football

Hazell preps for first Bucket game; notes

DarrellHazelldidn'tneedacrashcourseonthePurdue-Indianarivalry.
SincehebecametheBoilermakers'headcoachlastDecember,he'sbeenconstantlyremindedofhowimportantthisgameis.
He'llgettoexperienceforhimselfforthefirsttimeonSaturdaywhenPurdue(1-10)headstoBloomingtontofacethehatedHoosiers(4-7).
"Itdoesn'ttakeawholelotofknowledgetoknowhowimportantthisgameistotheBoilermakerfansaswellastheIndianaHoosierfans,"Hazellsaid.
Asanassistantcoach,Hazellwaspartofsomeofthenation'shottestrivalries:OhioState-Michigan,Army-NavyandWestVirginia-Pitt.LastseasonasaheadcoachatKentState,heexperiencedthatschool'srivalrywithAkron.
Andheknowshowimportantitistowinthosegames,especiallythisseasonwhentheBoilermakerscoulddesperatelyuseanykindofmomentumintotheoffseason.
"It'shuge.Itdoessomuchforeverybody,"Hazellsaid."It'samentalhealthgame,potentially.Thisisabiggame.It'snotado-or-diesituation.Butit'sagameyouhavetofindawaytoplayaswellasyoucanpossiblyplaytogiveyourselfachancetowinthefootballgame."
AsHazellcontinuestoeducatehimselfonthehistoryoftheBucketgame,he'salsousingeachopportunitytosharethosediscoverieswithplayers.
ForHazell,pompandcircumstanceisdefinedthisweek.
OnSunday,hehadsomeoneputtogetherahighlighttapeshowingallofsportsgreatestrivalries,cappedwithPurdue-Indiana.He'llshowtheteamTuesdayanothervideo,showcasingwhathecalledthetop10playsbytheBoilermakersintheBucketgame.HehassomethingelseplannedwiththeBucket,thoughhewouldn'trevealjustwhat.
Surelythelockerroomandindividualmeetingroomsaredeckedoutwithsignsliketheonesviewableinsidethecoaches'officesinMollenkopf-Indianaplacardswith"beat"tapedontopandpicturesofPurduehoistingtheBuckettackedupintheelevatorinthefacility.
Hazellhasissueddirectivestohiscoachingstafftonotputtoomuchinthisweekscheme-wise,buttonotoverloadplayerssotheycanplayfasterandharder.
EventhepracticeschedulehaschangedleadinguptotheIndianagame:HazellknockedofftwoperiodsfromTuesday'spracticeandonefromWednesdayinordertokeeptheplayers"fresh."
Butforalltherevvingupthatwillhappenduringtheweek,Hazellsaysit'simperativetheteamcontrolsthatemotiononcethegamebegins.
"Ascrazyastherivalrycanbe…you'vegottobecalmwhenthegamestartsanddoagoodjobwithyourplayersoflettingthemknowit'snotastreetfight.It'safootballgame,andyoucan'ttakethosecrazypenaltiesthatarelingeringouttherewhenyouwanttotakeashotataguy,"Hazellsaid."It'safootballgameandyou'vegottobeabletohandleallthat'sgoingtooccuratsomepointintimeinthegame."
NoexcusesDannyEtlingwillbemakinghisseventhcareerstartSaturday,andhe'llcontinuedtobesurroundedbyfellowunderclassmenatthereceiverspots.
ThatinexperienceandyouthundoubtedlyhascontributedtoPurdue'soffensivestruggles.TheBoilermakersarethelowest-scoringprogramintheBigTen,enteringtheirfinalgamewithonly68pointsinsevenleaguegames.
Butdon'ttellEtling,thetruefreshman,thatmakesthelackofproductionOK.
"Idon'tthinkweshouldeverhavetheexcusetofallbackonthatwe'reyoung,"Etlingsaid."Weshouldalwaysbetryingtoproduce.Idon'tthinkanybodyinourlockerroomorinouroffenseisgoingtosaythat.Hopefullytheywon'tbecauseIthinkwecanproduceandwearegoodenoughtoproduce,andwejusthavetogooutanddoit.
"Wecan'tbesayingwe'retooyoungbecausenobodycareshowyouare.Theyjustcareabouthowmuchyou'reproducingandhowwellyou'redoingandhowmuchyou'reimproving,sothat'swhatwe'regoingtokeepdoing."
It'spossibletruefreshmanDeAngeloYancey(hamstring)willbebackthisweekaftermissingtheIllinoisgame,buteveninhisplace,Purduedidn'tbumpupitsexperienceatreceiverlastweek.SophomoreShaneMikeskysimplygotmoresnaps,joiningsophomoreDannyAnthropandredshirtCameronPosey.
Hazell,aformerreceiver,madeacoachingcareeroutofmoldingreceiversintoall-league-typeplayersand,sometimes,futurepros.Thoughhe'snotinvolvedintheday-to-daydevelopmentofPurdue'scropofyoungsters-that'spositioncoachKevinSherman-Hazellhasbeenquicktopullthoseplayersasidetooffertipsandhe'sseenthegroupdevelopastheseasonhasprogressed.
