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Purdue Football Coach Jeff Brohm Racaps Fall Camp Scrimmage

Purdue football participated in its fall camp scrimmage on Saturday inside Ross-Ade Stadium.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue football program took to Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday for its first scrimmage of fall training camp. The team participated in segments of live tackling and thudding with just under three weeks before the season opener against Penn State on Sept. 1. 

"Like every first scrimmage, I think it was good to get out here, get in game situations. Off the sidelines, up in the press box, allow our guys to play football," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said.

According to Brohm, there was no clear winner between the offensive and defensive units during Saturday's scrimmage. Starting quarterback Aidan O'Connell and the offense moved the ball with ease early on, but the defense was stout in the red zone. 

As the Boilermakers enter their final week of fall camp, there's still plenty of room for improvement and growth. Brohm is also hopeful that some key pieces to this team's roster will begin to participate more as they continue to work through injuries before the start of the season. 

"It's always a step forward because there's a lot to learn," he said. "There were some good things, there were some bad things. You're definitely happy we're not playing a game today because we would not have won. So we've got to be critical of ourselves as coaches and players and correct the mistakes."

Who was in? Who was out? 

Purdue's receiver corps was limited throughout the spring, and the unit continues to work toward full strength after two weeks of fall camp. Mershawn Rice and TJ Sheffield were both able to participate without any restrictions mentioned by Brohm. 

Abdur Rahmaan-Yaseen has also slowly worked his way back into practice and was able to scrimmage in a limited role on Saturday. 

However, despite being seen in pads late in the week, senior pass catcher Broc Thompson was held out of the team's scrimmage. The transfer from Marshall who enters his second season with the Boilermakers, and Brohm said he is still on pace for the team's Week 1 matchup with the Nittany Lions. 

On the defensive side of the ball, starting cornerbacks Cory Trice and Jamari Brown have both made progress in fall camp and both participated in Purdue's scrimmage, although limited. 

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Both Jalen Graham and Branson Deen were unable to participate with the defense as they both work through hamstring injuries suffered during camp, but Brohm indicated that they should return to the field sometime next week. 

Red zone execution is still a concern

Brohm mentioned that O'Connell was sharp while orchestrating the Boilermakers' passing attack, but an ineffective ground game continues to plague the team in the red zone. 

The trio of running backs King Doerue, Dylan Downing and Central Michigan transfer Kobe Lewis will look to improve in short-yardage situations in Purdue's remaining practices and throughout the 2022 season. 

"As it was going on, it did remind me of some times last year where we didn't get touchdowns," Brohm said. "We've got to figure out a way to get more touchdowns, so that was disappointing." 

Brohm did give credit to the defensive unit, which made it difficult to easily punch the ball into the end zone on a short field. 

"Our defense played better in the red zone, forced us to do some field goals and forced us out of one field goal with a sack which was, which was good to see," he said.

Struggles in the secondary

Behind Trice and Brown, the Boilermakers lack depth and experience at the cornerback position. On the back end, safeties Cam Allen and Chris Jefferson are the anchors, but until the perimeter is locked up, the defense will continue to have difficulties keeping up with its own pass-heavy offense. 

"I thought we were not as good and secondary as I would like to be, and that's because a lot of guys that were in there haven't practiced as much and the other guys are young, so that got exposed," Brohm said.

  • Purdue Football 2022 Fall Camp Roster: Purdue football started fall training camp on Tuesday, Aug. 2, and the team updated its roster ahead of the 2022 season. The Boilermakers will have its season opener on Thursday, Sept. 1, inside Ross-Ade Stadium against Penn State. CLICK HERE
  • Summer Graduation Gives Jack Sullivan More Time for Football: Redshirt senior defensive end is now a Purdue graduate with a degree in professional flight technology and aviation management. He'll work toward a second degree during his fifth season with the Boilermakers. CLICK HERE 
  • Purdue Football Receives Votes in 2022 Preseason Coaches Poll: Purdue football received two votes in the 2022 preseason coaches poll. The team is scheduled to open the season against Penn State on Thursday, Sept. 1, inside Ross-Ade Stadium. CLICK HERE
  • Austin Burton Continues to Push Aidan O'Connell in Fall Camp: Aidan O'Connell may be the Purdue football team's undisputed starting quarterback, but Austin Burton is continuing to push him ahead of the 2022 season. Whether it's foot races or throwing competitions, the two are looking to bring out the best in each other. CLICK HERE

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