Football Game Notes - Vs. Notre Dame

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Ralph Bolden leads the Big Ten and is second in the nation in rushing this season.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Ralph Bolden leads the Big Ten and is second in the nation in rushing this season.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 21, 2009

Get Your Purdue Tickets Here
Submit Your Purdue Football Memory
Now Airing: Purdue On The Big Ten Network

Weekly Press Conference:  Coach Hope  |  J. Elliott  |  J. Holland

 Purdue Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader  
 

 Television This Weekend
ESPN
Play-By-Play - Brad Nessler
Analyst - Todd Blackledge
Sideline - Erin Andrews

Radio This Weekend
Purdue Sports Network
Play-By-Play - Joe McConnell
Analyst - Pete Quinn
Sideline - Rob Blackman
Producer - Tim Newton
Engineer - Gary Kline

Purdue vs. Notre Dame Series Information
Series record: Notre Dame leads 52-26-2 (First meeting: 1896 / Last meeting: 2008)
Purdue points: 1,300
Notre Dame points: 1,926
Series record in West Lafayette: Notre Dame leads 24-14-2
In Ross-Ade Stadium: Notre Dame leads 19-12
Series record in South Bend: Notre Dame leads 28-11
In Notre Dame Stadium: Notre Dame leads 24-10
Series record at neutral site: Purdue leads 1-0 (Hoosier Dome in 1984)
Games decided by 3 points or less: Notre Dame leads 7-3
Games decided by 7 points or less: Series tied 9-9
Longest Purdue win streak: 3 (1958-1960; 1967-1969)
Longest Notre Dame win streak: 11 (1986-1996)
Current streak: Notre Dame won the last meeting
Largest Purdue victory: 36-0 in 1904
Largest Notre Dame victory: 48-0 in 1970; 1992
Last Purdue home victory: 2007
Last Purdue road victory: 2004
Last Notre Dame home victory: 2008
Last Notre Dame road win: 2006

SOME GAME THEMES
It's Purdue-Notre Dame for the 81st time since 1896 ... One of three trophy games that Purdue participates in (Shillelagh) ... After ND dominated the series with 11 straight wins from 1986-96, the last 12 games have been 7-5 in the Irish's favor ... How will Purdue respond after dropping a seven-point decision to NIU last weekend ... Ralph Bolden continues his quest to lead the Big Ten in rushing.

COACH TO CURE MD
The Purdue coaching staff will join in with their peers around the nation this Saturday in wearing a "Coach To Cure MD" patch on the left sleeve of their game shirt. The "Coach To Cure MD" drive has been put together to raise awareness and research funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most prolific genetic killer diagnosed in childhood. Fans can help out by donating online at coachtocuremd.org or by texting the word "CURE" to 90999 (a $5 donation will automatically be added to you next phone bill and standard text message rates apply).

THIS DATE IN BOILERMAKER FOOTBALL HISTORY
Purdue is 3-6 all-time on Sept. 16 ... It's fitting that the Fighting Irish are coming to town, as Notre Dame has been the Boilermakers' opponent on Sept. 26 the last five times a Saturday has fallen on the date ... In 1981, the Boilermakers hosted the 13th-ranked Irish on this date and Scott Campbell hit Steve Bryant with a seven-yard scoring strike on fourth-and-goal to cut Notre Dame's edge to 14-13 with just 19 seconds left. Going for the win, Purdue head coach Jim Young called Bryant's number again on the two-point conversion and Campbell connected once more to hand Purdue a stunning 15-14 upset in Ross-Ade Stadium.

NATIONAL RANKINGS AND NOTES
The Purdue-Notre Dame game will feature a Boilermaker offense that ranks 22nd nationally in rushing offense (210.7) against a Notre Dame defense that is 74th in the country stopping the run (149.3) ... Conversely, Notre Dame brings the most efficient passing attack (186.1) and the 10th-ranked aerial offense in the country (324.0) against the Boilers' 95th-ranked passing defense (253.3) ... Individually, Purdue sophomore Ralph Bolden lost his top spot nationally in rushing to Fresno State's Ryan Mathews, but the Boiler back still leads the Big Ten and is second among all FBS players with a 140.3 yards per game average. Bolden also ranks 10th nationally and first in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (182.7) and is tied for 19th in the country and first in the Big Ten in scoring (10.0) ... Linebacker Jason Werner is tied for 14th in the FBS in tackles for loss. The senior is averaging an even two stops behind the line per game this season.

