However, several individuals excelled. Brian Alford received numerous post-season accolades including First Team All-Big Ten honors by both the coaches and the media, as well as breaking Purdue record for most receiving touchdowns in a single season. Senior captain, Emmett Zitelli was selected to the Second Team All-Big team by both the coaches and the media. After the season, non of the Boilermakers were selected in the 1997 NFL Draft but immediately after the draft Zitelli signed as an undrafted free agent.
In 1995 the Purdue Boilermakers had the second best season in the Colletto era. The team finished with a 4-6-1 regular season record, failing to qualify for a postseason bowl game for the twelfth straight year. The Boilermakers struggled to win games, facing what was rated as the 3rd most difficult schedule in the nation in 1995. However, Purdue did finish first in the Big Ten in rushing offense.
Going into 1996, there was doubt that Purdue could replace all-time leading rusher Mike Alstott, and have a winning season. Entering the season, Colletto thought that each of his quarterbacks would be a contributor on offense, electing Rick Trefzger as the team's starting quarterback, and moving former tailback, Edwin Watson to fullback to replace Alstott.