The return of cornerback Brandon King to Purdue's lineup has added stability to the Boilermaker defense.
Brandon KingClick For the senior's thoughts on recent improvements in the defense, listen to the audio interview. Click the link below for more ... Here to view this Link.
Transcription follows ...
GoldandBlack.com: After losing four straight, where's this team mentality?
King: "It's actually still on the good side, because everybody knows we're right there, one or two plays away. We just have to play mistake-free football and can't make the mental errors that we have."
GoldandBlack.com: It helps that they've been close loses?
King: "You can go to each game and point out one or two things that we could have done differently."
GoldandBlack.com: The defense had its best performance vs. Northwestern. Do you agree?
King: "I definitely do. We thought we played the best we have. That's the way we need to play week in and week out, no matter who we're playing."
GoldandBlack.com: What was the difference?
King: "Just a sense of urgency, knowing that we had to perform now. It was the Big Ten opener, we wanted to come out and perform well and set a high mark for ourselves on how we wanted to play in the Big Ten."
GoldandBlack.com: A lot more young players played on defense this week too, which seemed to be a positive.
King: "It's definitely a positive. It was good to see (Antwon) Higgs and Dwayne (Beckford) step in and play like they did, and Albert come in the secondary and lay that big hit and play like he did. It's a good sign for our football team."
GoldandBlack.com: Time of possession has been a big problem for Purdue, but it isn't just an offensive issue, right?
King: "We've got to get off the field on third down. I think we did better last game but on third down you want to be excellent. And we won't be on the field so long. Even though we did play a good game Saturday, I still felt we were on the field way too long. You can't put it all on the offense, we had the opportunities to get off on third downs as well but we didn't execute and get off the field. But that's definitely a big thing for us, we have to do that better."
Goldandblack.com: It's early in the week (Tuesday) so you might not have fully scouted Minnesota yet, but you probably know Eric Decker well …
King: "I've played against him two or three times already …"
GoldandBlack.com: What kind of challenges does he present?
King: "Just a lot, they throw him the ball so you've got to pay attention to him. I think he, the next closest guy to have as many receptions as him, it's a big difference. You've got to keep an eye on him and play good, tight coverage on him. It'll be a challenge playing against him, because … what is he, third in the country … so it will be a challenge and it's always fun playing against him every year."
GoldandBlack.com: After three straight loses here, might it be nice for this team to get out on the road?
King: "I think it might be. It'll be a positive if we can go out and get a win on the road. That will create so much more momentum and it'll be fun. Going on the road, to me, is fun, just getting out to see something different and play in a different atmosphere."
GoldandBlack.com: You guys have to be pretty hungry for a victory?
King: "We are, because we play so hard and you can just see it and it's just one or two mistakes that we can't make that's cost us ballgames. But we're right there on the edge and I think we'll break through this week."
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