Notes: Lunch with the Boilermakers

Purdue held its weekly presser to open up game week. Boiler Sports Report offers notes and quotes as the Boilermakers look ahead to Cincinnati.

-- The first words Darrell Hazell offered as he met with the media on Tuesday were, "It's finally here." Yes, it's game week.

-- Some good news for Purdue as starting middle linebacker Joe Gilliam (finger) will play in the opener. Gilliam will wear a club on his right hand to protect the injury. In other injury news, Devin Smith is expected to play, but will rotate with Jason King at left guard.

-- Hazell was asked which Boilermaker impressed him the most in camp. He offered kudos to Trevor Foy, the starter at right guard. "To his credit, he worked extremely hard to put himself in that position," Hazell said.

-- Foy is a career right tackle who has made the move to guard. "I'm very comfortable," he said. "I have a lot of experience at the right side and I like being at the right side. I'm very comfortable doing it and trust the guys next to me."

-- Foy feels that as a fifth-year senior starter, he must be a leader for the offense. This semester, he's even taking a leadership class for his grad school program. "I prefer verbal leadership, but I've learned some people don't respond well to that."

-- With a new coach in Tommy Tuberville leading Cincinnati, Hazell is learning about last year's team to get a grasp for what the Bearcats bring to the table. "They play with a lot of passion," Hazell said.

-- Cincinnati has yet to name a starting quarterback for the opener. Purdue must be ready for both Brendon Kay and Munchie Legaux. Said cornerback Ricardo Allen: "We prepare for everything. We've been doing a good job with our offense, which is a very complicated offense. Coach Shoop will have us prepared for the game." He later added: "It's all about getting our techniques down. I think we'll be very good come Saturday."

-- Why are the Boilermakers so confident for this season? Allen said: "We're ready. We've been practicing against each other really hard. We're ready to show what we can do. Last year wasn't what we wanted to show." Later, he said: "Our coaches bring us confidence. They make us feel really good."

-- Foy was asked the same question. He referred to the Boilermakers' losing ways in past seasons. "We've been there and we're ready to be something else," Foy said.

-- Hazell was asked how he feels entering his first game as Purdue's head coach. "I feel pretty good right now, but it's only Tuesday," he said. "… I'm very relaxed because I think we've got a good football team." Later, Hazell was asked how this opener compares to his first as Kent State's coach. "The one down in Alabama?" he said with a smile.

-- Purdue will play six receivers, Hazell explained. Shane Mikesky and B.J. Knauf are listed as the two starters, but Dolapo Macarthy and Gary Bush—the Boilermakers' two leading returning receivers—will play plenty.

-- Ricardo Allen feels Purdue's defense has high potential. "If we click together and go with what the coaches say, we can be a really good defense," he said.

-- The new targeting rules were a topic of conversation at the press conference. Ricardo Allen isn't too worried about it. "I don't have many targeting problems because I'm 5-8," he joked.

-- Will Lucas has moved back to ‘Will' linebacker spot. Hazell said that all six linebackers listed in the two-deep will play on Saturday.

-- Purdue will be wearing black jerseys over gold pants while Cincinnati will don white jerseys and pants. Hazell had no problem wearing the home threads for a road game.

-- The Boilermakers continue their preparations for Cincinnati with a full week of practice, continuing Tuesday afternoon. Said Hazell: "We've pretty much dotted all of our I's and crossed all of our T's. By the end of our week, we will have."

-- There were plenty of laughs when Trevor Foy detailed the offensive line's summer canoeing trip. It was planned to be a four-hour trek, but it became an eight-hour struggle. Foy said: "That was an adventure."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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