Purdue decided to do a little experimentation with its personnel in the season opener against Nevada. Fiery defensive coordinator Nick Holt called the game from the press box in Reno, the first time in years he hadn’t been on the sideline with his group.
The result? A 34-31 loss for the Boilermakers and a collapse from the defense late in the game.
On Saturday, Brohm decided to revert back to the old strategy, having Holt and his energy back on the sideline, hoping it added a little juice to the Purdue sideline.
The result? A 42-24 victory for the Boilermakers.
Holt’s return to the sideline wasn’t the only difference in Purdue’s win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. The offense played better, mistakes were limited and the Boilers tackled better. All of that is important. But Brohm also believes the return of his defensive coordinator to the field played a role in the victory.
“Probably Nick’s strength is his fire and his passion for football and his ability to kind of get around the team and motivate them on the field,” Brohm told Gold and Black Illustrated.
Purdue’s defense was still struggled, giving up over 400 yards through the air, but it didn’t break. And on Saturday, that was good enough for the win.
Now that the Boilermakers have won with Holt back on the sideline, it’s unlikely that Brohm will place him back in the press box at any point this season, unless things start to go awry. It’s a long season, but bringing Holt back to field level seemed like a smart decision for the Boiler head coach.