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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

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Page 16 of 110

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 15 Coach: Darrell Hazell (6-30 at Purdue; 22-40 overall, sixth season) All-time record: 598-545-48 Big Ten record: 346-395-33 Big Ten championships: Eight (1918-tri, 1929, 1931-tri, 1932-co, 1943-co, 1952- co, 1967-tri, 2000-tri) Bowl record: 9-8 Offensive formation: Spread Defensive formation: Nickel Starters returning/lost: 16/6 Last bowl appearance: 2012 Top returning statistical leaders Rushing Att Yds Avg TD Jones 168 875 5.2 10 Passing Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Blough 169 293 57.7 1,574 10 8 Receiving No Yds Avg TD De. Yancey 48 700 14.6 5 Posey 26 255 9.8 1 Young 21 276 13.1 1 Tackles Solo Ast Tot Sacks Clark 54 34 88 0 Ezechukwu 40 39 79 1 Garcia 34 29 63 0 Replogle 34 26 60 2 Purdue's Big Ten rank Category Rank (Avg.) Scoring offense 9th (25.1) Scoring defense 13th (36.5) Pass offense 5th (237.2) Pass defense 10th (243.4) Rush offense 13th (131.3) Rush defense 14th (214.9) Total offense 11th (368.6) Total defense 12th (458.3) Pass efficiency 11th (110.4) Sacks by 11th (21) Sacks against 13th (30) Third down conv. 12th (35.0) Opp. Third down conv. 13th (43.0) Turnover margin 12th (-.42) not even going to line up with some- body and compete. But when you put everything out there and can do it every single time, even if you come up short, you're going to grow a lit- tle bit. We can't have guys who are scared to fail. We can't. You can't give 80 percent and then say, 'Ah, I wasn't giving everything I had.' You just can't do that. I think it's going to help early on, hopefully, getting some momentum rolling with some good non-conference games. That'll help get some confidence for the guys and prove we've got the guys. We have a good core group of guys that are tal- ented as anybody. Replogle, Markell, Yancey, Ja'Whaun, King and Roos, those are names. You work for the confidence and trust in the process and you let the outcome take care of itself." Purdue's schedule certainly seems to set up favorably — so if the con- fidence builds and momentum takes hold, the "outcome" could surprise some. A shift to the Big Ten schedule brings nine conference games for the first time since the 1980s, but the Boilermakers open the season with three home games before that against Eastern Kentucky in the like- ly last-ever FCS matchup, then Cin- cinnati and Nevada. The conference schedule isn't as daunting as it could be with crossover games against the East Division's Maryland, Penn State and Indiana, avoiding big boys Mich- igan State, Ohio State and Michigan. In the West Division, Purdue gets Iowa and Wisconsin at home. But this team doesn't have the luxury of looking past Week 1, to try to circle projected wins. They've done that before, and it's ended in disappointment. "I think we're just tired of being close," Markell Jones said. "We didn't do it last year but we talked about it, 'beating close.' Close isn't acceptable any more. We've got to start winning. That's the bottom line. And guys are ready to start doing that. I've seen a different mentality all spring, guys look hungry in the weight room. They aren't playing around this year." They can't, really. Not knowing what's at stake. Though many players said they ar- en't strictly concerned about who the new athletic director will be, they're keenly aware the act of the hire puts football in extreme focus. These players have built bonds with their position coaches, espe- cially the ones who have been here throughout Hazell's tenure. But even the first-year guys have inspired fierce loyalty in a short amount of time. Defensive line coach Randy Mel- vin has been praised for his honest assessments and hard-line stanc- es. Running backs coach DeAndre Smith gets love for his high football IQ and willingness to coach hard. Offensive line coach Darrell Funk's technique changes and blocking tweaks have his players raving about his experience. Quarterbacks coach Tim Lester's likeability and ability to seamlessly relate to players, as well as his high-tech teaching tools, have his players savoring spending time in his office. "Their jobs depend on how well we perform — that's always in the back of our minds because you spend ev- ery day with these guys and you grow

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