9/14/19 TCU, Jack Plummer

Redshirt freshman Jack Plummer drops back and throws against TCU. Plummer finished with 181 yards in his first career start, becoming the first freshman quarterback since 2015 to start for Purdue. The Boilermakers (1-2) lost to TCU, 34-13, Saturday in Ross-Ade Stadium.

The new face of the Purdue football team has seen a shaky start. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Plummer has been filling in for fifth-year quarterback Elijah Sindelar after Sindelar broke his clavicle, and it has not been easy.

The Gilbert, Arizona, native was highly recruited while in high school before choosing Purdue. ESPN had Plummer ranked as the nation’s 30th best high school quarterback, so his commitment to be a Boilermaker was big for the team.

He did not touch the field in 2018 as he backed up former quarterback David Blough, but Plummer learned many lessons under Blough.

Plummer has undeniable talent, but his play this season has been inconsistent. He lacks experience, similar to most of the team right now. The injury plague has hurt both sides of the ball and has forced many freshmen and sophomores to step into starting roles. With so much inexperience around the team, Plummer has been tasked with a tough job. Stepping in as the starting quarterback and having to become a leader in the middle of the season is not easy.

Plummer has taken some hard hits so far this year, as the offensive line has struggled. He was sacked 10 times and had a shy passing day. Plummer’s aerial attack produced 119 yards and a single touchdown.

Head coach Jeff Brohm addressed the amount of hits Plummer took against the Nittany Lions.

“When you get hit that many times, you know, you’re going to struggle a little towards the end, and we took a lot of sacks,” Brohm said.

The rushing game averaged just under a negative yard per attempt. With no running game to lean on and star receiver sophomore Rondale Moore injured, Plummer’s job on offense has gotten significantly harder.

However, as Plummer gains more experience, players and coaches are starting to trust him. Those around the team know that the more playing time and experience he has, the more he becomes capable of and the more his decision-making should improve.

Plummer has hardly targeted fifth-year tight end Brycen Hopkins. Hopkins was one of Blough’s favorite targets last season and produced big numbers for the Boilers.

“We made that a priority this week,” Plummer explained. “He’s one of our best players, and it’s important to give the best players the ball.”

With adjustments coming for the offense and a big week against University of Maryland approaching, the Boilers are looking to turn the season around. The team is 0-2 in the Big Ten but with a win streak, climbing up the conference ladder is possible. By defeating Maryland, Plummer and the Boilers can right the ship and get the season back on track.

Purdue’s homecoming weekend kicks off at noon on Saturday in Ross-Ade Stadium.

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