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Purdue notebook

Decision due soon on 2 freshmen

– The future of Purdue redshirt freshmen B.J. Knauf and Jordan Woods remained in limbo Tuesday after the two were arrested Monday on felony theft charges.

Coach Darrell Hazell addressed the arrests of Knauf, who is second on the team with 185 all-purpose yards, and Jordan Woods, who has not played this year, during the Big Ten teleconference Tuesday.

Both were brought in to Tippecanoe County Jail on Monday on a felony charge of theft from a Kohl’s department store in Lafayette. They were released on a $5,000 surety bond.

The police report alleges the two tried to steal two tie bars, worth $20 each, from the store.

“We always talk to our guys about doing the right thing, and they made a bad decision,” Hazell said. “We’re still gathering information. We’ll make a decision here in the next day or so on what will happen to those young men.”

Bye-week adjustments

The Boilermakers are 1-4 as they enter their first bye week of the season, and Hazell is prepared to make adjustments.

There are, after all, plenty of things that need adjusting.

“We’re going to try to put a couple other guys in the rotation. We’ll see how they respond. We’ll find that out here in the next couple days if they’re ready for the action or not,” the first-year Boilermakers coach said. “Where we are, at 1-4, you’ve got to look at everything. Don’t panic – I’m not saying panic. But you’ve got to look at everything and find out where you can get better.”

It’s going to be tough for fans to not push that panic button with their team on its worst start since Danny Hope took over in West Lafayette for the 2009 season. And there are plenty of similarities between that team and this one: a tough schedule, uncertain expectations, a new system and staff.

Purdue set the record for points allowed by a Big Ten program against a Mid-American Conference team in a 55-24 loss to Northern Illinois on Saturday. The Boilermakers also set the mark for the biggest losing margin for a Big Ten program against a MAC team.

Hazell swapped quarterbacks in the loss, as freshman Danny Etling came in for fifth-year senior Rob Henry at the end of the first half.

It showed the staff is open to change when the norm isn’t working, and there’s no better time for further adjustments than a bye week.

“We need to do a better job of getting into our gaps on defense,” Hazell said. “We turned it over three times in the first half when we’re right in the thick of things. … Those are the things that are really hurting our football team right now, and they’re all self-inflicted, unfortunately.”

It starts today, with what could be a big change in who’s running the offense.

Hazell said he planned to let Henry, Etling and redshirt freshman Austin Appleby know who the new No. 1 quarterback will be going into the heart of Big Ten play. Purdue will make its choice public today.

Etling came in against NIU after Henry’s three turnovers and a 5-of-16 passing day. Etling, a Terre Haute native, went 19 for 39 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

“I thought he moved around well in the pocket, he created some big offensive plays for us, he threw the ball extremely well,” Hazell said. “I thought we were able to get the ball to the wide receivers really for the first time with some consistency outside the hashes on Saturday.”

smorrison@jg.net

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