It is an interesting game for Young and the Cowboys in one regard as Purdue's coaching staff for the bowl game is in lame duck status. Former Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell has been hired to replace the fired Danny Hope. Hope's staff is coaching the bowl game including acting head coach Patrick Huggins.
"I’ve never gone into a game where the opponent’s coach was fired before the game," Young said to the media on Thursday at the Cowboys news conference to preview the bowl.
"I’m sure it’s very stressful for the coaches. I’m not sure it affects the players all that much, but the coaches are all looking for jobs and trying to look out for their families. I’m sure it’s very stressful for them," Young said.
For Young the stress is preparing for a Purdue offense that is wide ranging from power football to spread passing to zone read option.
The Boilermakers quarterback is Robert Marve, who at one time considered transfering to Oklahoma State after being at Miami, Fla. He was the starter as a freshman when Young was the Hurricanes defensive coordinator just before coming home to Oklahoma State.
Young is expecting the Purdue offense to run just fine. "The offensive coordinator is the same guy that has called the plays all year. There’s no doubt that they’re going to do what was successful," he said.
"We’ve looked at every play of every game and they haven’t changed that much during the season. They have a great run game, then they have the spread so you have to prepare for everything.
"I think that their quarterback is tremendous. He was a freshman at Miami when I was there. I know that he’s a really talented athlete and a tremendous competitor. When he’s playing well, they’re playing well. They have a big physical offensive line and a bundle of tailbacks that can really run. They’ll give us all we can handle, I’m sure."
The Cowboys defensive players have totally bought in and realize that Purdue can play on the offensive side of the ball. They do run the ball a lot which Oklahoma State has had success in stopping.
"Some people stereotype the Big Ten by saying that it's slow football, but Purdue has a lot of speed in their receivers," said defensive end Cooper Bassett. "They have a bowling ball-type running back that likes to plow through people, and he has good speed when he gets out in the open.
"They've got a good quarterback who is mobile and extends plays whenever he gets pressured in the pocket. Don't let their record fool you. They are a very good offensive football team. They've got a lot of momentum, and it's going to be a good challenge for us," said Bassett.
This Cowboys defense badly needs to conquer the challenge heading into the offseason and preparing for what could be a monster season in 2013 with an improved defense.