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December 28, 2018

Jeff Brohm

Kirk Barron

Markus Bailey

David Blough

Nashville, Tennessee

Auburn 63, Purdue 14

JEFF BROHM: It wasn't a great day for us today, for sure. Disappointing loss. First got to give credit to Auburn. We knew they were going to be a very good football team, big up front, big in the secondary. They played a lot of big football games.

We did not play well and Auburn did. You combine those things, we got frustrated as it went on, had some bad mistakes that cost us. Just a really bad first half that we definitely couldn't overcome.

Very disappointed. I want to also say while I'm getting going, I want to thank our fans from Purdue. I thought we had a great turnout. We appreciate everyone coming down, we appreciate everyone sticking with us through the entire game. Doesn't happen a lot. They gave us great support not only this game but all year long. We want to say thank you. We appreciate all your support. We're looking forward after the new year getting back and trying to improve and get better.

I think this game shows as a team we still have a long ways to go, a lot of areas to improve upon. But I am proud of the effort our guys have given us all year, to find a way to get to this bowl game. We had some big wins against some good teams. We fought and battled as much as we could. Unfortunately we didn't go out the way we wanted, so that is disappointing.

Those are the games you got to learn from. Losing hurts, losing like this hurts even more. But it will make you tougher. You got to figure out ways to improve and get better. Once we get back from the new year as a team, we'll try to do that definitely as much as we can. We do thank everyone for coming out to this game, all the support from our Purdue faithful.

Q. Despite the result, do you derive some benefit from the extra practices, the bowl experience?
JEFF BROHM: We had a great time. We're very appreciative of the Music City Bowl for having us. We wish we could have gave a better performance. It was a great experience by all of our guys. The city of Nashville, Opryland Hotel. They put on a great event here.

It does mean a lot to make a great bowl. The fact we were able to get in was tremendous. Obviously we weren't good enough to win it. We've made strides to get to this point.

Two bowl games in a row is strides, but we still have a long ways to go. We did have a great time this week. I think our guys had good bowl practices. I think we worked our young guys way more than we ever have, because we know we have some young ones to step up next year. Hopefully those things help us improve.

Q. How does the outcome today shape how you view the off-season?
JEFF BROHM: Well, when you lose bad, it's going to force you to refocus even more, figure out ways to get better. Behind closed doors, we know where we're deficient in certain areas. You try to mask it, disguise it, develop it. We got to get better in a lot of areas.

You got to bring in young guys, develop them, get them on the field. Doesn't happen overnight. You're playing an Auburn football team that's played a lot of great football games. They were big, physical. They had some really good players. We couldn't overcome that.

But I do think we're making strides. I do think we have a hard working group of guys that will improve. Winning matters to them. As coaches, we've got to do our part. We have to study off-season, find ways to get us to improve physically, mentally, figure out ways to put our guys in the best position to succeed.

Q. Have you ever been a part of a game as a player or coach like this that snowballed that fast?
JEFF BROHM: That one snowballed faster than most. I've been part of games that were a bad outcome, but that one happened fast. Credit to them, they made their breaks. Every little thing that went wrong seemed like it could. We got behind the eight ball early.

It was a bad day of football. It's a disappointing day. But we'll learn from it.

Q. You said it doesn't happen overnight. Two bowl games in two years, as you look at the program from when you walked in to right now, do you think you're on the right course?
JEFF BROHM: Well, I for sure think we're on the right course. I think our guys have worked hard. We found ways to win to a certain degree right away, get those guys to believe that they can get it done. That's more than half the battle.

But you still have to improve, get better as a team. We have to improve as coaches, figure out what we can do with the guys we have, how we can develop them, get them better, how we can get young guys in there to push them, have competition.

We got exposed in a lot of areas today we may have masked for a little bit. We have to get better. But I do like the makeup of our team. Next year we're going to have to play a lot of young guys, get them ready through spring practice or the summer months when we get here, fall practice.

Q. Update on Major? Were the injuries serious today?
JEFF BROHM: We had some guys get injured today. Kenneth Major got injured last week in practice, wasn't able to go today. Cornel Jones missed a lot of practice. He was able to play some today. McCann has a knee. We'll see. I'm not really optimistic, unfortunately. (Indiscernible) I believe broke both his fibula and tibia. That's not good. Then I think we had one other that I can't remember right now.

Q. What do you want the returning players to remember about today in the off-season?
JEFF BROHM: Well, when you lose like this, it stings. You want it to sting because you don't want to like these type of games. But it happened. It's sometimes going to happen.

You want our guys to remember that while we made strides, we still have a long ways to go. While we are improving, the difference between winning and losing is very small. When you get beat like that, you know what, the difference is even bigger. We have a lot of areas to improve upon. I think it will help our coaches and myself especially refocus, hopefully drive us to find a way to get us better.

I know with our team, once the break is over, we get back, this one will sting for a while, but we'll have to eventually get over it and use it as motivation to get better.

Q. (Question about David Blough.)
JEFF BROHM: As you know, terrific young man. Made great strides this year. Played extremely well for us. Obviously today wasn't a good day for anybody. He has battled, overcome adversity, overcome injuries. He got us to this bowl game by some outstanding play. He stepped in and provided sparks early on, won the job. He has a bright future in whatever he does, whether it's football or running the country or a business. He definitely is a great leader. He's been great for this football team. We're lucky to have him, very proud of him, and we wish him all the best in the future.

