Here’s your recap of another “Tuesdays with OB”, recapping the Minnesota loss, and previewing Saturday’s Purdue game.
- Things got off on a sour note, as O’Brien confirmed linebacker Ben Kline will miss the remainder of the season after tearing a chest muscle against the Gophers. Kline sustained the injury on the second play of the game, but finished the game. It’s a tough break for a kid that O’Brien clearly likes, and has dealt with injuries since arriving at PSU. He’ll have surgery this week. He’s also slated for shoulder surgery down the road too.. Other than what sounds like a minor injury for Allen Robinson, the squad is just dealing with the typical mid-November bumps and bruises.
- Two young players, Nyeem Wartman and Geno Lewis, have had their struggles in their first full seasons. OB loves the work both have put in, and sees two players that have made great plays, and have also had their struggles. Both are redshirt freshmen, and O’Brien said he thinks often times expectations for redshirt freshmen can be unfair (guilty as charged, coach). With 3 years left, the coach still sees good things for both. O’Brien also likes the progress from true freshman TE Adam Breneman, who had perhaps his best game Saturday in Minnesota.
- By this point in the season, true freshman are reaching the point where they are playing more games than ever before in their football careers, not to mention the adjustment to college life. O’Brien was asked specifically about QB Christian Hackenberg, who he said had a fantastic Monday practice, and started to see some things click. For OB, the real question is how the freshman attack that wall they all hit.
- PSU sits at 0-3 in true road games, while they are 4-1 at home. O’Brien doesn’t see any obvious reason for the disparity, but expects they’ll dive into that during the off season.
- In case you’re wondering, 150 yards and a touchdown helped Zach Zwinak’s confidence. Big, if true.
- Despite Purdue struggling to a 1-8 record this season, O’Brien doesn’t expect his team to look past the Boilermakers. For PSU, it’s about playing good football, and improving, regardless of who is on the other sideline.
- O’Brien said earlier this year they were managing the practice time for some veterans to keep them fresh through 12 games. With just 3 games left, he is pleased with where guys like DaQuan Jones and John Urschel, who have played significant snaps all season. The team is also practicing with shorter hours at this point to keep energy levels up. OB expects to continue to look into continuing to improve the way the squad practices, even as scholarship numbers begin to increase.