Plummer has had 'good week of practice.' Moore has 'ways to go'
The big story coming out of last Saturday’s home loss to Illinois was Jeff Brohm announcing that the quarterback job would be an open competition in the coming week after he replaced starter Jack Plummer with backup Aidan O’Connell not once—but twice—during the rain-soaked 24-6 loss to the Fighting Illini.
But Brohm put the kibosh on that on Monday when he announced that Plummer would remain the starter. And this week, with Nebraska (4-4 overall; 2-3 Big Ten) coming to Ross-Ade Stadium having lost two in a row, the redshirt freshman has looked good, according to Brohm.
“I think Jack has had a good week of practice,” said Brohm amid swirling snow after Thursday’s outdoor workout. “He had a good day today, actually, in the elements. Aidan (O’Connell) I think did some good things toward the end of the game (last week). His first time ever playing.
“We are gonna need two guys. We won’t be afraid to use two. But I do feel like Jack has really practiced well and we wanna see it carry over to the game. And sometimes that’s not making a ton of plays always, but taking care of football, doing the small things, not beating ourselves. I think that’s one thing we have to do at this time of the year when you get to November and December is not beating yourself.”
Will Rondale play?
The wait for Rondale Moore continues.
"As far as progressing, he has progressed but still has a ways to go,” said Brohm of Moore, who has missed the last four games after hurting his left hamstring September 28 vs. Minnesota.
As for an update on other injured Boilermakers?
“We are still gonna wait til game time on quite a few of these," said Brohm. "Some guys have not been able to practice this week. We are gonna give it until tomorrow. Come game day, the ones we have out there will be the healthiest ones and we are gonna work like heck to try to go out there and win."
How many Purdue players will be game-time decision?
“Quite a few,” said Brohm. “As you guys know, it’s been one of those years. Some of them can’t practice a whole lot … I believe as many of them will play as they can.”
Did the team suffer anymore attrition this week in practice?
"Yeah, we actually did," said Brohm. "It’s unfortunate, because you want to be able to practice hard but at the same time protect your guys. You still have to get work in. We need work. On Tuesday, we did have a guy, I’d rather not say, get injured. He’ll be a game-time decision. I think we’re gonna try to get him out there and see."
It has gotten so bad that Purdue didn’t release a depth chart this week, which it typically does on Mondays.
“I think that we’ve had a lot of injuries, we’ve had a lot of movement as far as who the starters are going to be,” said Brohm. “And, quite honestly, this year there is more than usual, guys that aren’t able to practice a whole lot during the week.
“So, for me to say who is gonna start when I don’t know that for sure, this year more than ever, it’s gonna come down to how did they do today when they were out there, how they feel in the morning with another round of treatment. How do they feel Saturday when they take the field and see if we can get something out of them.”
Respect for Adrian Martinez
According to reports from Nebraska, sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez looks primed to start. He has missed the last two games recovering from what’s believed to be a knee injury. Martinez excelled in a 42-28 loss to Purdue last season, hitting 25-of-42 passes for 323 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while also running 18 times for 91 yards.
"I think he’s a great quarterback,” said Brohm.” I know he's very talented. They came in with a lot of expectations. He’s their leader. He’s a guy who is dynamic with the ball in his hands. I think he has a bunch of playmakers, especially in JD (Spielman) and Wan’Dale (Robinson) that are very dynamic. …
“And when ... they get you in space, which they like to do, you have to defend it. You have to be sharp in your assignment and you have to make the tackle when you are there.”
During Thursday's practice, temperatures hovered around the freezing mark and snow swirled in the air, but Purdue still worked outdoors as it prepped for Nebraska.
“It's perfect weather to practice in,” said Brohm. “These days don't come around a whole lot, especially this early. But it has. You know what? We had a good practice today. Our guys were into it and did a pretty good job.
“When it’s like this and the weather is cold and snowy, there is nothing more you can do than have fun. I think our guys really enjoyed the day.”
The forecast for Saturday’s noon ET kickoff: Partly sunny, high of 39 degrees.
Trick or treat?
Today is Halloween. So, what type of candy will the Brohm household be handing out?
“We will see how many come around today,” said Brohm. “But we always have a big stash of stuff. I know my daughter is looking forward to getting out there and we’ll see how long she can last.”
What is Brohm’s favorite candy?
“Any type of chocolate,” he said. “Kit Kat’s are very good for me. Normally, the bigger, the better.”
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