As Darrell Hazell takes over the Purdue Boilermakers in 2013, he’ll bring his brand of fast-paced offense that made him so successful with the Kent State Golden Flashes last season. But a new offense could face some transition pains next season, so Hazell will likely hope to lean on his defense early in 2013 to hold things down. Luckily for him, he has a playmaker in Ricardo Allen who could take some of the pressure to score off the offense next fall.
Allen has been a playmaker for Purdue since his freshman season when he recorded three interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns. Heading into his senior year, Allen has recorded seven career interceptions and has a school record with four touchdowns off of them, including a memorable 96-yard snatch and score against the Michigan Wolverines.
Opposing teams may have learned their lesson with Allen, however and are testing the Purdue defense in other areas. Last season, he recorded just one interception, though he was able to turn that into six points. The rest of the defense may need to step up their game to funnel more plays Allen’s way so that he can get back to his game-changing ways once he has the football in his hands.
Hazell could also work on finding new ways to get the football into Allen’s hands on offense and special teams. He clearly has a nose for finding the endzone, but has only gotten the chance to return two punts in his career. Perhaps Hazell could find some new and imaginative ways to get the ball into Allen’s hands to create more opportunities for him to use his athleticism and break the game open for the Boilermakers.
The transition will likely be a little rocky to start 2013, but with Allen’s home-run ability in the secondary, Purdue could be a dangerous team to tangle with next fall.