Big Ten notebook: Brohm tests positive for COVID-19, PSU RB possibly out for season

It is the first week of the season, and a couple big storylines have already emerged.



Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm looks on during a game against Penn State at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania, on October 5, 2019.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

Week 1 of the 2020 Big Ten football season consists of all conference games, which will be the case for all nine weeks of the season, assuming all the games end up happening.

COVID-19 was expected to be a factor for this season, and the virus has already infected the head coach of Iowa’s first opponent — Purdue

With that, The Daily Iowan goes through the biggest headlines from the conference this week.

Jeff Brohm tests positive for COVID-19

Purdue’s head coach tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday morning, which was confirmed by a second test’s result that was released Sunday night.

Because of the positive test, Brian Brohm, Jeff’s younger brother and Purdue’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks’ coach, will be the acting head coach on Saturday against Iowa in West Lafayette.

“It’s looking like that probably won’t happen,” Jeff said at a Monday press conference regarding coaching on the sidelines Saturday. “I’m not going to give up hope on any of that, but following the guidelines set forth, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that.”

Jeff Brohm said he was abnormally tired and exhausted a few days before the positive test. On Saturday, he had chills, body aches, chest tightness, and was sweating. By then, he said he knew he wasn’t in good shape and probably would have a positive test come back the next day.

Despite not physically being there for the Boilermakers, Jeff Brohm believes his team will keep marching ahead.

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“I’m confident that our coaches have done a great job to this point,” Jeff Brohm said. “We’ve been in collaboration, working together to put a plan together. Our players have worked very hard, and now it’s about going out and playing, and I don’t really think one person makes a team, whether it’s a coach or a player. It’s a combination of everybody working together, so I think our team will respond and go out there and play hard and play well.”

Purdue Athletics Director Mike Bobinski also spoke at the press conference. He said there’s been no conversation about the potential cancellation of the game.

Penn State running back possibly out for the season

Redshirt junior Journey Brown will potentially not play all season after an undisclosed medical condition was discovered in the offseason.

This was reported by The Athletic after the school sent the publication a statement Monday night.

Brown ran for 890 yards and 12 TDs last season. The Meadville, Pennsylvania, native set a program record with rushing yards at a bowl game with 202 yards in the 2019 Cotton Bowl. That surpassed Saquon Barkley’s previous record of 194 yards in the 2017 Rose Bowl.

Brown was expected to be one of the best running backs in the conference, and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had Brown as the best draft-eligible player at his position for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Head coach James Franklin reiterated the possibility Brown misses the season at a Tuesday press conference. Regardless, Brown will still be at games. Brown isn’t on the team’s depth chart for its Week 1 game against Indiana.

“We’re not losing Journey the man,” Franklin said. “Journey the man is going to be with us and always be. We’re fortunate.”