Quarterbacks Still Uncertain As Boilers Approach Missouri
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN -- The Missouri Tigers bring a lot of athletes into their matchup this week with the Purdue Boilermakers, says Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm.
"We're going to face a team that's in the SEC. They face good competition every week," Brohm said Monday during his weekly press conference in West Lafayette. "They have good athletes. We did see improvement on both sides of the ball (against Ohio), but I think we'll need to take that next step in order to compete and win."
The Boilermakers bounced back from a season-opening loss to #16 Louisville with a trouncing of Ohio University 44-21 in their home opener at Ross-Ade Stadium on Friday. With the Boilers establishing a successful ground game against the Bobcats, thanks to Tario Fuller's 16 carries for 146 yards and one touchdown, the main question for Purdue has been their quarterbacks.
Sophomore greenhorn QB Elijah Sindelar got the start against Ohio, his second in a row, and lasted only the length of the first quarter. In a planned move, Brohm then inserted junior David Blough, who sparked a rally of 21 unanswered points going into halftime.
Brohm says he will wait until later this week to determine his starter for the Missouri game.
"We'll wait 'til Saturday to determine that," said Brohm. "David did a good job Friday. Unfortunately for Elijah, we had some drops when he was in there. But, I thought he played very well, also. Both quarterbacks are improving."
The Missouri Tigers will enter Saturday's contest with a lot more questions about their team than Purdue will have about themselves. Missouri head coach Barry Odum has fired defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross, one day after the team gave up 43 points in a 72-43 win over FCS opponent Missouri State in Week 1 and got blitzed by South Carolina 31-13 in Week 2.
This will likely have the Tigers relying heavily on their offense, led by junior quarterback Drew Lock.
"I think he's a big, strong quarterback. He's got a good arm," Brohm said of Lock. "From what I've seen on video, he's done a good job of distributing the ball. [He's] thrown for eight touchdowns already in two games."
Now two games deep in the season, Brohm says that fan support have been a huge part of Purdue's confidence so far this season.
"I believe in having fun. I think if you have fun, you're going to want to work even harder," Brohm said of the support. "Without question, I want the atmosphere to be one that our coaches enjoy coaching in, [that] our players enjoy coming over to the building, working hard, getting better."
Kickoff for Saturday's matchup at Farout Field in Columbia, Missouri is at 4:00 p.m. EDT on the SEC Network.
(PHOTO: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)