OFF AND RUNNING
Sophomore Ralph Bolden's 435 yards rushing on 62 carries this season not only leads the Big Ten and is second in the Football Bowl Subdivision, it also marks the best start to a year by any Boiler running back in school history. Purdue's all-time leading rusher, Mike Alstott, had his best three-game effort to start a season in his senior year of 1995 when he put together 360 yards on 58 carries against West Virginia (17-109), Notre Dame (21-115) and Michigan State (20-136, 1 TD). Kory Sheets, who finished his Purdue career in 2008 as the program's second-best rusher all-time, had 353 yards on 62 carries against Northern Colorado (16-81, 2 TD), Oregon (29-180, 2 TD) and Central Michigan (17-91, 2 TD) to open last year. Finally, Otis Armstrong, who falls just behind Alstott and Sheets on the all-time Purdue rushing record list, had 288 yards rushing in the first three games of the 1970 campaign (his sophomore year) against TCU (22-100), Notre Dame (11-68) and Stanford (27-120).
Otis Armstrong (Three-game totals)
1970 - 22-100 TCU; 11-68 at Notre Dame; 27-120 at Stanford (60-288, 0 TD)
1971 - 19-121, TD at Washington; 29-84 Notre Dame; 13-60, 1 TD Iowa (61-265, 2 TD)
1972 - 19-105, TD Bowling Green; 12-35 Washington; 11-45 at Notre Dame (42-185, 1 TD)
Mike Alstott
1992 - 0-0 Cal; 3-6 Toledo; 1-5 at Notre Dame (4-11)
1993 - 13-55 at NC State; 12-100 W. Michigan; 9-15 Notre Dame (34-170)
1994 - 16-99 Toledo; 19-156, 4 TDs Ball St.; 12-65 at Notre Dame (47-320, 4 TDs)
1995 - 17-109 at West Virginia; 21-115 Notre Dame; 20-136, TD Michigan St. (58-360, 1 TD)
Kory Sheets
2005 - 11-42, TD Akron; 11-29 at Arizona; 10-101, TD at Minnesota (32-172, 3 TDs)
2006 - 17-128, 3 TDs Indiana St.; 14-60 , 4 TDs Miami (Ohio); 14-57, TD Ball St. (45-245, 8 TD)
2007 - 11-90, TD at Toledo; 9-29 E. Illinois; 21-144, 2 TD C. Michigan (41-263, 3 TDs)
2008 - 16-81, 2 TDs N. Colorado; 29-180, 2 TDs Oregon; 17-91, 2 TD C. Michigan (62-353, 6 TD)
Ralph Bolden
2009 - 21-234, 2 TDs Toledo; 29-123, 2 TDs at Oregon; 12-64 N. Illinois (62-421, 4 TDs)

PLAYING UNDER THE LIGHTS
The Boilermakers and Fighting Irish will tee it up for a rare night game at Ross-Ade Stadium. Purdue's last home game played at night was against Ohio State in 2007, a game the Buckeyes won 23-7. Since Ross-Ade Stadium opened in 1924, the Boilers have hosted just five games at night - 1986 vs. Ohio State, 1994 vs. Toledo, 1996 vs. West Virginia, 2005 vs. Notre Dame and 2007 vs. Ohio State.

LAST WEEK - NORTHERN ILLINOIS SNIDBITS
Jason Werner intercepted his first career pass in the first quarter ... Ryan Kerrigan recorded his first sack of the season in the first quarter. It was the ninth sack of his career ... Aaron Valentin's 62-yard punt return for a touchdown was the first of his career and the first by a Boilermaker since Anthony Chambers went 76 yards for a score against Penn State on Oct. 11, 2003 ... Valentin's TD was the 13th punt return (non-blocked) for a score in school history ... Joey Elliott's 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the longest rush of his career ... Elliott's two rushing scores marked a career-high ... Elliott became the first Purdue quarterback to lead the team in rushing in a game since Curtis Painter had 60 yards on 11 carries in a 31-20 loss at Wisconsin on Oct. 22, 2005 ... Ralph Bolden's four catches and 62 yards receiving were both career bests ... Torri Williams tied his career high for tackles with 11 ... Chris Carlino finished with a career high 10 total tackles.

