Sept. 26, 2011
Television This Week
Play-By-Play - Brad Nessler
Analyst - Todd Blackledge
Sideline - Holly Rowe
Radio This Week
Purdue Sports Properties
Play-By-Play - Tim Newton
Analyst - Pete Quinn
Sideline - Kelly Kitchel
Producer - Rob Blackman
Engineer - Alan Benjamin
Sirius - Channel 149
Some Game Themes
Purdue and Notre Dame meet up for the 83rd time in a series that dates back to 1896 ... The Boilermakers and Fighting Irish meet under the lights at Ross-Ade Stadium for merely the third time in series history (2005, 2009, 2011) ... Purdue is coming off its first shutout of an opponent since 2004 ... The Boilermakers bring a balanced offense, averaging 258.7 passing yards and 212.3 rushing yards per game ... Quarterbacks Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve teamed up to complete 21 of 25 passes in their last outing.
Purdue vs. Notre Dame Series Information
Series record: Notre Dame leads 54-26-2 (First meeting: 1896 / Last Meeting: 2010)
Purdue points: 1,333
Notre Dame points: 1,973
Series record in West Lafayette: Notre Dame leads 25-14-2
In Ross-Ade Stadium: Notre Dame leads 20-12
Series record in South Bend: Notre Dame leads 29-11
In Notre Dame Stadium: Notre Dame leads 25-10
Series record at neutral site: Purdue leads 1-0 (Hoosier Dome in 1984)
Games decided by 3 points or less: Notre Dame leads 8-3
Games decided by 7 points or less: Notre Dame leads 10-9
Longest Purdue win streak: 3 (1958-60; 1967-69)
Longest Notre Dame win streak: 11 (1986-96)
Current streak: Notre Dame has won the last three meetings
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: 2010
Last Notre Dame road victory: 2009
Playing For Sean
Fifth-year running back Sean Matti passed away on Sunday, July, 3, 2011. The Shoreview, Minn., native will be missed by his family, friends, coaches and teammates. The Boilermakers have dedicated their season to him and will honor him with a 22 decal, Sean's number, on their helmets. Purdue athletics also held a moment of silence for Matti prior to the home opener against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 3.
This Date in Boilermaker History
The Boilermakers are 10-3-1 all-time on Oct. 1. On this date in 1960, Jack Mollenkopf's Boilermakers took down the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish, 51-19, in South Bend. No Purdue team before or since has scored that many points against Notre Dame. In the second quarter alone, the Boilermakers put 31 points on the scoreboard, posting four touchdowns and a field goal. Senior halfback Jim Tiller (no relation to the former head coach) caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Bernie Allen and later returned a punt 66 yards for a score.
Last Week's Quick Hits -- vs. Southeast Missouri
Purdue improved to 82-29-3 all-time when playing an opponent for the first time ... Purdue's 59-0 win marked the largest margin of victory ever at Ross-Ade Stadium (previous record was 52 points) ... The Boilermakers finished with 627 yards of total offense, its highest total under Hope and most since Nov. 20, 2004 against Indiana ... The 393 yards rushing were Purdue's most since a 315-yard effort against Toledo on Sept. 5, 2009, and just shy of a 397-yard effort at Indiana on Nov. 24, 1995 ... The Boilermakers did not have a single offensive play that lost yardage in the game and only had to punt once all day ... Purdue's defense limited the Redhawks to just 153 yards of total offense. It was the first time the Boilermakers held an opponent under 200 yards since Sept. 11, 2004 (vs. Ball State), and the first game under 100 yards passing by an opponent since Oct. 10, 2009 (at Minnesota) ... The Boilermaker defense had 10 tackles for loss for 29 yards, including a pair of sacks ... The Boilermakers topped the 50-point plateau for the first time since Sept. 5, 2009 (52-31 vs. Toledo) ... It was Purdue's first shutout since a 51-0 win vs. Syracuse on Sept. 5, 2004 ... Purdue improved to 8-1 under Hope when rushing for over 200 yards, including 2-0 this season ... Purdue's 33 first downs were their most since Nov. 22, 2008 (35 vs. Indiana) and tied for the eighth most in school history ... Caleb TerBush completed 14 of 17 passes for 143 yards ... Robert Marve made his first appearance of the season at quarterback. He completed 7 of 8 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown ... Akeem Shavers led the Boilermakers with 70 yards rushing on 10 carries, scoring a pair of touchdowns ... Ralph Bolden carried the ball 11 times for 57 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. They were his 10th and 11th career rushing touchdowns and he now has 13 for his career ... Antavian Edison had his first career rushing touchdown. He carried the ball three times for 32 yards and had one catch for 26 yards ... Akeem Hunt saw his first career action at running back, rushing for 56 yards and two scores on six carries ... Brandon Cottom also saw his first career carries in the backfield, rushing for 70 yards on seven attempts ... Justin Siller and O.J. Ross paced the receiving core with five catches each. Siller had 61 yards and Ross had 46 ... Waynelle Gravesande smashed his career-highs with four receptions for 57 yards ... Gary Bush scored his first touchdown of the season, his second-career scoring grab ... Chris Carlino and Will Lucas led the Boilermaker defense with seven tackles apiece ... Ricardo Allen grabbed his first interception of the season and fourth career pick.
