Notes: Lunch with the Boilermakers

Purdue begins its preparations for Northern Illinois. Boiler Sports Report offers notes and quotes from the Boilermakers' Tuesday luncheon.

-- Before looking ahead to Saturday's game with Northern Illinois, head coach Darrell Hazell put a wrap to Purdue's blowout loss in Wisconsin. "Anytime you play a good football team like Wisconsin, your guys have to do a good job in the fundamentals," said Hazell. "Our fundamentals of tackling and blocking weren't to be desired on Saturday."

-- That's putting it politely. The Boilermakers were completely outplayed in the loss to Wisconsin. But it all comes down to execution. Said tackle Kevin Pamphile: "We need to work on execution. … Our goals in camp were to execute and be a more physical team on the field." Added defensive end Greg Latta: "It's more disappointing than surprising. I think we're better than how we played."

-- But now, we turn the page to Northern Illinois. The Huskies look to become the first MAC team to ever knock off two Big Ten opponents in one regular season, and both would be on the road. They opened the season with a win against Iowa. This will certainly be a tough challenge for Purdue.

-- Senior quarterback Jordan Lynch leads the Huskies. A Heisman contender last season, he's back to putting up big numbers again this season. Coach Darrell Hazell called Lynch "a warrior," adding: "You don't stop him, you try to slow him down."

-- Hazell discussed a game plan to slowing down Lynch, who he likened to a fullback. "They run so much power with him—just pulling the backside guard," said Hazell. "We've got to take away those quick throws, but get that extra guy in the box."

-- The new Boilermaker coaching staff has great familiarity with the Huskies. Hazell, along with Jafar Williams, Marcus Freeman and Jon Heacock, faced NIU with Kent State in the MAC championship game. In addition, defensive coordinator Greg Hudson squared off against the Huskies while coaching in the Orange Bowl with Florida State. Hazell said Purdue plans to use more of Hudson's game plan from the Seminoles' Orange Bowl win.

-- Some good news in for Purdue, as Ricardo Allen, Anthony Brown and Frankie Williams are all ‘Probable' to play on Saturday. The Boilermakers' secondary would be depleted otherwise. Bad news, though, as guard Jordan Roos has been ruled out already.

-- Speaking of the offensive line, Darrell Hazell wants to see a lot more from the group. He referred to a Monday meeting with guard Devin Smith, as he looks to get some more passion out of the group. What Hazell wants is for his linemen to demand the ball be run behind their backs. He wants Smith saying, "It's third-down-and-1, run behind me and Kevin [Pamphile]."

-- Pamphile added to the calling out, saying: "I believe it's on the offensive line to step up this week. As I saw on film, we didn't play our best game offensively up front. … we've got to step it up this week, be more physical, be more vocal, and take charge of this team."

-- Saturday's contest will feature the nation's 119th-ranked offense (Purdue) against the nation's 115th-ranked defense (NIU). With a high-powered Huskies offense, this one could turn into a shootout. Greg Latta doesn't like that. "It kind of irks me," he said. "That's on the defense, we can't let it be a shootout. If the offense is putting up points, that's fine."

-- The Boilermakers hit the practice field on Tuesday afternoon to continue their preparations for the two-time defending MAC champions.

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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