Purdue football’s already unique game day circumstances this season have been made even more extraordinary, as quarterbacks coach Brian Brohm plans to take the head coaching reins from his brother Jeff.
The Boilermakers will take on Iowa this Saturday without their head coach on the sideline after Jeff Brohm tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday morning.
“I feel ready to take on the challenge and I’m excited about it,” Brian Brohm said about his new role within the team.
Brian Brohm will now be making calls from the sidelines rather analyzing plays from the press box.
“Now it’s just going to be me calling it on game day,” Brian Brohm said. “Everything I’m doing up until the game day is pretty much the same as what I always do, just now my game day experience will be different.”
The Boilermaker offense this season features a deep wide receiver corps led by junior Rondale Moore and sophomore David Bell. Bell was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2019.
“Those guys can make plays, and I really look forward to seeing some of the new ones in live action,” Brian Brohm said.
Purdue picked up several new wide receivers for this season, including four-star recruit Maliq Carr and Marcellus Moore. It’s unclear who will be the third wide receiver in the starting lineup.
“We’re still doing a position battle,” Bell said. “(Wide receivers coach Jamarcus Shephard) is still evaluating a lot of guys and he hasn’t made a depth chart yet.”
Iowa has had a strong defense in recent years according to Brian Brohm, and has not allowed Purdue many chances to make big plays.
“Overall, (Iowa has) strong guys that are very sound in technique, so we all thought we got a big challenge in front of us for this O-line,” fifth-year offensive lineman Grant Hermanns said.
This season, there will be no fans allowed at games and no tailgating outside of Ross-Ade Stadium. This change will bring about a different atmosphere for the players.
“We’re going to have to create our own juice and be our own hype man and kind of roll from there, but still remember it’s a big game,” sophomore tight end Payne Durham said. “We got to go out there and perform like the stadium’s full.”
Purdue has not won a season opener since Jeff Brohm took over as head coach before the 2017 season.
“That first game can set the tone for the whole year,” Hermanns said. “Once you get momentum on your side, you get moving a little bit, then things can get rolling. So this first game is going to be extremely important.”
The Boilermakers will play Iowa on Saturday at Ross-Ade at 3:30 p.m.