Purdue vs. Notre Dame -- The Last time Out
The Fighting Irish and Boilermakers opened the 2010 season in South Bend. Behind 93 yards rushing and a touchdown by Armando Allen and 205 yards passing from Dane Crist, Notre Dame prevailed 23-12 to win its third straight over Purdue. Making his Boilermaker debut, quarterback Robert Marve completed 31 of his 42 passing attempts for 220 yard and also rushed for a 23-yard touchdown. Ryan Kerrigan began his All-American season with seven tackles, including 2.5 for losses with a sack.
Under The Lights
The 8 p.m. kickoff on Saturday marks merely the seventh nighttime game played in Ross-Ade Stadium's history, but the third against the Fighting Irish (2005, 2009). The Boilermakers played their first night home game against Ohio State in 1986 and faced the Buckeyes under the lights again in 2007. Purdue's two other night opponents have been Toledo (1994) and West Virginia (1996). Purdue is 16-17 in 33 all-time night games at any venue leading up to Saturday's match up.
Night Games at Ross-Ade Stadium
Oct. 18, 1986 - Ohio State 39, Purdue 11
Sept. 10, 1994 - Purdue 51, Toledo 17
Sept. 21, 1996 - West Virginia 20, Purdue 6
Oct. 1, 2005 - Notre Dame 49, Purdue 28
Oct. 6, 2007 - Ohio State 23, Purdue 7
Sept. 26, 2009 - Notre Dame 24, Purdue 21
Pounding It Out on the Ground
Purdue's 393 yards rushing against Southeast Missouri on Sept. 17 narrowly missed making the all-time top 10 list in school history (397 at Indiana on Nov. 11, 1995), but it did help push the Boilermakers towards the top of both the NCAA and Big Ten rankings. Through the first four weeks of college football, Purdue ranks 11th nationally and third in the conference with a 258.7 yards per game average on the ground. The Boilermakers have rushed for 180 or more yards in all three games thus far ... The seven rushing touchdowns against Southeast Missouri tied the Purdue single game record (also vs. Iowa 10/26/68 and at Iowa 11/3/73)
Going The Distance
The Boilermakers have had to earn their touchdowns in 2011, with 11 of the 13 end zone-ending drives spanning 50 or more yards, including scoring marches of 98, 85, 83, 80 (x2) and 70 yards. ... Purdue's 12-play, 98-yard drive in the second quarter against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 3, capped off by a Caleb TerBush to Jared Crank two-yard touchdown, was the longest drive in yardage for the Boilermakers since Nov. 8, 2008, when a Justin Siller 1-yard plunge ended a 16-play, 98-yard drive at Michigan State.
Punter Cody Webster has gotten off to a great start to his sophomore season. The southpaw kicker enters Purdue's fourth game of the season unranked in the nation in punting average (49.8), but only because he hasn't punted enough. Were he to have the minimum required (3.6 punts per game), his average would be the top mark in the FBS. He has booted seven of his 10 punts for over 50 yards and has placed five kicks inside the opposition's 20-yard line. Teaming up with Carson Wiggs, Webster and Purdue's punting unit ranks ninth nationally in net punting (42.3) and 10 of the 15 total punts of the season have been ended up inside the 20-yard line (to be more exact at the 1-, 1-, 5-, 7-, 8-, 8-, 11-, 11-, 13- and 19-yard lines).
The Final 15
It took a furious rally and a last-minute touchdown, but the Boilermakers pulled off a come-from-behind victory over Middle Tennessee on Sept. 3 with a very solid effort in fourth quarter. In the final 15 minutes alone, the Boilers racked up 10 of their 24 first downs (42%), 75 of their 200 rushing yards (38%), 117 of their 220 passing yards (53%), converted four of five third downs and scored on their final three possessions (2 TDs, FG). First-time starter Caleb TerBush completed nine of his 11 fourth quarter pass attempts, including a 35-yard strike to Antavian Edison with only 49 seconds remaining to put the Boilers on top. On the 11-play, 85-yard game-winning drive, TerBush went 5 for 6 for 75 yards and the TD.
