Purdue practicing patience with QB competition
Given the circumstances of the offseason, Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm might feel rushed to name a starting quarterback and allow that guy to take as many reps as possible before the Boilermakers hit the field against Iowa in less than a month. But there’s no hurry to name a starter in West Lafayette.
Purdue enters the season with three guys competing for the starting job — Jack Plummer, Aidan O’Connell and UCLA transfer Austin Burton. Plummer and O’Connell both saw time last season — Plummer stepping in for the injured Elijah Sindelar, and O’Connell taking the place of the later-injured Plummer. But Burton is taking his first practice snaps in a Boilermaker uniform.
Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Brohm says all three players will get their chance.
“You know, we just started camp, so we have had those practices leading up into camp,” said Brian Brohm, per Gold and Black Illustrated. “But, you know, I don’t see any decision coming until at least after we get our two scrimmages in here the next two weeks. And then we’ll see what happens after that.”
Both Plummer and O’Connell did an adequate job of leading Purdue’s offense last season, given the circumstances. Plummer threw 1,603 yards with 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while completing just under 60% of his passes. O’Connell totaled 1,101 yards through the air with 8 scores and 4 picks with a completion rate at nearly 63%.
It didn’t translate to many wins, though. The Boilers finished the year 4-8, failing to make a bowl game for the first time in Jeff Brohm’s three seasons.
Burton brings about the same experience to West Lafayette as Plummer and O’Connell, but adds a running element to the offense. Last season, Burton played in six games for the Bruins, passing for 365 yards and a touchdown while completing 68.8% of his throws, and also adding 100 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
This could be one of the more interesting quarterback battles in the B1G heading into the 2020 season.