It’s nice to know that I am not the only person who yells at my TV during games.
While not as emotionally invested as Purdue coach Jeff Brohm this past Saturday, I found it humorous that he admitted Monday to being so tense during the Boilermakers’ 24-20 victory against Iowa that the Brohm family dog kept its distance.
“There were a few times when I yelled, the dog knew to get in the corner and get very quiet,” Brohm said. “So I felt bad that I scared the dog a few times. But I think for the most part I was somewhat calm and collected.”
Coco, a three-fourths poodle and a fourth St. Bernard, was Brohm’s only household companion on Saturday. His wife and daughter were part of the small group of family members allowed to attend the opener at Ross-Ade Stadium. Brohm’s son, Brady, was on the sideline as usual.
While Rondale Moore was among a small handful of Boilermakers unable to play against Iowa, the Hawkeyes had their hands full – again – with sophomore wide receiver David Bell.
Bell earned co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after catching 13 passes for 121 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Bell was so wide open on the game-winning score with 2:15 remaining, one has to wonder if Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff have a short memory.
During the 2019 season, Bell torched the Hawkeyes for 197 yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions.
“The guy makes plays,” Jeff Brohm said. “He's one of those guys that doesn't talk a whole lot, doesn't have to brag or bring that to his game, he's all about business. He's a great teammate.”
History repeats itself
Brian Brohm, Jeff’s younger brother and Purdue’s co-offensive coordinator, was honored by Athlon Sports on Sunday as its national “coordinator of the week.”
Brohm was interim head coach in his brother’s absence, and Jeff Brohm said Brian was deserving of that praise.
“We kind of think alike a little bit even though he's much calmer and cool and collected than me, which is a great quality to have,” Jeff Brohm said.
This is not the first time, though, that a Purdue offensive coordinator has filled in on game day.
Bob DeMoss replaced Jack Mollenkopf on Oct. 1, 1961, when the Boilermakers lost at Michigan 16-14. Mollenkopf was still out the next week, recovering from cancer surgery at the Mayo Clinic, when Purdue upset fifth-ranked Iowa 9-0 in Ross-Ade Stadium. One national news service named DeMoss its coach of the week.
Seven years later, Mollenkopf was hospitalized in Lafayette with infectious hepatitis. DeMoss took over for a 35-17 victory against Illinois on Nov. 2. Like Brian Brohm, DeMoss was without his star player – All-American quarterback Mike Phipps – due to injury.
The Boilermakers under DeMoss lost the following week at Minnesota, 27-13, their final defeat of an 8-2 season. DeMoss guided Purdue to a 9-0 victory at Michigan State on Nov. 16 and a 38-35 come-from-behind victory against visiting Indiana on Nov. 23.
Mollenkopf retired after the 1969 season, and DeMoss was the obvious choice to replace him. Three seasons and a 13-18 record later, DeMoss resigned to launch a 50-year up and mostly down quest for Purdue football to return to the glory years of the 1960s.

Fred and Ethel
Yes, the quips were plentiful this past weekend about Wisconsin freshman quarterback Graham Mertz being the “great grandson” of the fictional “I Love Lucy” couple.
What Mertz did to Illinois was no joke, completing 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns as the first Badger freshman to start a season opener at quarterback since 1978. That earned him a share of Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors with Bell.
But that fairy tale beginning for Mertz is now on hold for 21 days after he tested positive for COVID-19. Under Big Ten protocol for players, Mertz will have to miss a scheduled Nov. 7 matchup with Purdue and the Nov. 14 game at Michigan.
Coaches are required to be away from their team for 10 days and can only return with a negative test. That’s why Purdue’s Jeff Brohm was allowed to rejoin the Boilermakers in person on Wednesday.
With Mertz and third-string quarterback Chase Wolf among the reported 12 positives on the Badgers roster and staff (including head coach Paul Chryst), Wisconsin’s game Saturday at Nebraska was declared a no contest by the Big Ten Conference.
A lucky break for the Badgers, considering they would have been forced to start fourth-string QB Danny Vanden Boom. Wisconsin had already lost returning starting quarterback Jack Coan indefinitely with a foot injury.
Vanden Boom, a 6-5 junior, has thrown one pass in three seasons, a 3-yard touchdown against New Mexico in 2018.
If Purdue gets to make the trip to Madison, it seems like this would be a great opportunity to snap a losing streak to the Badgers that dates to 2004.

Welcome to the hot seat
It was no coaching clinic by either Penn State’s James Franklin or Indiana’s Tom Allen this past Saturday, but give Allen credit for playing to win in overtime.
The 36-35 victory marked the first time the Hoosiers defeated an Associated Press Top 10 team since besting No. 9 Ohio State in 1987. It was also IU’s highest-ranked victim since topping No. 3 Purdue in 1967.
Allen gave the Nittany Lions an opportunity to avoid overtime when Indiana somehow misfired on a squib kick. While it wasn’t the onside kick attempt some speculated it was, the short boot gave Penn State a chance to get into field goal range. Kicker Jordan Stout missed, barely, from 57 yards out.
But overtime never should have been a possibility. With Indiana down to one timeout, 1:42 on the scoreboard and a 40-second play clock, Franklin eschewed taking three kneel downs by his quarterback and ordered a handoff to running back Devyn Ford. Ford didn’t hear his coaches to fall down short of the goal line and walked into the end zone untouched for a 14-yard touchdown that made it 28-20.
I don’t have to tell Indiana fans what happened next.
Franklin apparently was the only person in Memorial Stadium or watching at home on TV who didn’t know the Hoosiers would put the ball in quarterback Michael Penix’s hands for the game-tying two-point conversion as well as the game-winning dive in overtime.
Speaking of that dive, had the original ruling been that Penix was short of the pylon, my guess is replay would not have overturned that decision either.
What was potentially a championship season for Franklin and Penn State now may be over after two weeks with third-ranked Ohio State coming to Happy Valley on Saturday.

TV time
Indiana’s emotional victory over then-No. 8 Penn State has earned the Hoosiers a return to FS1 for their home game with Michigan on Nov. 7. Kickoff will be at noon.
Purdue gets another 3:30 p.m. game, this time on ABC against Wisconsin.

Noteworthy
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields also completed 20 of 21 passes for 276 yards and two scores during a 52-17 victory against Nebraska . . .
It took seven turnovers but Rutgers finally won a Big Ten opener, 38-27 at Michigan State. It was also the Scarlet Knights’ first conference road victory since 2017. Don’t be surprised if Rutgers, playing its home opener, gives Indiana a competitive game Saturday . . .
Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald became the 16th Big Ten head coach to reach 100 career victories by stomping Maryland 43-3. That’s the largest margin of victory in a Wildcats season opener since 1965 . . .
The Oct. 24 season opener was Purdue’s latest date for an opener since 1918, which kicked off on Oct. 26 against DePauw in a season shortened by another pandemic, the Spanish Flu. The Boilermakers lost that game 9-7 and went on to a 3-3 finish in a season that ended Nov. 30. Purdue only played one Big Ten game in 1918 and did not face Indiana . . .
Pat Forde of SI.com reports that the last time Purdue and Indiana started Big Ten play 1-0 was 2001. With both schools favored this week at Illinois and at Rutgers, respectively, Forde writes that the last time the two rivals began Big Ten play 2-0 was 1976.

Kenny Thompson is an award winning journalist who writes a weekly column for Sagamore News Media