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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 47 injury suffered just before the start of the '16 opener that caused him to miss the first two games, Hunte welcomes the pressure of expectation. "I know this team is going to need me to play at a high level, and need me every game," said Hunte, who finished last year with 47 tackles and six pass breakups. "So that's what I've been focusing on, making sure I keep my body right and put myself in the right position." Purdue could stand for Hunte, and others, to make plays in the back half of the defense, after having only five interceptions by defensive backs last season. WKU had 14 picks last season, tied for second in C-USA. The zone defense might help, in that it gives the Boilermakers a few more free- lance opportunities, likely safeties trying to read and react to quarterbacks rather than simply following a man in coverage. Versatility might help, too. The Boil- ermakers will play primarily a Cover 3 (zone), but could mix in more coverages, too. "We really do it all," Holt said, "but if you would say, 'OK, what kind of defense is Purdue now?' Well, they're more of a single-high, three-deep-type defense, meaning there's going to be somebody in the middle of the field deep and somebody on the two outside thirds deep and from there that's how we build our package. "We substitute some man-to-man when we need it to be tighter in cover- age and to create pressure on the quar- terback." If Purdue can execute, and do so for a full 60 minutes, then it can beat expectations this season. Not many will predict it, instead figuring Purdue will be hard-pressed to make a big leap from its dismal defensive performance last season. "It is what it is," Ezechukwu said. "I understand where they're coming from, but we're not trying to hear it. Everybody outside of this program, those people don't really matter. They're just doing their job as far as I'm concerned. They have to assign a num- ber somewhere because they have to fill the spaces. But we know what we're capable of. "When we go out there and make plays and do what we can do, it's not going to surprise any of us when we get the results. It won't be a shock." j 1241 Cumberland Ave, Suite B West Lafayette, IN 47906 Phone: 765-497-0197 A Fee-Based Investment Advisor located in the Purdue Research Park 25+ Years of Investment Management Experience Bill Banker, President Purdue University Alumnus '85 Purdue Baseball Alumnus '81-'85

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