Football Game Notes - At Northwestern

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Redshirt freshman Rob Henry is expected to get his first start at quarterback this weekend.

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Redshirt freshman Rob Henry is expected to get his first start at quarterback this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 4, 2010

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Television This Week
Big Ten Network
Play-By-Play - Tom Hart
Analyst - Anthony Herron
Sideline - Lisa Byington

Radio This Week
Purdue Sports Properties
Play-By-Play - Tim Newton
Analyst - Pete Quinn
Sideline - Kelly Kitchel
Producer - Rob Blackman
Engineer - Gary Kline

Sirius - Channel 91
XM - Channel 196

SOME GAME THEMES
The Boilermakers join the Big Ten party with their first league game of the season ... The Boilers look for their first win in a conference opener since 2007 ... Purdue looks to rebound from a rash of injuries on the offensive side of the ball that has cost all or parts of the season for last year's top rusher and receiver, as well as its starting quarterback ... Senior defensive end Ryan Kerrigan continues his assault on the opposition.

Purdue vs. Northwestern Series Information
Series record: Purdue leads 49-27-1
Purdue points: 1,646
Northwestern points: 1,119
Series record in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 22-10
at Ross-Ade Stadium: Purdue leads 20-6
Series record in Evanston: Purdue leads 26-17-1
at Ryan Field: Purdue leads 20-13-1
Games decided by 3 points or less: Purdue leads 8-3
Games decided by 7 points or less: Purdue leads 14-10
Longest Purdue win streak: 12 (1976-1987)
Longest Northwestern win streak: 4 (1945-1950)
Current streak: Northwestern has won the last two meetings
Largest Purdue victory: 49-7 in 1984
Largest Northwestern victory: 38-6 in 1916
Last Purdue home victory: 2007
Last Purdue road victory: 2006
Last Northwestern home victory: 2008
Last Northwestern road victory: 2009

THIS DATE IN BOILERMAKER FOOTBALL HISTORY
Purdue has an 8-7-1 record in games played on Oct. 9 ... In 2004, the ninth-ranked Boilermakers took their perfect 4-0 record into Beaver Stadium for match up with Penn State ... Tied 10-10 at half, quarterback Kyle Orton opened the third quarter by leading Purdue on an eight-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off with a 40-yard touchdown strike from Orton to Taylor Stubblefield ... Ben Jones, who hit a 50-yard field goal in the first, answered a PSU field goal in the third quarter on a 46-yarder with 2:48 to play in the contest ... The victory bumped Purdue up to fifth in the AP poll the following day to equal its highest ranking since 1979.

BIG TEN OPENERS
The Boilermakers have put the non-conference slate behind them for the regular season and will open their 115th Big Ten campaign this weekend against Northwestern ... 2010 marks the second straight year Purdue will open league play against the Wildcats ... Dating to 1896, Purdue owns a 45-64-5 record in its opening Big Ten game ... The Boilermakers have won 10 of their 13 previous conference openers dating to 1997 ... The Boilers start the conference slate on the road for the first time since a 45-31 win at Minnesota in 2007 ... Both charter members of the Big Ten Conference, Purdue has opened league play against Northwestern 14 times previous to this season and owns a 9-5 record against the Wildcats when doing so.

UNDER THE LIGHTS
Purdue and Northwestern will tee it up under the lights at Ryan Field on Oct. 9. Night contests (after 6 p.m.) are nothing new to Purdue after playing at Oregon and Notre Dame in Ross-Ade Stadium past sunset last season, however facing a conference foe at night is another matter. Out of 688 all-time league games Purdue has played in, Saturday will mark just the 12th played under the lights. Saturday's contest will be Purdue's first Big Ten road night game in since beating Minnesota 45-31 at the Metrodome on Sept. 22, 2007. Purdue also faced Ohio State at home at night on Oct. 7, 2007 - the last Big Ten Conference night game for the Boilermakers.

