The Purdue Boilermakers finished last season with winning record for the first time since 2007 when Curtis Painter and Dustin Keller led the offense. The current Purdue roster is built around breakaway speed and crafty quarterback play.
Purdue will have three options at quarterback and could play all three on the field at once, since all three are versatile and athletic. Seniors Caleb Terbush and Robert Marve started for the team last season, while 2010 freshman starter Rob Henry sat out with an ACL injury.
Speed will be key, and the Boilermakers have plenty of it to spare at the quarterback position. The velocity doesn’t stop there as running back Akeem Shavers and track star Akeem Hunt both can fly. Wide receivers Antavian Edison and O.J. Ross are both undersized speedy playmakers as well.
The team lacks the traditional size of Big Ten teams, but the Boilers will maximize their speed and multiple quarterback options.
Head Coach Danny Hope has been on the job for three years, and despite rumors of an upcoming dismissal, he is not only returning but was extended to 2016. He has 16-21 record over the course of his Purdue tenure and last season was his first bowl game.
Hope has a new defensive coordinator this season in Tim Tibesar. Tibesar worked for the CFL (Montreal) for the past three years, but he was with Kansas State prior to that. He employs a simple schematic with multiple formations to disrupt the offense with guile.
Purdue will have an interesting three-way battle at quarterback throughout the offseason. Terbush and Marve will mix in and out of the offense and even play some downs on the field together. The third participant is Henry, the freshman starter from 2010, who is now back from injury. Henry is able to line up at running back or wide receiver to get on the field. These three quarterbacks may cause some preparation difficulties for opposing teams as Purdue’s offensive schemes will have great flexibility.
The offensive line will be key to open up lanes for the speedy playmakers of the Purdue offense. The line however, is the biggest question mark on that side of the ball for the Boilermakers. They lost three starters and the injury bug has hit senior staple Peters Drey and junior Justin Kitchens. Purdue will have to make a patchwork offensive line work well enough to get their speed racers off the line.
Purdue does not have a projected starter over six-feet tall at either running back or receiver, and keeping these players healthy will be the key to their offensive success.
Purdue brings back five of its front seven starters, and that includes All-American candidate Kawann Short. Short finished last season with 6.5 sacks and is both athletic and versatile on the defensive front. New coordinator Tibesar has to be pleased to have a player of his caliber on his new defense.
The secondary returns it’s two starting cornerbacks, Ricardo Allen and Josh Johnson, who led the Boilermakers in interceptions last season with three and two, respectively.
When a new coordinator comes to a program, there is usually an adjustment period. Purdue brings back starters on each level and have a potential star able to disrupt the opponent’s backfield. Purdue finished ninth in the Big Ten in total defense, but this should be a much improved unit from last season.
2012 Purdue Football Schedule
Write about key matchups here.
2012 Purdue Boilermakers College Football Futures Odds
Bovada has Purdue at 50/1 on college football odds to win the Big Ten outright. The Boilermakers are in the Leaders Division and will have to best Ohio State and Wisconsin to have a chance to play the winner of the Legends Division. With the uncertain quarterback situation and the new defensive coordinator, Purdue is a correctly-judged longshot for the conference title.
2012 Purdue Boilermakers Football Predictions
The three quarterback situation will cause problems throughout the season, both for opponents preparing a game plan as well as Purdue executing a game plan. Marve already had a Twitter battle with the head coach in regards to his place in the system.
The athletes on this team are undersized, three of their best athletes have had ACL troubles (Marve, Henry and Bolden) and they will need to depend on a new offensive line unit to block for them. They will be able to use their speed against slower defenses, but they will have trouble against the harder-hitting teams of the Big Ten.
Purdue has a strong kick return game with sophomore Raheem Mostert leading the nation in kickoff returns (33.48 average) and should have short fields to work with again this season. When the offense is in sync, the Boilermakers can put up big points.
The scoring should be high in Purdue’s Big Ten opener against Michigan Oct. 6. And in road scenarios like Ohio State and Minnesota back-to-back, the Boilermakers should have a good line to take the points in close games. Their speed and kickoff abilities, along with a seasoned defensive unit, should keep them in all their conference games this season. This might be a very good team to bet on this year.
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