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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 9 Purdue has a "good" season if ... Kyle Charters If it gets solid — as in above average — play on the line of scrimmage. How long has it been since we've felt that way about a Boilermaker team on both sides of the ball? Years probably. Maybe a decade. But it'll need to happen if Purdue is to go from an also-ran to an outfit that can compete on a weekly basis. Not win every game, but compete. There's a lot to like about the Boilermakers' defensive line, with Jake Replogle being the No. 1 reason. And Evan Panfil seemingly had a big spring, taking to the coaching of new position boss Randy Melvin. And maybe the combo on the other side — Austin Larkin and Gelen Robinson — can rush the passer. But depth needs developed. Same can be said for the offensive line, where Jason King and Jordan Roos have a chance to be good, maybe Martesse Patterson, too, if he's in good condition. But then so many questions. If the Boilermakers can find enough answers, then maybe they can surprise. Stacy Clardie Clearly, this is completely subjective based on a definition of "good." And, with where this program is right now, there is not a simple answer. But let's go with the most obvious one: Purdue must finally get consistent, solid quarterback play. Every guy that's been rolled in there over the last three seasons was confident he could be the "guy." Each said the right things. Each was talented in his own way. Each had his own leadership qualities. But can David Blough be the one who can actually win? He has limitations — height, age/experience — but he'll make better decisions and be more accurate this year after eight starts. He'd seem to have pieces to take some pressure off him, too, with a dynamic receiving corps, a rising young running back and a potential- packed tight end. But maybe the best thing about Blough? He doesn't want any pressure off him. He's also an incredible competitor, plays with moxie and is a fighter. Qualities Purdue needs right now. Iowa's place in Athlon Sports' Preseason Top 25, the only Purdue opponent that the magazine ranks. It has Ohio State third, Michigan fifth, Notre Dame eighth and Michigan State 13th, but the Boilermakers don't play those teams this season. Target yardage for sopho- more Markell Jones, who would become the first Boilermaker running back to reach the mark since Kory Sheets in 2008. The milestone has been hit eight times previously by six players. The last year Purdue played all of its non-conference games at home, a theme that will be repeated this season. Then, freshman QB Mark Herrmann was 2-1 in the three games, beating Ohio and Wake Forest but losing to No. 11 Notre Dame. Rookie free agent NFL sign- ings: Danny Anthrop (Colts), David Hedelin (Cowboys), Robert Kugler (Bills) and Frankie Williams (Colts). Anthony Brown's selection in the sixth round of the draft, by Dallas, kept Purdue's 19-year draftee streak alive. By The Numbers 20 1,000 1977 4 Photos by Tom Campbell (Iowa, Sheets, Williams); Sandra Dukes (Herrmann)

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