Purdue Coach Jeff Brohm: It Was A Special Night

Purdue dominated Ohio State in West Lafayette on Saturday

Taz and the Moose
October 22, 2018 - 9:49 am

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Purdue didn’t exactly get off to the best start this season. The Boilermakers started 0-3 with losses to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, and Missouri.

Well, they have since won four straight, including a 49-20 throttling of previously unbeaten Ohio State on Saturday.

“It is kind of amazing to think that you lose three games in a row, you lose at home to Eastern Michigan and then just a few games later you beat Ohio State,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said on Taz & The Moose. “It was a crazy beginning of the season, and to be quite honest with you, as coaches – myself, mainly – we were very conservative. We tried to just get our guys lined up in the right position, not do too much, not ask them to do too much, not take too many chances. We realized for us at Purdue that’s not going to work. We started off 0-3, and we had some tough losses.”

Purdue scored 27 points in a loss to Northwestern and just 19 in a loss to Eastern Michigan. That’s when Brohm decided to change things up.

“It really wasn’t until we played Missouri the third game,” he said. “I kind of just said on offense, we’re going to take some chances and be much more creative and throw the ball vertically and do what I like to do and not worry about mistakes. We had a great game on offense. Unfortunately, we didn’t play well on defense.”

Purdue lost 40-37 to fall to 0-3. Still, Brohm knew he had found something – on both sides of the ball. 

“We kind of had the same philosophy on defense,” Brohm said. “We said, ‘We’re not just going to sit back and play vanilla. We’re going to take a lot of chances. We’re going to blitz from all over. We’re going to go down swinging. That was the new mindset. We’re going to step up to the plate, and if we strike out, we’re going to have three swings.’ Ever since we’ve done that, in my opinion, we’ve put our players in a better position to win. They feel more comfortable taking chances and being aggressive. If they make a mistake, they know we’re going to do it again.”

Purdue thoroughly beat down the Buckeyes in West Lafayette on Saturday, as star freshman Rondale Moore finished with 12 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Ohio State made a game of it in the fourth quarter, sort of, but Purdue erupted for 28 points in the final frame.

“This is a great, great town of hungry people that want to do something special that hasn’t happened in a while,” Brohm said. “If you come here, I think you can get a chance to play early and be a difference-maker – and when you do, people are going to know your name because it hasn’t happened around here as much as some of the other places. I think that’s what makes this game so special.”

It was also special because of Tyler Trent. The Purdue student is battling terminal bone cancer but attended the game and saw the upset in person.

“It’s been an inspiration for us here for a while, and now that the whole country has seen it, it’s definitely become that as well,” Brohm said. “He’s really just a special young man. He’s gone through a ton. A lot of people his age don’t have to do that. The great thing about him is this guy has had unbelievable strength, great courage, he’s had a tremendous attitude, he’s got a smile on his face every time you see him. I went to his house a couple weeks ago, I saw him at the game – you wouldn't think he’s in the situation that he is because of his bright smile. But just a great example of what you can do if you’re strong, if you put your mind to it. He’s been an inspiration for our team. I really now think he’s an inspiration for the entire country. He’s a really special young man. His family is, too. To give him a win when he predicted it – it was a bold prediction – we were very proud and happy for that and happy for him.”

Purdue travels to East Lansing to play Michigan State (4-3) this Saturday. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. ET.