Purdue needed some change to come on the defensive side of the ball. On Tuesday, Hazell spoke about some of the major changes coming on the defensive line.
Gaston Moving To End
Purdue needed to make some moves to put players in a better position to have success. While fans will see some new faces along the line this week, they might also see an old face in a new spot.
The biggest shock is that of defensive tackle Bruce Gaston moving over to the end spot. Gaston is listed at 6-2 and 310-pounds so a potential move is an interesting one.
Hazell said the reason for the move is that he wants to create mismatches and to get rid of some of the double teams that have held Gaston in check.
Hopefully, this move will finally shake up a defense that is near the bottom of the Big Ten.
Freshmen To Get Some Snaps
Purdue’s failure to stop the run and keep the score low has made it nearly impossible for the offense to keep up. In order to get some more energy on the field and wake up the defense, Hazell said Tuesday that he could put some freshmen on the field.
Hazell said that he would like to give them each about 15 snaps. Panfil and Replogle will play on the outside at defensive end while Howard should end up playing inside at defensive tackle.
Ra’Zahn Howard is the one guy that could be a difference maker on the line in the future and could even make an impact now. Howard is 6-4 and 315-pounds. He’s wide and strong.
The biggest issue is Howard was out early in the preseason because of a health test he had to take and missed most of camp. He’s playing catch up but on Saturday, Purdue fans could get a look at their next big stud at defensive tackle.
Greg Latta Still Up In The Air
One of Purdue’s more experienced, veteran lineman is Greg Latta. Hazell has raved about Latta so far this season but he may also not play this weekend.
While everyone else is more of a performance issue, Latta’s is an injury. Greg has been dealing with a hamstring injury that happened last game during Northern Illinois.
Greg has yet to practice and is currently listed as “questionable” but could be moved down to “doubtful” Hazell said if he is unable to practice on Wednesday.