Junior running back Ralph Bolden returned from a year's hiatus due to a knee injury and looked like he had never left. Bolden carried 17 times for 120 yards (7.1 avg.) in the opener against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 3. The effort marked his third career game with 100 or more yards and were the bulk of Purdue's 200 team rushing yards on the day.
Including Purdue's 393 yards on the ground against Southeast Missouri, the Boilermakers are 8-1 during head coach Danny Hope's tenure in which they rush for 200 or more yards.
200-Yard Rushing Games Under Danny Hope
Sept. 5, 2009, vs. Toledo, W 52-31 -- 39-315, 4 TDs
Oct. 24, 2009, vs. Illinois, W 24-14 -- 39-220, 3 TDs
Sept. 11, 2010, vs. Western Illinois, W 31-21 -- 35-227, 3 TDs
Sept. 18, 2010, vs. Ball State, W 24-13 -- 46-203
Sept. 25, 2010, vs. Toledo, L 31-20 -- 43-220, 1 TD
Oct. 9, 2010, at Northwestern, W 20-17 -- 42-232, 2 TDs
Oct. 16, 2010, vs. Minnesota, W 28-17 -- 46-230, 3 TDs
Sept. 3, 2011, vs. Middle Tennessee, W 27-24 -- 46-200, 1 TD
Sept. 17, 2011 vs. Southeast Missouri, W 59-0 -- 53-393, 7 TDs
Aye, Aye Captain
As the spring season wrapped up last April, the Boilermakers voted on their team captains for the upcoming season and came up with six of them - quarterback Rob Henry and tackle Dennis Kelly from the offense, tackle Kawann Short and linebacker Joe Holland from the defense and kicker Carson Wiggs and linebacker Chris Carlino from special teams.
Linebacker Joe Holland, defensive end Gerald Gooden, defensive tackle Kawann Short and offensive tackle Dennis Kelly have all started 25 or more games during their Purdue careers. Holland leads the way, having started 38 of a possible 39 career games. Gooden (29) has more starts than either Short or Kelly (27), but the tackles on both side of the ball have strung them together consecutively.
Those that pay attention to spring football know about Carson Wiggs' leg. The five fields he converted during the Black and Gold Game were from 42, 47, 52, 57 and 67 yards out. The latter would have tied the NCAA record shared by Russell Erxleben of Texas (vs. Rice, 1977), Steve Little of Arkansas (vs. Texas, 1977) and Joe Williams of Wichita State (vs. Southern Illinois, 1978). Since it was the spring game, it obviously didn't join the record book, but Wiggs kicked his without the benefit of a two inch tee (something the other three had). As it stands, Wiggs owns the four longest field goals in Purdue history (59, 55, 53 and 52), the highest field goal percentage (42-58, .724) and has made over 80 percent of his attempts inside 50 yards for his career. Head coach Danny Hope has stated numerous times that if the conditions are right he would not hesitate to line up from 65-70 yards away for a Wiggs attempt.
Quest For Health
The Boilermakers have already lost the services of projected No. 1 quarterback Rob Henry and are hoping to avoid any more serious injuries after losing 16 different players a combined total of 76 games last season. Among the notable players that missed time were Henry (finger, two games and played in three others with the bad digit), Robert Marve (knee, eight), O.J. Ross (foot, six) Keith Smith (knee, 10) and Justin Siller (foot, eight).
Once a Question, Now a Strength
The biggest preseason question heading into the 2010 season was how good would Purdue's secondary be? Needing to replace all four starters from the previous year, the unit held up pretty well. Cornerback Ricardo Allen, starting all 12 games as a true freshman, garnered second team Freshman All-America and All-Big Ten honors after finishing his rookie season with 73 tackles, including 3.5 for losses with a sack. He also picked off three passes, one in Purdue's end zone to thwart a touchdown and the other two he returned to the house for pick-sixes (vs. Michigan 94 yards and at No. 11 Michigan State 35 yards). His peer on the opposite side of the field, Josh Johnson, recorded 52 tackles, an interception, six PBUs, three fumbles forced and one recovered. Strong safety Logan Link, who joined the Boilermakers as a walkon before earning a scholarship prior to the 2010 season, led all players with 91 tackles, had a pick and three PBUs. Free safety Albert Evans finished the year with 37 stops, including 4.0 for losses with a pair of sacks, an interception, two PBUs and a pair of fumbles forced. The best news about all of this seasoned group is that they're back for 2011.