5 Things We Learned from Boilermakers Loss to Gophers

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Oct 10, 2015; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers coach Darrell Hazell coaches on the sidelines against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Ross Ade Stadium. Minnesota defeats Purdue 41-13. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

3. Darrell Hazell has no idea what to do with his running back situation

Usually have two strong running backs is a problem any coach would love, but it feels like Hazell has no idea how to use his dynamic duo. Splitting carries is one thing, but watching one of your backs decimate the No. 2 team in the nation and then reward him with six carries against Minnesota makes no sense.

This isn’t a knock on Knox, who is actually good in his own right, but Jones has proven himself to be the better back. Through six games, Jones has rushed 66 times for 412 yards (6.2 average), and five touchdowns, while Knox has rushed 80 times for 315 yards (3.9 average), and two touchdowns. Stats aren’t everything, but it’s pretty damning evidence that Jones should the one getting 15-20 touches a game, not six and not playing him more falls on Hazell.

4. Purdue’s defense is being hurt by their offense’s woes

Purdue’s offense is pretty bad, which means their defense has to play a lot more. While the team averages 27 minutes and seven second of possession time per game, they are also averaging 3.0 turnovers per game. Those turnovers rank Purdue near the bottom of the FBS and give the defense little time to catch their breath.

The last two games have been great examples of this. Against Michigan State the Purdue offense had three turnovers in the first half that lead to two touchdown, three drives that ended in punts and only one drive that went more than three minutes. Against Minnesota, Purdue had only four drives over two-minutes long and only one was a scoring drive.

The defense isn’t great, but it’s good enough to help Purdue win unless their offense is going to keep playing inept.

Next: Kicker tryouts anyone?