GOING THE DISTANCE
Joey Elliott's 58-yard touchdown run against Northern Illinois on Sept.. 19 was the sixth rush by a Boilermaker this season of 20 or more yards. Last year Purdue finished the 12-game season with 11 rushes for 20-plus yards.

MAKE IT SNAPPY
The Boilermakers had possession of the ball for just 18:20 against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19 but still managed to post 21 points against the Huskies. Aided by a 62-yard punt return by Aaron Valentin that took 19 seconds and a 19-second 58-yard touchdown run by Joey Elliott, the Boilers took advantage of their limited time with the ball. Purdue's other scoring drive, an 11-play, 80-yard drive, took up 3:33 on the game clock. The 18:20 time of possession against NIU was the lowest for Purdue since the Boilers held the ball for just 17:36 in a 21-19 win over Rice on Sept.. 12, 1998.

A LITTLE SLIGHT OF HAND
Head coach Danny Hope, offensive coordinator Gary Nord and quarterback Joey Elliott showed a little bit of trickeration at Oregon on Sept. 12. On the advice of Elliott, the Boilers called on former quarterback Keith Smith to take a hand off and pull up to pass. With just 1:01 left on the clock in the game, Smith fired a 15-yard scoring strike to fellow receiver Aaron Valentin to nearly rally the Boilermakers to a victory over the Ducks. A narrowly missed two-point conversion is all that kept Purdue from tying the game late and possibly forcing overtime. The last time Purdue had a non-quarterback throw a touchdown pass in a contest came in 2006 when wide receiver Desmond Tardy found tight end Kyle Adams on a 25-yard throw-and-catch for a score at Hawaii on Nov. 25. Tardy and quarterback Curtis Painter hooked up for a 18-yard non-scoring play last season against Indiana.

FLAG FREE
Through the first three games of the season, Purdue has committed just 11 penalties for 69 yards (23 yards per game) to tie for the sixth fewest in the nation. The 69 penalty yards are the third fewest for any FBS team, trailing only Houston's 46 and Navy's 65.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame heads to West Lafayette with a 2-1 record after halting a Michigan State drive with an interception on the UND 4-yard line with 57 seconds left in the game last weekend in South Bend ... The Irish bring a potent passing attack headlined by junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen ... The Notre Dame QB is second in the nation in passing efficiency (188.5) and 10th in total offense (317.0) ... Wide receiver Golden Tate has been a favored target, hauling in 6.3 passes per game (t25th) while averaging 100.3 yards per contest (20th) ... The apparent loss of fellow wideout Michael Floyd, who is seventh in the nation with a 119.3 yards per game average, to injury will force the Clausen and the Irish to find a compliment to Tate ... Defensively, Notre Dame is allowing 398.7 yards per game to the opposition, a figure that places it 96th nationally ... Safety Kyle McCarthy, who picked off the MSU pass to save the Irish last weekend, is tied for fifth among all FBS players in interceptions ... Head coach Charlie Weis is in his fifth season in South Bend and has posted a 31-22 record with the Fighting Irish.

ALL ON MY OWN
Linebacker Jason Werner leads the Boilermakers with 27 total tackles this season, 22 of which are solo stops. However, Werner's not the only one tackling in space, for the season 147 of Purdue's 211 tackles are solo stops (70 percent).

BIGFOOT
Not the mythical creature from the Pacific Northwest, but rather the right foot of Purdue kicker Carson Wiggs. The sophomore booted the longest field goal in school history (59 yards) as time expired in the first half of the Boilermakers' season opener against Toledo. Wiggs' kick equaled the Ross-Ade Stadium record and tied for the seventh-longest in Big Ten history. Three weeks into the season, it remains the longest field goal in the nation among FBS kickers.
Longest Field Goals in Big Ten History
63 Yards - Morten Anderson, Michigan State at Ohio State 9/19/1981
62 Yards - Pat O'Dea, Wisconsin vs. Northwestern 10/14/1899 (drop kick)
62 Yards - Chip Lohmiller, Minnesota vs. Iowa 11/22/1986
61 Yards - Ralf Mojsiejenko, Michigan State at Illinois 9/11/1982
60 Yards - Pat O'Dea, Wisconsin at Minnesota 11/18/1899 (drop kick)
60 Yards - John Hall, Wisconsin vs. Minnesota 10/1/1983
59 Yards - Tom Skladany, Ohio State at Illinois 11/8/1975 (place kick)
59 Yards - Ralf Mojsiejenko, Michigan State at Purdue 10/1/1983
59 Yards - Carson Wiggs, Purdue vs. Toledo 9/5/2009

