There are plenty of different ways a team can win a football game.
There are also plenty of ways that a team can lose. Typically, if a team dominates the line of scrimmage, that leads to success over the course of a 60-minute game.
Another way a game can be won or lost is on big plays. If one team is scoring on 60-yard plays fairly consistently, that leads to disaster.
Purdue co-defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter talked about an emphasis he is putting on his defense:
🎙 "You win games up front, and you lose them deep. We just have to play hard, tackle better, cover better and just keep improving from last year." – @Coachpoindexter #Purdue / #LetsPlayFootball 🚂 pic.twitter.com/slz7eOtW9t
— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) August 7, 2019
In general, Poindexter talked about not giving up the deep balls. If a defense is able to keep everything in front of it, eventually mistakes can be made. Possibly three points are given up as opposed to seven. That can be the difference between winning or losing.
Last year, Purdue’s defense ranked 127th in passing defense. In total, the Boilermakers ranked 113th.
Just those two numbers alone are reasons why Purdue finished 6-7 a season ago.