Coach Darrell Hazell (fifth season, 4-20 at Purdue, 20-30 overall)
Returning Starters: 20, 10 offense, 8 defense, 2 special teams
Recruiting Rank: 63
Strength of Schedule: 6 (61.4%)
Purdue coach Darrell Hazell knows the 2015 season will be a critical one given its end result in 2014. Hazell knows a lot of improvements must be made on both sides of the ball if the Boilermakers want to start winning in the Big Ten Conference.
“I think we’re making some strides, I really do,” Hazell said. “Unfortunately, we’ve got to get better in a lot of different areas. In order to be successful, you need guys that can make plays when they’re around people, and that’s very important.”
The Boilermakers finished last season with six straight losses to go 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the Big Ten Conference, but will look to bounce back and it starts with quarterback Austin Appleby. The junior signal caller finished with 1449 yards passing and threw for 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and is expected to be the starter going into camp.
The running back position will have a huge void to fill with the losses of Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert to graduation. Hunt rushed for a team-high 949 yards on 173 carries and scored six touchdowns, while Mostert accounted for 529 yards and four scores on the ground. Sophomore Keyante Green is expected to be the primary running back going into the 2015 season. Green appeared in seven games in 2014 and rushed for 199 yards on 27 carries.
Danny Anthrop headlines the returning wide receivers for the Boilermakers. The senior led the team last season in yards with 616 and scored four touchdowns. Junior Cameron Posey will look to step up as a potential number two receiver. Posey played in 11 games last season and caught 19 passes for 188 yards and scored a TD.
CFP 2014 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention Robert Kugler leads the returning offensive linemen for Purdue. Kugler started all 12 games at center last season and has 31 career starts under his belt.
On the defensive side, CFP 2014 All-Big Ten First Team Frankie Williams returns for his senior season. Williams started 11 of 12 games as a cornerback or safety and finished with 74 tackles, to go along with 175 yards on 11 returns as the team’s primary punt returner. He also brought back an interception to the house. Jake Replogle anchors the Boilermakers’ defensive line as he led the team in tackles for loss with 10.5 on 29 yards in 2014 and accounted for three sacks.
Senior Paul Griggs returns as the primary placekicker for the Boilermakers. Griggs made 16-of-20 (80 percent) field goals with a long of 53 and made all three attempts from 50 yards or more. Senior punter Thomas Meadows averaged 39.8 yards while placing 15 punts inside the 20-yard line. The aforementioned Williams should still handle punt return duties.
Purdue brings in theCFP No. 63 class while adding even more depth and size to the offensive line with recruits Matt McCann and Larry Wells. The group also consists of a talented quarterback in Elijah Sindelar, the Mr. Football Kentucky and the Gatorade State Player of the Year.
The Boilermakers will be tested out of the gate with a meeting on the road at Marshall and a home showdown with Virginia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Arch rival Indiana comes to town on November 28 to close out the regular season and could be a pivotal game for the season Boilermakers season.
*Recruiting analysis and statistic listings compiled by Justin Burnette.
Updated August 8, 2015
"Frankie (Williams) is a key component to our success this year. Frankie is going to play one of our corner spots, and it's great to have him. We didn't have him in the springtime because of some health issues, but he's back.
He's 100 percent. He provides the leadership for this football team. He'll be one of our leaders. But his skill set is so high at so many different things. He'll be a kick returner. He'll be a punt returner. But he's also one of those guys you can ask to play man-to-man coverage on the outside and allows you to play eight and nine-man fronts. So he's going to be a tremendous weapon for us this year."
PPG: 23.8 (98th)
YPG: 344.6 (105th)
RYPG: 157.2 (73rd)
PYPG: 187.4 (103rd)
Fum Lost: 8
Int Lost: 16
TOs Lost: 24
Sacks Allowed: 24
PAPG: 31.7 (99th)
YAPG: 416.0 (79th)
RYAPG: 192.1 (87th)
PYAPG: 223.9 (53rd)
Fum Gained: 9
Int Gained: 10
TOs Gained: 19
TO Margin: -5
*2014 season stats listed unless otherwise noted.
OL Matt McCann
Fr. 6-6 305
Fishers, IN (Bishop Chatard High School)
OL Larry Wells
Fr. 6-8 300
Kenton, OH (Kenton High School)
QB Elijah Sindelar
Fr. 6-4 200
Princeton, KY (Caldwell County High School)
RB Richie Worship
Fr. 6-1 235
Cleveland, OH (Valley Forge High School)
DT Eddy Wilson
Fr. 6-4 270
Pontiac, MI (West Bloomfield High School)
LB Wyatt Cook
Fr. 6-3 225
Westminster, MD (McDonogh School)
LB Sawyer Dawson
Fr. 6-2 205
Lakeland, FL (Plant City High School)
LG Jason King
Jr. 6-4 309
17 career starts and 22 career games.
RG Jordan Roos
Jr. 6-4 312
18 career starts and 23 career games.
C Robert Kugler
Sr. 6-3 298
31 career starts and 37 career games.
QB Austin Appleby
Jr. 6-5 238
10 games, 1449 passing yards, 144.9 passing yards per game, 52.9 percent completion, 10 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 101.7 QB rating, 198 rushing yards, 3.2 yards per carry, 19.8 rushing yards per game and 5 rushing touchdowns.
WR Danny Anthrop
Sr. 6-3 191
9 games, 38 receptions, 616 receiving yards, 16.2 yards per catch, 68.4 receiving yards per game, 4 receiving touchdowns, 10 rushing yards, 3.3 yards per carry, 1.1 rushing yards per game, 33 kick return yards, 33 yards per kick return, 36 punt return yards and 12 yards per punt return.
DT Jake Replogle
Jr. 6-5 269
12 games, 40 tackles, 27 solo tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 1 pass broken up.
NG Ryan Watson
Sr. 6-2 291
12 games, 17 tackles, 13 solo tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and 1 blocked kick.
MLB Ja’Whaun Bentley
So. 6-2 250
12 games, 76 tackles, 43 solo tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hurry, 3 fumbles recovered, 1 pass broken up and 1 interception.
LCB Anthony Brown
Sr. 5-11 195
12 games, 54 tackles, 41 solo tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovered and 10 passes broken up.
SS Frankie Williams
Sr. 5-9 189
11 games, 74 tackles, 51 solo tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 quarterback hurry, 1 fumble recovered, 7 passes broken up, 3 interceptions, 171 punt return yards, 17.1 yards per punt return and 1 interception return touchdown.
P Thomas Meadows
Sr. 6-0 183
39.8 yards per punt, 15 punts inside 20-yard line and 7 punts over 50 yards.
K Paul Griggs
Sr. 6-1 197
16-20 field goals, 4-8 field goals 40-49 yards, 3-3 field goals over 50 yards and 32-33 point after attempts.
vs Western Michigan W 43-34
vs Central Michigan L 38-17
vs Notre Dame L 30-14
vs Southern Illinois W 35-13
vs Iowa L 24-10
at Illinois W 38-27
vs Michigan State L 45-31
at Minnesota L 39-38
at Nebraska L 35-14
vs Wisconsin L 34-16
vs Northwestern L 38-14
at Indiana L 23-16
vs Indiana State
vs Virginia Tech
vs Bowling Green
at Michigan State