Quick Count: Purdue practice, Aug. 24
Purdue held a light practice inside Ross-Ade Stadium on Thursday, a little more than a week before its season-opener vs. Louisville in Lucas-Oil Stadium. Following are the thoughts of Coach Jeff Brohm.
• The target date for David Blough's return is now Sunday.
The quarterback, who strained his throwing shoulder on Aug. 12, is progressing, per Brohm, but hasn't fully thrown yet.
Purdue might go with two — or three — QBs vs. UL.
"I feel like multiple guys are going to play," Brohm said. "With David's injury we're working our way through it. Elijah (Sindelar) has had a good camp. Jared Sparks does some things well. David wants to get back out there healthy. It's a close competition. We're not going to be afraid to use all of them."
Brohm says he'd like to have Blough available ASAP — the junior has been out nearly two weeks — but won't push him if he's not physically ready.
"I want to make sure he's fully healthy when he's out there," Brohm said. "I don't want to put him out there too soon and jeopardize him. Obviously if you ask him, he's always ready to go. So we've got to be smart. "Elijah has had a good camp, has done a good job. We'll have to make that decision soon."
• Purdue got some good news, with senior Antoine Miles being deemed academically eligible.
It had been in question since the start of camp, leading the defensive end/Leo being dropped from first-team, where he had practiced in the spring.
Tim Cason's status, however, is still not entirely clear, but seems the cornerback won't be available the first couple weeks, at least. He is on the team, however.
• Purdue walked through game-day-like scenarios on Thursday, making it a physically lighter practice inside Ross-Ade.
But not any less important.
"It was a mock game setting where we went through numerous situations, things that are going to come up throughout the course of the season," Brohm said. "Talked us through some. It's really beneficial. It wasn't anything full-speed. Numerous things that if you don't talk about and don't cover, they can get you beat.
"We want to make sure we're on top of it."
Mostly mental items covered, like personnel groupings, false starts, key situations, and other potential pre-snap mistakes.
"Those are the things we're trying to eliminate and make people earn victories against us," Brohm said. "Make them earn their stripes and we don't do the things that are going to kill us."
Purdue will go lighter again on Friday, then have a full practice Sunday. Then, it'll be into game week before Louisville Sept. 2.
• At least a couple true freshmen will play in the opener, maybe as many as four.
Brohm named wide receiver KeyRon Catlett and tight end Darius Pittman as two who will go vs. the Cardinals, both in backup roles.
"Those two for sure will see action unless something crazy happens," he said.
But Brohm says the answer for the rest of the rookies — because they ask often about their statuses — is to "expect to play."
"We want all of our guys preparing to play," he said. "... At any time, anything can happen with injuries, and we're not going to be afraid to play anybody."
• Aug. 24 has long been the expected move-in date for the Boilermakers to their new home at the Football Performance Complex.
But Thursday will come to pass without it happening. The $65-million facility is not quite ready.
"I'm hopeful that will happen soon," Brohm said. "... I think our (current) setting is very functional. We have no complaints. We're going to go in the Taj Mahal of football performance centers (soon), so we're fired up to do that, without question.
"But things have gone well in our current place of work, but we are excited to move in to the big daddy."
• Purdue has not yet decided on its place-kicker, with Brohm calling it a "great competition" between incumbent J.D. Dellinger and newcomer Spencer Evans, with Myles Homan not far behind.
"That's a position that's very strong," Brohm said. "W're fortunate enough to have multiple guys, which is a good thing. We'll let it play out a little bit more, but I feel good that we're solid in that position."
Brohm says it's possible Purdue would use more than one PK, perhaps a long kicker and short.
• Purdue could award a couple walk-ons with scholarships, Brohm said, although he wouldn't say who.
Junior Jacob Thieneman, who has risen to a starter at safety, would seemingly be at the top of a potential list.
Brohm said he would not hold an elaborate reveal ceremony, however.
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