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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 6 26 By The Numbers 29 5.5 938 Consecutive games with at least one catch for tight end Cole Herdman. It's the longest such streak for a Purdue player since Justin Sinz, a fellow tight end and now a graduate assistant, finished his career with 24 in a row. Average yards per carry for Purdue's top four backs, Mar- kell Jones, D.J. Knox, Tario Fuller and Richie Worship. Knox (pictured) led the group at 6.2. Plays Purdue ran in Jeff Brohm's no-huddle offense in 2017, the most since 2012 (957) and second-most since 2007 (1,007). Photos by Tom Campbell "I've been telling people I think our offense has the potential to be pretty good," quarterback David Blough said. "I think guys will have to just under- stand their role and do their job. I think if we ex- ecute on offense every game and take pride in the little things, not beating ourselves with penalties or getting behind the chains, I think our offense can take big strides. "I think our offense can be a strength rather than having to be helped a lot by the defense (like) last year. That's fine by us. I think that's probably how Coach Brohm would like it anyway. Don't tell Coach (Nick) Holt that. But Coach Brohm would love it that way." But it may only have that potential to break out if Brohm can find what was missing for the most part of last season. Brohm's offenses are at their best when they're flanked by playmaking outside receivers, as evi- denced by Purdue's final stretch when Anthony Ma- houngou got hot and Greg Phillips caught double-dig- it passes in the bowl game. But who are those players on this year's team? Fig- uring that out could be the key to the offense's surge. "I think we should be better this year. I think as years progress, it'll be about getting playmakers, speed and guys who can be an advantage on the out- side. If we can do that, we can make improvement," Brohm said. "For this year, I think the young receiv- ers will be an addition, (it's) just how fast can they help? Rondale (Moore) is the farthest along, and he will be able to help, but some of the other guys who have been here have to step up and become play- makers, whether it's Terry Wright, Isaac Zico, Jarrett Burgess, (Jared Sparks) because otherwise, we're not special at that position. "I think we need to try to be more special." If that happens — if receivers develop and emerge as playmakers, guys who actually can create yards af- ter the catch, who can outrun defenders, who can juke and shake and evade — the offense could be exactly what players have been hoping for. "When people talk about Purdue's offense, I want them to say, 'That's an explosive offense and I don't know what they're going to do on any given play. They're unpredictable, in a good way,' " Herdman said. "Those trick plays, they're throwing a wrinkle to the defense. They've got to prepare for those every week, too. They'll think, 'When they're in this for- mation, they can run it, pass it or maybe they'll even do a triple reverse double flea flicker.' These aren't professional players. These are 18-22-year-old guys. They're sitting back there on defense like, 'What the hell is about to happen?' They're guessing half the time. They've got assignments, but when you've got an offense like ours is going to be this year, they have

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