The Purdue football team is looking to capitalize on the waves it made last season as it enters a new run of games.
After beginning the 2018 season 0-3, the Boilermakers kicked into high gear. A 49-20 upset of Ohio State, wins over ranked teams like Boston College and Iowa University and a win over conference rival Indiana University punched the team’s ticket to a bowl game.
The team’s future was briefly put in doubt in the offseason. Head coach Jeff Brohm was rumored to be considering a head coach position at his alma mater, University of Louisville, but ultimately confirmed his intention to stay at Purdue. The media attention surrounding this decision came to be known as “Brohm Watch.”
The team also suffered a crushing defeat to Auburn University in the Music City Bowl. The 49-point loss was the worst bowl game performance in the team’s history. Despite this, the team sees positivity in their future.
At the 2019 Big Ten Football Media Day on July 19, Brohm talked extensively about his vision for the season.
In addition to confirming fifth year Elijah Sindelar as the starting quarterback, Brohm emphasized a need for consistency and speculated that many of Purdue’s freshman recruits would see game time in the coming months.
Brohm especially emphasized wideout recruits David Bell, Milton Wright, TJ Sheffield and Mershawn Rice as starter candidates. He noted that the running corps lacked depth, meaning that freshmen tight ends Garrett Miller and Kyle Bilodeau would likely be in the mix as well.
Returning to the field is golden-boy sophomore wideout Rondale Moore. Moore broke the University’s single game all-purpose yards record in his first game as a Boilermaker, racking up 313 yards against Northwestern University.
“Rondale is a guy we don’t have to worry about,” Brohm said. “When the lights come on he doesn’t hesitate a bit. We’re gonna get him the ball. He’s unselfish, he wants to win.”
Moore was also the first true freshman consensus All-American football player in Big Ten history.
“It’s a tribute to my teammates, my coaches, my mentors and everyone who’s been a part of my journey,” Moore said in reference to his accolades. “To be considered that is really cool, but I think it’s bigger than me.”
Brohm also praised the strength of the schedule this season. This year will mark the third time in a row that the team faces 11 Power Five opponents in a season. The Power Five conferences include the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12 and SEC. This season, Purdue faces nine Big Ten opponents, Vanderbilt University and Texas Christian University. The Boilermakers are the only Big Ten team to face such a schedule this season.
The Boilermakers’ season opens Aug. 30 when they travel to Reno to face University of Nevada. Their home season begins at noon on Sept. 7 against Vanderbilt.