Purdue Boilermakers Season Preview: Defense

Bruce Gaston Purdue Boilermakers

Bradley Leeb – USA TODAY Sports

The Purdue Boilermakers‘ 2012 football season ended how many of their recent seasons have gone, finishing with a losing record and a bowl loss.

The Boilermakers ended up 6-7 overall on the year and only 3-5 in the Big Ten conference, which continues a recent trend of lackluster play from the team. The program decided it was time to move in a different direction. They fired head coach Danny Hope and brought in Darrell Hazell.

The Boilermakers weren’t particularly good in any phase of the game during 2012, but the defense was especially bad on the season. They finished 10th in the conference in scoring defense, giving up 31.2 points per game on the season. They finished even worse in total defense at 11th in the conference, giving up an embarrassing 415.8 yards per game.

While those numbers are bleak and not very promising for the Purdue football program, the good news is the team will return eight starters on defense going into 2013.

On the defensive line, senior Bruce Gaston will be the leader at the tackle position. He will play next to fellow senior Ryan Isaac and will be joined by defensive ends Greg Latta and Ryan Russell.

The linebacking core will be led by middle linebacker Joe Gilliam. He will play alongside sophomore Armstead Williams and senior Sean Robinson.

In the secondary, the Boilermakers return one of the best defensive backs in the conference with corner Ricardo Allen, who will be a four-year starter. The other corner will be sophomore Frankie Williams. They will be joined by junior safeties Taylor Richards and Landon Feichter.

The defense has to improve if the Boilermakers want to make any progress in the right direction as a program, and with so much experience returning in 2013, it’s hard to imagine they won’t get better.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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