LINCOLN, Neb. — With the firing of Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell, Nebraska is now in a bit of a bind.
What, exactly, will this Purdue team look like offensively under interim head coach Gerad Parker?
“I don’t know,” Huskers defensive coordinator Mark Banker said. “That’s a good question.”
Hazell ran a pass-heavy offense that revolved around quarterback David Blough, and Purdue will likely do the same under Parker. He was the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
But Banker still really isn’t quite sure what Purdue will throw at Nebraska on Saturday.
“Well, number one, you want to do what’s best and what’s right for the players in your program, and put a game plan together that’s going to help them be successful and win,” Banker said. “They gotta look at us and what they have from a standpoint of offense and apply those plays that they have that will beat us.”
Parker said Tuesday during the Big Ten teleconference that there were “major changes” in the locker room in the first 48 hours under his helm. He also noted that a win over Nebraska would be big for the program right now.
“Well, I would be lying if I said it wouldn’t be a memory for me,” Parker said. “We got a staff that have been through a lot, and I think it’d mean a lot to our staff and players to have something good to feel about and smile about if we could pull out a win.”
Banker said he didn’t know the circumstances surrounding the firing of Hazell, besides the 9-33 record over the past three and a half seasons.
But he did say the other part of this is, as coaches, from a professional level, they’re probably going to try and flex their talent a little bit so they can keep a job after this season.
“Firing a coach in the middle of the season is a tough thing for the athletes and the program and the coaches,” Banker said. “I don’t know what they’ll do. But they’re professional coaches, and they’ll put a game plan together and do what’s right for their team and also do something that can showcase themselves as quality coaches, so that they can hopefully attain a job after this season is over. It’s a tough situation.”