Faceless Purdue out wandering about

Boilermakers looking for what works under first-year coach

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When Purdue traveled to East Lansing, Mich., for its game against Michigan State on Oct. 19, 34 of the 70 Boilermakers who made the trip were freshmen.

These are the first stages of a rebuild for first-year Purdue coach Darrell Hazell. It's a very public and painful process, but it's one that is necessary.

"You have to keep evaluating what you're doing and who's doing it," Hazell said. "You have to be very critical of yourself, as a staff, as a team and try to find ways to improve what we're doing right now."

Right now, the Boilermakers (1-7, 0-4 Big Ten) are going nowhere on offense. Quite literally. Purdue hasn't run a play inside an opponent's 20-yard line sinceSept. 28 against Northern Illinois. That's a span of 181 plays. Meanwhile, opponents are 23 of 23 in red zone opportunities over the last five games.

It's a team in the early stages of building an identity and so it really hasn't established an identity.

"I think if you're doing a lot of things and you're just doing them OK, that doesn't help you," Hazell said. "You've got to find three or four things right now where we are, maturity-wise as a football team, and you've got to do them well. You've got to be able to hang your hat on something, whether it's the inside zone or the power play or it's our three-step game and getting the ball out of his hands, mid-range passing game, we've got to find a few things that we can do."

The Boilers' offense is No. 122 in the nation at 258.3 yards a game. They've also been shut out in their last two games. In the last three games, Purdue has averaged 0.3 offensive TDs a game. That's No. 125 in the nation. Iowa (5-4, 2-3) isn't much farther ahead at 1.3 offensive TDs in the last three games.

Quarterback Danny Etling is a true freshman from Terre Haute, Ind., who always dreamed about playing QB for the Boilers. Since taking over four games ago, hes been sacked 19 times. He completed 13 of 29 passes for 89 yards in a 56-0 loss to Ohio State last week. Purdue generate 116 yards total offense.

I have to take the coaching and keep getting better from it, said Etling, who received a late offer from the Hawkeyes.

On defense, the Boilers are a 3-4 team. The Boilers are No. 88th in the nation in total defense, allowing 429.6 yards a game. Purdue is 108th in the nation in rush defense, allowing 211.7 yard a game.

"You've got to try to stop the run and make them as one dimensional as you can," Hazell said. "When you can't stop the run, it opens up the whole playbook."

Iowa will make a push for its sixth win and bowl eligibility Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium. Under a first-year coach, Purdue will remain on its season-long journey of trying to figure out just what it is and what it can do.

Schedule 2013
DateOpponentResult / Time
8/31atCincinnatiL7 - 42
9/7vs.Indiana StateW20 - 14
9/14vs. 21Notre DameL24 - 31
9/21at 24WisconsinL10 - 41
9/28vs.Northern IllinoisL24 - 55
10/12vs.NebraskaL7 - 44
10/19atMichigan StateL0 - 14
11/2vs. 4Ohio StateL0 - 56
11/9vs.Iowa11:00 CT
11/16atPenn StateTBA

Passing Yards:R. Henry832
Passing TDs:R. Henry4
Rushing Yards:A. Hunt316
Rushing TDs:R. Henry2
Receiving Yards:D. Yancey327
Receiving TDs:A. Hunt2
Interceptions:R. Allen3

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards:2066 (113)
Passing Yards:1506 (99)
Rushing Yards:560 (114)
Points per game:11.5 (113)
Yards per game:258.3 (113)
Touchdowns:10 (114)
Field Goals:5 (105)

Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards:3437 (65)
Passing Yards:1743 (29)
Rushing Yards:1694 (91)
Points per game:37.1 (104)
Yards per game:429.6 (81)
Touchdowns:34 (89)
Field Goals:5 (10)

Schedule 2013
DateOpponentResult / Time
8/31vs.Northern IllinoisL27 - 30
9/7vs.Missouri StateW28 - 14
9/14atIowa StateW27 - 21
9/21vs.Western MichiganW59 - 3
9/28atMinnesotaW23 - 7
10/5vs.Michigan StateL14 - 26
10/19at 4Ohio StateL24 - 34
10/26vs.NorthwesternW17 - 10
11/2vs. 22WisconsinL9 - 28
11/9atPurdue11:00 CT
11/29atNebraska11:00 CT

Passing Yards:J. Rudock1725
Passing TDs:J. Rudock12
Rushing Yards:M. Weisman747
Rushing TDs:J. Rudock5
Receiving Yards:D. Powell291
Receiving TDs:C. Fiedorowicz4
Interceptions:B. Lowery3

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards:3475 (60)
Passing Yards:1849 (73)
Rushing Yards:1626 (38)
Points per game:25.3 (78)
Yards per game:386.1 (75)
Touchdowns:22 (93)
Field Goals:13 (17)

Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards:2926 (21)
Passing Yards:1679 (16)
Rushing Yards:1247 (41)
Points per game:19.2 (15)
Yards per game:325.1 (11)
Touchdowns:19 (17)
Field Goals:11 (79)

Big Ten
4Ohio State5-09-0
Penn State2-25-3
18Michigan State5-08-1

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