Published Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm / Updated at 9:14 pm
Notes: Etling may start at QB for Boilermakers

All signs point to Purdue having a new starting quarterback when it hosts Nebraska on Oct. 12.

True freshman Danny Etling, who replaced fifth-year senior Rob Henry late in the first half of the Boilermakers' 55-24 loss to Northern Illinois, sounds like the man after hearing coach Darrell Hazell on the Big Ten teleconference.

“He moved around well in the pocket,” Hazell said Tuesday. “He created some big offensive plays for us. He threw the ball to the outside extremely well.

“There's a little bit of energy with him out there. We were able to get the ball to the wide receivers for the first time with some consistency outside the hashes.”

With an open date this week, Hazell said he will soon reveal his quarterback going forward, without an open competition.

Etling was a four-star recruit out of Terre Haute, Ind. The 6-foot-2, 218-pounder — taking his first snaps of the season — completed 19 of 39 passes for 241 yards Saturday with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

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Etling moved Purdue into field-goal range late in the first half, then led two eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drives in the second half.

Purdue's new coaching staff installed the West Coast offense this season, which fits Etling far better than Henry, an option and zone read specialist who is coming off multiple knee injuries.

Players of the week

Offense: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. The junior from Huber Heights, Ohio, had 281 yards of total offense and passed for four touchdowns in a win over Wisconsin.

Defense: Iowa linebacker James Morris. The senior from Solon, Iowa, had eight tackles, a sack and an interception in a win over Minnesota.

Special teams: Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston. The freshman from Geelong, Australia, had all six punts downed inside the 20-yard line in a win over Wisconsin.

Freshman: Illinois quarterback Aaron Bailey. The Bolingbrook, Ill., product ran for 56 yards and a touchdown in a win over Miami (Ohio).

Quote of the week

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald on the talent level at Ohio State: “There's an All-Big Ten player at every position on their offense.”

Stat of the week

As of late Tuesday afternoon, StubHub listed 3,675 tickets for sale to Nebraska's game at Purdue. The lowest price? $2.75.

Bits and pieces

Ľ Northwestern tailback/returner Venric Mark completed a full-speed practice Tuesday and has been declared ready for Saturday's game against Ohio State.

Ľ Wisconsin tailback Melvin Gordon, who left the Ohio State game in the third quarter with a leg injury, should be “absolutely fine” for the Badgers' Oct. 12 game against Northwestern, coach Gary Andersen said. Starting center Dallas Lewallen (leg), tight end Jacob Pedersen (knee) and kick returner Kenzel Doe (hamstring) also should be full speed after the open date week.

Ľ Purdue wide receivers B.J. Knauf and Jordan Woods were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting two $20 tie bars from a Kohl's store.

* * *

Video: QB Tommy Armstrong talks after practice

Video: Offensive coordinator Tim Beck after practice

Video: The Big Red Today Show, Oct. 1

Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.

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