College Sports

Purdue off to slow start and Jeff Brohm vows to get it fixed

Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins is brought down by Eastern Michigan’s Jalen Phelps (1) and Kyle Rachwal after a pass reception in the first half of an NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue lost 20-19.
Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins is brought down by Eastern Michigan’s Jalen Phelps (1) and Kyle Rachwal after a pass reception in the first half of an NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue lost 20-19. Journal & Courier/AP

After leading Purdue to a 7-6 record and a bowl win last season, his first at the school, former Louisville quarterback Jeff Brohm was among the nation’s hottest young football coaches.

Alas, his Boilermakers have stumbled to an 0-2 start in 2018, falling 31-27 to Northwestern in their opener, then 20-19 to MAC opponent Eastern Michigan last Saturday.

On Monday, Brohm told the media that penalties are a huge part of the Boilers’ early problems and he plans to do something about it.

“There has to be consequences for their actions, and if guys are getting 15-yard penalties they’re out of the game,” said the coach. “If we see something close to that that’s not a penalty, they’re coming out of the game. We have to do it in practice, address it in practice and make sure that they’re training themselves every day to understand you can’t be silly and do things that cost your team when it has nothing beneficial for anybody.”

The Boilermakers helped Eastern Michigan’s final drive with an untimely personal foul penalty. Purdue linebacker Cornel Jones sacked EMU quarterback Tyler Wiegers on third down, only to be flagged for shoving Weigers after the play.

“Obviously, I need to work hard in developing a more disciplined football team,” Brohm said. “It’s very embarrassing.”

Brohm has also played musical chairs with his quarterbacks. Former Caldwell County star Elijah Sindelar started against Northwestern only to throw three interceptions and be yanked for senior David Blough. Brohm gave Blough the start against Eastern Michigan, but then turned to Sindelar in the second quarter.

Sindelar ended up hitting on eight of 14 passes for 87 yards and a score. Blough was six of 10 for 48 yards. Through two games, Sindelar is 26-for-44 for 283 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Rondale Moore, the former Louisville Trinity star who produced a breakout game against Northwestern, was held to just three catches for 16 yards. Moore had a 76-yard touchdown run and caught 11 passes for 109 yards, including a 32-yard TD from Sindelar, against Northwestern.

Another part of Purdue’s problem is a young defense that is ranked 93rd nationally in total defense. The Boilermakers are allowing 408.5 yards per game.

Now Purdue faces Missouri’s high-octane offense on Saturday in West Lafayette. The Big 10 Network has the 7:30 p.m. telecast. Missouri is 2-0 with wins over UT-Martin (51-14) and Wyoming (40-13). Led by quarterback Drew Lock, Missouri is 11th nationally in total offense at 579.5 yards per game. Lock is 10th nationally in pass efficiency with a 194.45 rating.

Purdue football 2018

DateOpponentPurOppDecRecBig 10
8/30Northwestern2731L0-10-1
9/8Eastern Michigan1920L0-2

9/15Missouri









9/22Boston College









9/29@Nebraska









10/13@Illinois









10/20Ohio State









10/27@Michigan State









11/3Iowa









11/10@Minnesota









11/17Wisconsin









11/24@Indiana









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