Scouting report: Gophers at Purdue
2:30 p.m. Saturday, Ross-Ade Stadium (ESPN2, 100.3-FM)
A look at the Boilermakers
Under first-year coach Jeff Brohm, Purdue (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) is competitive again and has its sights set on the glory days of former coach Joe Tiller, who died on Saturday. Brohm took his high-powered offense from Western Kentucky — the Hilltoppers averaged a nation’s-best 45.5 points per game last year — and instilled it in a program that’s historically produced solid quarterbacks. The Boilermakers also like to spread the ball around to their receivers. Jackson Anthrop leads the team with 18 catches for 157 yards and four TDs, but Gregory Phillips (13-113) and Anthony Mohoungou (10-143) and tight end Brycen Hopkins (12-170, three TDs) also are playmakers. “They’ve got ’em all over the place, and they find ways to get it to all of them,’’ Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said. “Coach Brohm, I think, is one of the best offensive minds in the country.’’
Who to watch: David Blough, QB
Though Blough has battled a shoulder injury since training camp, Brohm is optimistic the junior can play Saturday. Blough has completed 70 percent of his passes for 629 yards and six touchdowns despite starting only two games. “If he’s healthy, and he gives us a good decisionmaker to this point who can do some different things with the ball in his hand, whether it’s by pass or by run,’’ Brohm said. Blough’s backup, sophomore Elijah Sindelar, is hitting on only 48.4 percent of his passes but has five TD throws.
From the coach: Jeff Brohm
Brohm knows that if his team doesn’t commit turnovers, it won’t play into the Gophers’ hands of controlling the clock and keeping Purdue’s offense on the sideline. “We cannot turn it over. We have got to take care of the ball,’’ Brohm said. “We have to have successful drives. … Sometimes against opponents that are very disciplined in their approach, you’ve got to find ways to get a lead; and if you do, make them do a few things they are not used to doing.’’