After going just 6-12 since that massive 2018 upset of #2 Ohio State and putting one of the nation’s worst defenses on the field in 2019, Purdue finds themselves in the 47th spot.
There is not a lot of upside for the Boilermakers going into the 2020 season…the tough Big 10 schedule, the non-existent run game (ranked 126th) and a defense that allowed their opponents to do with them as they pleased (allowed 30.6 ppg and 436.3 ypg).
Coach Jeff Brohm, one of the brightest offensive minds in the NCAA, has his work cut out for him.
Purdue Boilermakers 2020 schedule (projected 5-7, 2-6 Big 10)- *BOLD is projected wins
Sept. 5 at Nebraska
Sept. 12 Memphis
Sept. 19 Air Force
Sept. 26 at Boston College
Oct. 10 Rutgers
Oct. 17 at Illinois
Oct. 24 at Michigan
Oct. 31 Northwestern
Nov. 7 at Minnesota
Nov. 14 Wisconsin
Nov. 21 Iowa
Nov. at Indiana
The quarterback position is wide open this year. Sophmore Jack Plummer, Junior Aidan O’Connell and UCLA grad transfer Austin Burton will all be throwing their into the hat to get picked as QB1 for the 2020 season. All of them coming off a season that seen playing time, so it’s every man for themselves.
Plummr – 1,63 yds, 11 TDs and 8 INTS
O’Connell 1,101 yds, 8 TDs and 4 INTs
Burton 44 of 64 for 365 yds and a TD in his one start for UCLA
Not that it really means much, being how they were one of the worst running teams in the ENTIRE NATION, but Purdue is returning their top two running backs from last season. Sophmore King Doerue (451 yards and five TDs) and Junior Zander Horvath (377 yards and two TDs).
Sophmore receiver David Bell (1,035 and seven TDs) and the redshirt Sophmore Rondale Moore (1,645 career yards and 14 TDs) will be looking to help lead a receiving corps (that was #12 in the nation) to another year full of highlight reels, TDs and picking up the slack for the running game.
Fifth year Senior T Grant Hermanns is as solid and talented as they come. Unfortunately after that, the Boilermakers have no clue what they have or how well they will work together. Which is only going to hurt the already suffering run game that much more.
The Boilermakers went in a different direction after watching their defense finish towards the bottom of the FBS. In comes defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, hired from Louisiana Tech. With Diaco, comes a new look defense and some serious changes. Diaco will be using his base 3-4 defense, which will give his stacked linebacker group a chance to prove themselves and turn the culture of Purdue football around.
Derrick Barnes will be back at the linebacker position this season and all eyes will be on him. Junior college transfer DeMarcus Mitchell will line up at the “Cat” outside linebacker spot to the boundary, while Sophmore Jalen Graham will be at the “Dog” spot to the field side. Helping take some pressure off the defensive line and letting them focus on getting the quarterback.
With more help from the linebackers with this 3-4 base scheme, Sophmore DE George Karlaftis (7.5 sacks last season), fifth year Senior DT Lorenzo Neal and Senior NT Anthony Watts can focus on getting to the quarterback and disrupting the run game.
J.D. Dellinger will be back as PK after making 13 of 16 FGs attempts last season. There will be a competition between Brooks Cormier and Zac Collins for the punter spot.
Sorry Boilermakers, outside of another miracle upset like in 2018, the 2020 season is nothing to look forward to. Keep your heads up though, you are playing in and against the toughest conference in the ENTIRE NCAA.