The Buckeye Battle Cry: So, what’s the deal with Coach Hazell’s hat brim?
Boiled Sports: It’s always sunny in West Lafayette (and warm too)…Coach Hope had to wear Ray Ban sunglasses…Coach Haze shields his eyes from the bright sun’s reflection off of the gold helmets with those flaps.
tBBC: The Boilers are rebuilding their program, and have decided to go with a moustache-less head coach. Other than a hairless upper lip, what are some of the changes you’ve seen in the new regime?
Boiled: This coaching staff hasn’t been caught with its foot in its collective mouth yet…that’s nice. Another big change is the loss of the four or five QB system…we all miss that very much.
tBBC: Who are some up and coming Boilers that we’ll be frustrated by in a few years?
Boiled: TONS of Freshman are playing right now…and honestly it’s showing. DeAngelo Yancey already physically looks like a Junior…and will create problems for small cornerbacks. Dalyn Dawkins runs very hard and hits holes quickly…but needs more space. But DT RaZahn Howard might be the guy that will be most frustrating. He’s only been getting reps for two games, but has made his presence felt pretty quickly.
tBBC: It seems like despite his early struggles, Danny Etling has showed some promise as a True Freshman. He is definitely one of the elite QBs of this Big Ten class alongside Hackenberg, Barrett, and Morris. Do Purdue fans buy into the fact that he has the potential to be one of the best signal callers in the Big Ten down the road? Even though he is young, does he appear to have the makings of another Dawson/Griese/Brees career for Purdue?
Boiled: His habits off of the field might be the greatest indicator of his potential; he’s a hard-worker, film room junkie and is pretty poised in front of the press. On the field, he’s simply not getting a ton of time and makes Freshman mistakes. BUT, he has a big arm and throws the ball with a ton of velocity. It’s pretty clear that the game is moving very fast for him at this point…I’m glad he’s playing now and getting used to the speed and level of the competition. But his offensive line needs to grow up a lot in the next few seasons so he can get better.
tBBC: It appears that the Purdue offense, such as it is, runs through Akeem Hunt (80 of Purdue’s 199 carries, 24 of their 128 receptions). Who else can step in to take some of the load off Hunt for the balance of this season?
Boiled: Yancey, Anthrop, and Knauf are all weapons that haven’t made enough noise (by little fault of their own). I think Knauf/Anthrop will get a lot of touches next season out of the slot. Hunt is tremendously quick, but seems like a guy who isn’t playing is natural position in this offense as he struggles running between the tackle. BUT, he catches the ball well and has good vision.
tBBC: Does Kevin Wilson’s relatively quick turnaround for Indiana create any pressure in West Lafayette?
Boiled: Not really…we’ll see how we feel in November, but IU’s season was teed up for them to walk into a bowl. As of right now, it looks like they might struggle just to get into a bowl game at all. I’m not sure if it’s much of a turnaround yet. That said, their offense is very potent…but their defense can’t stop the run; that’s a problem.
tBBC: Watching Michigan State’s offense this year: Frustrating for Purdue fans, or “bullet dodged” in terms of not having to deal with Walrus-ball?
Boiled: I actually loved watching MSU’s offense on October 12th and 19th.
tBBC: Danny Hope took the voodoo idol he buried at Ross Ade with him when he left, right?
Boiled: Oh no. He had to choose between his buyout and the statue…that was written into his contract renegotiation (thank goodness).
tBBC: Seriously, what’s up with that hat thing?
Boiled: My Dad was in the Army…he bends his bills that way. Hazell coached at the US Military Academy and clearly liked a lot about that culture; I’m pretty sure this is a carry-over from his time there. Also, the sun/glare thing.
Thanks for taking time to chat, fellers… looking forward to basketball season!