Purdue has not run a play in the red zone since September 28

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It has been a tough season for first-year coach Darrell Hazell and the Purdue Boilermakers.

The Boilermakers were trounced 56-0 at home by Ohio State last Saturday, the program’s most lopsided defeat since 1974. The loss also marked the first time Purdue has been shutout in back-to-back games since 1953. The loss dropped Purdue to 1-7 (0-4 Big Ten) with the team’s only win coming against Indiana State, an FCS school with a 1-8 record.

The lack of offensive output has been staggering. To put things in perspective, the Boilermakers haven’t run a play in the red zone since the 5:27 mark of the fourth quarter their 55-24 loss to Northern Illinois – on September 28. That’s 39 days ago. That’s three hours, 25 minutes and 27 seconds of game time and 181 plays ago.

As Bill Connelly of SBNation pointed out, the last time Purdue ran a play in the red zone, Northwestern and Maryland were still undefeated.

Northwestern is now 4-5. Maryland is 5-3.

That was even before the federal government shutdown.

The Boilermakers have scored a combined seven points in their past three games – blowout losses to Nebraska, Michigan State and Ohio State in which they were outscored 114-7. For the entire season, the 120th-ranked offense (out of 123 FBS teams) has been outscored 297-92, scoring just ten offensive touchdowns in eight games. 24 of those points and three of those touchdowns miraculously came against No. 23 Notre Dame in a 31-24 loss the Boilermakers led for three quarters.

To Hazell’s credit, he has remained upbeat about the situation, and it seems the players are on the same page.

With four games remaining on the schedule against Iowa, Penn State, Illinois and Indiana, the Boilermakers are just looking for improvement and things to build on for the future of the program.

“You want to win. It’s always hard not winning, but you have to keep working the process to find a way out of it. I’m confident in that. I’m confident in our football coaches and the direction that we will be heading, and are heading,” Hazell said Monday.

The Boilermakers host Iowa Saturday for a noon kickoff.

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