themselves back in the Big Ten West race. With a win against Michigan State could the Boilermakers find themselves in the top 25?
Against a backup QB and playing on fire it seemed like the black and gold were gonna roll on to their fifth straight win, but the Spartans found their defense holding Blough without a TD pass and forcing three interceptions. 23-13 was the final score but backup QB Rocky Lombardi threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns. Back home and a crucial Big Ten West match up against #16 Iowa was next and Brohm and Blough responded in a big way. It came down to a field goal but Purdue was now 3-0 against ranked opponents.
In the Big Ten West race, a chance to get bowl eligible before the end of the season with a struggling Minnesota team next all of our hopes were high, and instead the black and gold laid an egg again. A 41-10 drubbing ending the the Big Ten West race and has Purdue back to the drawing board again. The most points given up in the Brohm era and tied for the least amount scored, this definitely looks like the worst loss for the coach.
The Golden Gophers were fresh off a shellacking by Illinois in which they gave up 430 yards on the ground, but were able to hold Purdue’s high powered offense without a third down conversion in to the second half. Purdue couldn’t do anything on either side of the ball in the second half and looked like they weren’t competing against a team they were better than. This didn’t look like a Jeff Brohm team but like a Hazell team.
Is this a 6-6 team? 3-0 against ranked teams and it seems like this Purdue team could just squeak in to bowl eligibility. Getting to a bowl in year one was a huge surprise and a testament to Brohm and his staff’s ability to coach. In year two it may just be a reminder of how much work it will take Brohm to rebuild the Boilermakers. Fresh off of 4* WR commit Milton Wright choosing Purdue and pushing the class up to 24th nationally, more talent is coming and so are big things but we’re all scratching our heads a bit this season.
Flirting with the top 25 but just not quite there. Inconsistency and dumb penalties are marks of a not good team, but we’ve also seen just what this program can do without the talent that Brohm can bring in. It feels like that same old Purdue feeling but this is different. Yes there has been disappointment but it’s just the setbacks before the big breakthrough.