The Purdue football team is a little beat down at this point in the season and this weekend they head up to East Lansing to take on the Spartans of Michigan State. Here is the latest heading into this weekend.
Freshmen Help Rejuvenate The Roster
Last week against Nebraska, Hazell said during his press conference on Tuesday that they had 34 freshmen listed on the travel roster. During the game last week, many of them played and it looks like it will continue that way.
Many times last week, the entire defensive line was made up of all true freshmen, Evan Panfil, Ra’Zahn Howard, and Jake Replogle. Those three all got their first taste of action and received some praise from Darrell Hazell.
“(Panfil and Replogle) have big motors and they only know one speed, and that's what you love about those two guys. They are going to be great players for us. And we'll play those guys more and more and more each week.”
Hazell also shared his praise for DT/NT Ra’Zahn Howard. Howard is a guy that Purdue will depend a lot on in the future, especially if they end up going more towards a 3-4 scheme.
“(Howard) now, he did a nice job in terms of holding the point. There was a couple times where we had the front go one way but he never got over to the gap. He never looked to the correct gap, which creates a scene. But he's going to be a good player. When they came to double him, he wasn't going anywhere.”
This week, the depth chart also got a boost of youth. There are now 14 freshmen (redshirt and true) that are list on it and all should get time this week against MSU.
Landon Feichter On The Road To Recovery
It looks like Purdue could get a boost after their bye week coming up. Hazell said on Tuesday that Feichter looks like he could be on track to be back on the field by the Ohio State game.
“Landon is going to be practicing today. He's going to be in some individual drills today which is awesome to get him back, we need his leadership. He's the guy in locker room at half-time that's speaking up now. He's the guy that's jumping on guys and trying to fire them up.”
For the Boilermakers, they need help in the worst way on both sides of the ball. Hazell made sure to let people know that he isn’t playing for 2014, he’s playing for this season and he needs the leadership of Feichter to help get this team back on track.
“We need his leadership desperately right now back in our locker room and back our secondary. So there's a good chance that you'll see him on the field for the Ohio State game.”
+ Robert Gregory could see some time this week at running back. Hazell said he is going to give him more of a look in practice this week.
+ Purdue going with starting 3-4 scheme on defense this week against Michigan State. Ryan Isaac is listed as the NG with Ra’Zahn Howard as his backup. Ryan Russell will stand up as the starting “Jack” linebacker.