West Lafayette, IN– During the first two spring seasons of Purdue Football under Head Coach Darrell Hazell, the offense left a lot on the field to be desired. During their latest installment of the jersey scrimmage; that was far from the case. The offense crushed the defense 111-45. This is completely opposite as to what practice has been like, as the defense has been dominant through the first few weeks of spring football.
Junior Austin Appleby got the start with the 1’s to open up the scrimmage and he didn’t disappoint. Appleby went 3-3 on the drive including hitting DeAngelo Yancey for roughly a 50 yard touchdown. Danny Etling also got things moving with the 2’s on the next series, however his first drive ended in a fumble. When Etling took the field a second time he hit Anthony Mahoungou for another offensive score.
Redshirt Freshman David Blough saw time with the 3’s on his first appearance on the field. Blough was able to get out of trouble, and the drive was capped off with a Markel Jones roughly fifty yard touchdown run. On Blough’s second appearance he hit a 60 yard bomd for another touchdown.
The quarterbacks were impressive in the scrimmage. Blough led all quarterbacks with 275 yards on 24-32 passing and one touchdown. Etling led all QB’s with two touchdowns and also having 206 yards on 14-24 passing. Etling did miss some easy open throws, but made up for it was some more difficult ones. Appleby finished the game with 183 yards on 12 of 14 passing and one touchdown, and was a more efficient passer. Appleby continues his efficiency as he has yet to throw an interception in the spring, and from an early perspective seems to have separated himself from the other two signal callers.
The wide receivers were impressive today as well. They were more physical, driven, and motivated then it appeared at any point last season. Returning star Danny Anthrop went through most of the warm ups but was held out until he is cleared to play after recovering from ACL surgery. Dan Monteroso stole the show as he had seven catches for 161 yards and one touchdown. After somewhat of a sophomore slump, Yancey seems to have returned to form. He had six catches for 94 yards and one touchdown.
The receivers were much improved in terms of getting open and fighting for footballs. Yancey’s catch for the touchdown was a prime example of that. The ball was in the air, he stopped, positioned his body in a way that he could get the ball and went up and jumped for it. If the wide receivers can do that against players other than their teammates, the deep ball could be effective this season. It was more obvious as well that John Shoop worked on deeper pass plays, compared to the last two seasons.
The area of focus today was by far the rushing attack. After losing Raheem Mostert and Akeem Hunt, the group was left with Keyante Green as the only back on the roster with any experience. Current early signee Markel Jones made everyone aware however that they should not count him out for getting touches this season. Jones had 19 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns and a blistering 8.37 yards per carry. Green had 15 touches for 62 yards and two touchdowns as well and a 4.31 yard per carry average. No one who carried the football had less than a four yards per carry average. The team as a whole averaged over five yards a carry. It would be hard to see Jones not get significant carries once the season starts, but it is way too early to know that for sure.
At points the offense worked on using their tempo offense and it was very useful and efficient. It appeared as though Appleby was more capable to be able to run the tempo and get his team set. The tempo offense Purdue is trying to employ will be very successful once the kinks get knocked out of it. With a simple call the team can go from a traditional huddle, to hurry up, to a loose huddle, to getting lined up and looking for a call and it always keeps the defense off balance. When that portion of the offense becomes a well-oiled machine, it could be a valuable weapon for the Boilermakers.
It is always hard to tell during scrimmages if offenses are really good or defenses are really bad. The last two seasons during spring games, the offense was less than efficient and that ended up holding true come the fall. For Purdue’s sake, hopefully that trend holds true, because the offense was efficient, quick, and clicking on all cylinders today. Next up for the Boilermakers are three more spring practices, then the break of spring ball next Saturday with the spring game April 18th at 1:00 p.m at Ross-Ade Stadium
Chris Jewell is the College Sports Editor for Indiana Sports Report. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisJewellISR and Indiana Sports Report @IndySportsRep