Purdue may have found their starting quarterback for the next couple of years, but they still can’t find a way to win. Freshman David Blough started his first career game against Bowling Green Saturday and despite a strong outing from the quarterback, the Boilermakers came up short in the end to fall to 1-3 on the season.
Head coach Darrell Hazell made the change at quarterback following a 51-24 loss to Virginia Tech last weekend, and so far it appears to be the right one. Blough succeeds junior Austin Appleby who had ups and downs in the early part of the season. Appleby threw four touchdown passes in a win against Indiana State of the FCS, but threw just one touchdown and six interceptions in his other two starts. Blough threw two touchdowns, an interception and accumulated 351 passing yards this weekend against the Falcons, which is a substantial improvement in the passing game.
There’s not much else going right for the Boilermakers this season, and it means that if Purdue is going to win any conference games this season, it’ll all be on Blough. D.J. Knox and Markell Jones can’t seem to get a leg up on the other. Jones has more touchdowns and a much higher average per carry (6.5 compared to Knox’s 3.9), but Knox has been receiving the majority of the carries.
Defensively, the team is a mess. Ja’Whaun Bentley has stood out as one of the top linebackers in the conference, but the unit as a whole has given up 35.2 points per game, which is easily the worst in the Big Ten.
The offense scores a lot of points, but the defense can’t stop anyone. The fact that they’ll be starting a true freshman at quarterback for the remainder of the season could mean a lot of mistakes that the offense can’t afford in a shootout, and any game that they have a shot at winning will likely be a shootout.
Jason Shawley is a Featured Writer for RantSports.com covering Big Ten Football. Follow him on Twitter @jshawls.