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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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I n his first season at Purdue, co-coordinator and play-call- er Nick Holt has to not only reshape a defense, but change atti- tudes. Both are challenging. Gold and Black: What do you need to do better? Holt: "We need to be more te- nacious here. Our kids are good kids, but we need to love football. We need to find more competitors. Maybe it's because they haven't had much success around here the last couple years. These guys kind of just go through the motions. But they're responding to us. Now, it's not spring ball (anymore), it's for real and I want to see these guys compete. I'm good at getting that stuff out. It's what I do." Gold and Black: How? Holt: "You need to engage these guys in a manner that gets their competitive juices going. That starts with our daily routine, get their heads up, get lights in their eyes, smile, just their demeanor. They don't mean to do it, they're great kids, but they've got to get a light in their eye and love football. I think they kind of got a little of it in spring ball, being around us, the juice and all that. They've got to continue to buy in." Gold and Black: That is, though, harder to do with play- ers at a program that has won only nine games in the last four years. Holt: "It's two games a year al- most. Terrible. God awful. So, 'OK, let's move on. That's not us any- more. We're not the same guys. It's different here. This whole place is different. We have a new complex, new coaches, there's nobody like our staff. We're different. We might remind you of somebody (by our characteristics) but there's nobody like us, no, especially on defense. We're a lot different. The way we do things, our style and everything, and hopefully it's in a good way.'" Gold and Black: What do you need this defense to do? Holt: "You need to get off the field, make big plays. But by the same token, you've got to be able to get lined up and eliminate the big play, where the ball's not over your head and you're giving up an 80-yard touchdown. You've got to keep the ball inside and in front of you. We're aggressive, but we've got to be smart. We're not going to all- out blitz all the time, that's not us. We're a zone team and sometimes you can say coverages are conserva- tive, but the style of our play is not conservative." — Kyle Charters Q&A Nick Holt Purdue GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 48

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