A NOSE FOR THE BALL
Senior cornerback David Pender has a knack for knocking down the opposition's passing attack. Tying his career high with three PBUs against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19, Pender increased his career total 25, a figure that ties for 11th in school history. Pender needs one more PBU to move into the all-time top 10 and 10 more to tie Steve Jackson (35 from 1987-90) for the top spot in the Purdue record book.

GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
On Sept. 5 Danny Hope became the 34th person to lead the Boilermakers on to the field as the head coach. Dating back to the first season in 1887, and including Hope's 52-31 win over Toledo, first-time Purdue coaches have gone 18-16 in their initial game.

TWO GAMES AMOUNTS TO THREE YEARS OF WORK
It's been well documented that Joey Elliott has been very patient in waiting for the reigns as the starting quarterback at Purdue. Now the guy under center, Elliott surpassed his previous three-year career numbers in attempts (49/69), completions (27/41), passing yards (300/486) and touchdowns (2/4) in Purdue's first two games of the season.

WATCH THIS
Sophomore kicker Carson Wiggs has been named to the watch list to the Lou Groza Award. The Groza Award is presented annually to the top place kicker in the country. Including his school-record 59-yarder against Toledo, Wiggs is 10 for 14 on field goal attempts in his career at Purdue, but three of his misses have come from 52 and 60 (twice) yards out.

KICKING IT
All of Carson Wiggs' field goal attempts this season have come as time expired in the first half (makes from 59- and 23 yards; miss from 60 yards) ... Heading into the fourth week of the season, senior Chris Summers is 11th nationally in punting. The Ray Guy Award nominee has booted 14 punts, including five over 50 yards, is averaging 44.8 yards per kick and has placed three inside the opposition's 20-yard line.

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
The Boilermakers voted on their 2009 team captains following the spring practices and elected seniors Joey Elliott (QB), Mike Neal (DT), Jason Werner (LB), Torri Williams (S) and Jared Zwilling (C).

IRON MEN
Zach Jones has started 27 straight starts at offensive tackle, sophomore linebacker Joe Holland has started all 15 games of his young Purdue career and junior defensive end Ryan Kerrigan has started 14 consecutive games after missing the first game last season due to an ankle injury.

GOOD GOING KID
Head coach Danny Hope awarded scholarships to four deserving walkons as training camp came to a close. The quartet is quarterback Chris Bennett, long snapper Andy Huffman, fullback Jarrod Shaw and wide receiver Adam Wolf.

MONSTER MIKE
Senior Mike Neal is big, athletic and most impressive strong. The defensive tackle describes his team-best bench press as: "510 pounds is my max; I probably could do more if I tried, but once I obtained that goal I just stopped. It feels pretty good to be able to achieve that number." Neal returns for his final year coming off of a 2008 season that saw him post a career-high 33 total tackles, which included 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

ODDS AND ENDS
Purdue went 64 or more yards on its five touchdown drives at Oregon (76, 70, 70, 68, 64). The average length of the touchdown drives was 69.6 yards. For the year, nine of Purdue's 14 touchdown drives have covered 58 or more yards and the Boilermakers are averaging just 2:29 time of possession on their TD drives ... After failing on its lone fourth-down try against Toledo, Purdue went a perfect 3-for-3 at Oregon, including a 15-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter ... Purdue is 10 of 11 inside the red zone (nine touchdowns, one field goal) ... Running back Ralph Bolden and wide receiver Keith Smith have accounted for 56 percent of Purdue's first downs this season (35 of 63).

RECYCLING EFFORTS AT ROSS-ADE
The Purdue athletics department and the Boiler Green Initiative have teamed up for recycling efforts in and around Ross-Ade Stadium for the Boilermakers seven home games. Through the first two home dates this season, fans have helped chip in with 11,580 pounds of recyclable materials.
Recycling Poundage at Ross-Ade Stadium
Toledo - 4,500 lbs
Northern Illinois - 7,080 lbs
Notre Dame
Northwestern
Ohio State
Illinois
Michigan State
Totals - 11,580 lbs