Of course Purdue fans had hope coming in to this season. Two seasons in for Jeff Brohm after starting with a dumpster fire of a roster he went 13-13 and 1-1 in bowl games including last season’s 3-0 against ranked opponents. Facing one of the tougher schedules in football, playing all FBS teams, there was definitely going to be a challenge but the Hope for the black and gold may not be the one you’re thinking.
Every Boilermaker fan would love to forget the Darrell Hazell tenure but before that was Danny Hope. The inconsistencies of his teams is ultimately what did him in, but with Hope at the head you could expect three things; one win Purdue maybe shouldn’t have gotten, a loss they shouldn’t have had and just scraping in to a bowl game the rest of the way. Sound familiar Boiler fans?
Now don’t get me wrong, Brohm is a much better coach than Hope. What he did in year one shows that and the recruiting has taken several steps up. A top 25 class coming in this year and already four 4* recruits for next year with the class currently sitting at 31, but it has been an up and down tenure for Brohm’s staff.
For the wins against ranked teams last year there was also the Ohio loss and the eggs laid against Michigan State and Minnesota. This year was going to be different right? That recruiting class with a senior QB meant more consistency and maybe a threat for the Big Ten West right? Instead fans are left scratching their head after the Boilermakers blew it against Nevada and now Brohm is 0-3 in season openers.
Sindelar looked like the bowl game Sindelar in the first half as Purdue cruised out to a 24-7 lead. The black and gold didn’t come out in the second half and lost 34-31 on a last second field goal, including getting outscored 17-0 in the fourth quarter. The defense was solid but couldn’t make the big plays and the offense gave up five turnovers, and could have been more with how many balls they put on the turf.
This is a young football team; starting 10 freshmen or sophomores and another 16 in the two deeps but what a bad loss. With one of the toughest schedules in the country Brohm’s team can ill afford losing games they’re supposed to win. Vanderbilt and TCU are up next and Purdue could be 0-3 to start the season. There are also four ranked teams already on the schedule and three of them are road games.
I’m not hopping off the Boilermaker special, and honestly as a Purdue fan I’m used to these kind of losses, but the coach should take some heat for a loss like this in year three. Brohm will coach the team up and more talent will continue to flood West Lafayette, but that Boiler doubt has to sit in the back of your head after watching the Hope tenure.
Purdue is definitely ahead of schedule in year three from even the most optimistic Purdue fans, and the raised expectations are solely on what Brohm has been able to do for West Lafayette. No one was expecting a Bit Ten West title, yet, but the team should be better than that choke job. There shouldn’t be headlines for ‘biggest comeback in school history’ against Purdue. With so much youth there will be some up and downs but with better talent and the quality of coaching this team is better than the second half they showed against Nevada. What will the rest of non-conference look like for this young Purdue team?