Q. This whole senior class obviously helped take this program from where it was to where it is now.
JEFF BROHM: Big senior class. We're losing about 29 guys. I'm sure it didn't go the way they wanted. But they stuck with it, hung with it. When we got here, they listened, worked their tails off to get better, bought into what we were trying to preach, gave us great effort.

Because of that, we did just enough to get to two bowl games in two years at 6-6. Last year was a great finish for us, winning the bowl game. This year we played a very good team, which we knew when we came in here. We didn't do enough things to win, as you could tell. It was a bad day at the office.

We got here. We've got to just learn from all these mistakes that happened today and push forward and get better for the future.

Q. Do you feel like you're established as a program now where this is an annual thing, being in games like this?
JEFF BROHM: It's going to be our first goal every year, to get to a bowl game. You always want to improve on the previous year. This year I thought we had some big wins. I think until this point overall it was a better season because of some big wins, then we couldn't finish it this game. Obviously the finish wasn't anything the way we wanted.

Auburn, when you play a team like them, who was in the SEC Championship game last year, beat Alabama last year, one year ago, you've got to play well. You have to force them not to play well. We did the opposite.

Just goes to show there's still a long ways to go. We played good football at times this year, other times not. But I think our guys want to get better and improve, a lot to build upon and improve upon.

Q. (Question about Trent.)
JEFF BROHM: As everyone knows now across the country, he's been an inspiration to us, our football team, our community, the entire school, now the entire nation. His strength has helped us overcome things along the way, to see how he's handled himself with class, dignity, great attitude, great smile, always trying to do the right thing, say the right thing, help other people, always grateful for what he has.

We learned a lot from him. He helped us win some games with the encouragement that he provides, the love he has for our team and university. We're very appreciative to have him with us and as our team captain. Really every team now, I'm happy that Auburn welcomed him in with open arms. Really every team we played. I think it's helped him become a little stronger. But he's definitely strong and we're happy to have him on our team.

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by the players. Questions, please.

Q. Ending like this, your career...
DAVID BLOUGH: It's obviously disappointing that we're going to go out like this, this is how our season ends. I am proud of the guys. Been able to accomplish a lot, have some rep times, get back to two consecutive bowl games. The program is pointed in the right direction hopefully.

Today, it hurts. It's disappointing. It's frustrating. Auburn is a great team. They played well. Hopefully going forward, the guys see that there's still a long way to go, the young guys see there's still a long way to go, if Purdue wants to get to where they're trying to.

Proud of the guys so far. Obviously today is disappointing.

Q. Markus, from your perspective, how did this game feel?
MARKUS BAILEY: Definitely jumped out on us with their speed. We knew they would be athletic at the skill positions, very fast. Not quite like our scout team that we go against during the whole bowl preparation. So, yeah, definitely jumped out on us. They were getting a lot of deep shots on us. Sometimes it felt like we couldn't do anything about it.

Definitely not a good performance on our end. Like David said, we're really proud of how far we've come as a program, but we still have a long way to go.

Q. Kirk, what are your emotions right now, the finality of a career and season?
KIRK BARRON: I think obviously the way it ended, you're not overly happy about it. You take it into perspective, on to the next chapter. The younger guys, this is a lesson that no one really wants to learn. They can have this off-season, full steam ahead. They're pretty angry if they're feeling like I'm feeling. They're going to be able to get this thing going.

Q. Markus, how does a game like this help give you the vision of what this program needs to be, the next step?
MARKUS BAILEY: Yeah, we got the opportunity to play against a big-time program, Auburn. They play against a lot of great teams throughout their schedule. We got the chance to see how we would stack up against them. Obviously from the results, we're not quite there yet. We have a lot of work to do in preparation for the off-season, going forward with our program.

Q. David, have you ever been a part of a game that got out of hand that quickly?
DAVID BLOUGH: When I first got here, we went 3-9, 2-10, 3-9. We lost to Maryland 50-7, I remember that. Yeah, they jumped out early on us. Felt like that was one of the longest first quarters I've ever been a part of. We couldn't get anything going, three-and-outs, bad turnovers.

It's frustrating. It's embarrassing when you're going through it. We've been through some tough stuff, though. We fought back during our career here. That was a message on the sideline: just play hard. Who cares about the score at that point when you're down 42-7 in the second quarter. Just play hard, play hard, play hard.

I think that's what Coach Brohm has built this program on. I hope they see that when they cut on the tape.

Q. What right most fundamental levels that lead you to believe you're going in the right direction, being in bowl games, this is the expectation?
DAVID BLOUGH: Obviously in the middle of December, Coach Brohm signed the best recruiting class in a long time at Purdue. I think that's an indicator that the program is headed in the right direction. Coach Brohm came in and took guys that hadn't won a lot, taught them to believe in themselves, to think they can win. We played well at home for the later half of our season.

I think there's things that Purdue will be able to hang a hat on: being tough, playing hard. That's when Purdue has had success. I think that's what we have now in the program going forward.

Q. David, obviously this one stings. Over time do you think the big wins and bowl games, those will shine through more strongly than this?
DAVID BLOUGH: You know, I hope so when it's all said and done. Unfortunately this is a losing season for us, 6-7, not above .500. We've got some great memories, some big wins. Yeah, the bucket, things we can all be proud of. Obviously right now it hurts after just getting our butts kicked.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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