Hesaysthere'snotimetableforwhenyoungreceiversdon'tplayyounganymore.
"It'salottodowithplays,howmuchthey'replayingandbeingabletoseethosedifferentlooksweekinandweekoutandbeingabletoplaywithsomespeedaroundpresscoverage,bumpcoverage,bailcoverage,beingabletoplayfaster,"hesaid."Butyouknowwhenyouknow(thatthey'reready).
"Ithink(theoffenseis)goingtodevelopveryquicklyassoonaswegetmorestabilityupfrontwhere(Etling)hasachancetositbackthereandreaddefenses.Those(receivers)arestartingtounderstandhowtogetopen.YousawthemcutthemselvesopenacoupletimesonSaturday,gottofinishtheplay.Butthey'regettingbetter."
Lattaendingstrongly
GregLatta'shealthyagain.
Andbasedonhisperformancesthelastcoupleoutings,hewasnowherenear100percentatmidseason.Thedefensiveendisrecoveredfromahamstringinjury,andarecurrence,thatkepthimfromplayingeffectivelyforastretchinthemiddleoftheseason.
It'sbeenafrustratingpersonalbattle,withinafrustratingseason,fortheseniordefensiveend.
"ThefirsttimeIpulleditthisseason,itwastheWednesdaybeforetheNotreDamegame,"Lattasaid."AndIwassomad,notjustformyselfbutfortheteambecauseIwaslike'Thisissuchabiggameandtheyneedme.I'vepulledmyhamstringandwon'tbe100percent.'IgottearyatpracticeIwassofrustrated.
"Butthenthesecondtime,theNIUgame,thatwasfrustratingbecauseIwasgettingbetterandstartingtofeelprettygoodandboomagain.Itwassetbackaftersetbackaftersetback.Ugh."
Latta'splayonthefieldsuffered.Aftercollectingninetackles,twopassbreakupsandahalfsackinPurdue'sfirsttwogames,helimpedhiswaytosixtacklesagainsttheIrish.Buthecouldbarelypracticeintheweeksthatfollowed;hewasheldtoonlyatackleinthenextthreeweeks,includingtheNIUgameinwhichheleftafterthefirsthalf.
"It'salmostlikeeverystrideI'dtakeoutonthefieldwouldjustfeelliketearing,"saidLatta,aformerJ.C.transfer."Itwaspainful,butyoutrytoworkthroughit.Now,Idon'treallyfeelit.ThestrengthlevelisnotthesameasbeforeIinjuredit,orthequicknessorspeed,stufflikethat.Butit'slightyearsbetterthanhowIfeltmidseason."
Inthelastthreegames,Lattahas11tackles.AgainstPennStateheforcedafumble,andvs.Indiana,hemighthaveturnedinhisbestgameasaBoilermaker,withasackandaQBpressurethatturnedintoaninterception.
He'sgladfortheending,butwisheshecould'vegivenmore.
"KnowingifI'mcompletelyhealthy,'Oh,Icouldhavemadethisplayorthatplay,'becauseIwasthisfaraway,"Lattasaid.
Hittheroad
Thedayaftertheseasonends-hoursafterreally-Hazellandhisstaffwillbeontheroadrecruiting.
TheopencontactperiodstartsDec.1,aSunday,andrunsthroughthe15th,ashorterwindowthanyearspast.Hazellsayshisplanefliesoutat10a.m.Sunday,about15hoursaftertheendoftheBucketgame.
"It'salittlebittoughernow,"hesaid."We'regoingabout14dayswherewecanactuallyhavesomecontactswiththerecruits,whichwe'regoingtohavetohustle,gettoalotofdifferentplacesinthosetwoweeks."
HazellwillbebackoncampusDec.6-8,thefirstcoupledaysforarecruitingweekend,thentheteam'spostseasonbanquet.Hesays16prospectsarescheduledinforthosecoupledays.
"Wehavetodoagoodjobwithorganization,makingsurewehaveeverythingjustonpointsowecandoagreatjobthatweekend,"saidHazell,whohas10playerscommittedfor2014rightnow.
Thedeadperiodisextended,lastingfromDec.16toJan.16,untilcontactisopenedupagain.SigningdayisFeb.5.
"We'regoingtohavetogetout,getaround,seealotofpeople,"Hazellsaid.
Newtraditions
Purdue'sseniorswillhaveabitofavictorylaponThursday,joggingaroundthepracticefieldforthelasttimeasBoilermakers.
It'soneofHazell'snewtraditions.
"Ourlasttimefortheseniorstakearunaroundthepracticefield,haveourunderclassmengreetthoseguysastheycomeoffthefieldforthelasttime,"hesaid."Wehaveacouplethingswe'redoinglikethat."
HazellalsohadPurdue'sbandplayaminiconcertfortheteamonSunday,withmemberintroducingthemselvestotheplayersandviceversa.
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