LAST WEEK'S QUICK HITS -- VS. TOLEDO
Freshman Rob Henry posted career-bests with 70 yards rushing and 140 yards passing, completing 17 of 31 ... Junior Jared Crank scored his first career rushing touchdown, a career-long 36-yard scamper in the third quarter. He posted a career-best 43 yards rushing for the game ... Senior Dan Dierking hauled in his second career touchdown reception, an eight-yard catch in the third quarter. He finished with 31 yards rushing and equaled his career best with five catches for 50 yards ... Senior Keith Carlos saw his first action of the season and first game as a Boilermaker at running back, carrying the ball seven times for 41 yards in his debut ... Senior tight end Kyle Adams had six receptions to tie his career high, finishing with 33 yards ... Senior Ryan Kerrigan continued his attack of opponents' backfields this season, adding 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss on Saturday. He now has 25.5 sacks and 43.0 tackles for loss for his career ... Kerrigan also had double-digit tackles for the second time this season, finishing with 10, six solo ... Freshman cornerback Ricardo Allen posted a career-high nine tackles ... Sophomore Josh Johnson forced his second fumble of the season, earning his first career sack. The fumble recovery by Werner was also the first of his career ... Freshman Cody Webster logged a career-long 55-yard punt. He averaged 46.7 yards on three punts for the game ... Junior Carson Wiggs hit a season-long 49-yard field goal, moving to 8-for-12 for his career beyond 40 yards.

HALT! WHO GOES THERE?
The Boilermakers lead the Big Ten with 12 sacks and share second in the conference with 31 tackles for loss (also Penn State). On a per game level, the Boilers' 3.0 sacks and 7.75 TFLs are tops in the conference and rank 11th and 14th nationally.

TERROR IN THE TRENCHES
The man primarily responsible for the previous note is senior defensive end Ryan Kerrigan. The Muncie, Ind., native, dubbed Superman by his teammates, has been a holy horror for the opposition this season with a team-high 34 tackles, including 4.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. Despite playing in one fewer game than those ranked around him in the conference, his TFL total is tops in the Big Ten and his sack tally is just a half behind conference leader Vince Browne of Northwestern.

RUNNING AND RIPPING
Senior defensive end Ryan Kerrigan forced his 12th career fumble against Toledo on Sept. 25 to tie James Looney (1979-80) for the Purdue record. His next strip will tie him for the Big Ten record, which is currently shared by Simeon Rice of Illinois (1992-95) and Bob Sanders of Iowa (2000-03).

QUARTERBACK ON THE LOOSE
With 65 yards rushing on 10 carries against Ball State on Sept. 18 and 67 yards on 13 carries against Toledo on Sept. 25, redshirt freshman Rob Henry became the first quarterback to lead the Boilermakers in rushing in a game twice during a season - let alone in back-to-back games - since Brandon Kirsch did so against Michigan and Michigan State in 2002. Since 1970 only four other Purdue quarterbacks have led the Boilers in rushing twice during a season - Bo Bobrowski (1973), Eric Hunter (1989), Drew Brees (1999) and Kirsch (2002) - and never in back-to-back games ... Kirsch is also the last signal caller to go over the century mark when he rushed for 125 yards on 21 carries at Michigan State on Nov. 16, 2002. The school record for rushing yards by a quarterback is held by Gary Danielson, who had 213 yards on 16 carries vs. Washington on Sept. 23, 1972.

MAKING MIKE ALSTOTT PROUD
With 227 rushing yards against Western Illinois on Sept. 11, 203 against Ball State on Sept. 18 and 220 against Toledo on Sept. 25, Purdue posted three straight 200 yard games on the ground for the first time since 1995, when it ripped off four straight against Notre Dame (275), Michigan State (250), Ball State (267) and Minnesota (297). What might be even more impressive is the fact that Purdue's leading rushers the last two games have been the quarterback (Rob Henry, 132 combined yards) and a wide receiver (Antavian Edison, 102 combined yards) ... Dating to last year, Purdue has rushed for 100 or more yards as a team in seven straight contests, the longest streak of consecutive century mark games since the 2005 team closed with six straight and the 2006 club opened with four straight.
Seven Straight Over 100 On The Ground
at Michigan, 2009 - 29-127, 3 TDs
Michigan State, 2009 - 37-151, 2 TDs
at Indiana, 2009 - 33-124, 0 TDs
at Notre Dame, 2010 - 32-102, 1 TD
Western Illinois, 2010 - 35-227, 3 TDs
Ball State, 2010 - 46-203, 0 TDs
Toledo, 2010 - 43-220, 1 TD

STEPPING UP
With the loss of All-Big Ten wide receiver Keith Smith for the rest of the season, the Boilermakers will need to find a combination to fill his very big shoes. While the subtraction of Smith's 158 career receptions, 1,709 receiving yards and leadership certainly is painful to the team and Boilermaker Nation, Purdue is blessed with some gifted athletes that can team up to help replicate his numbers.
Purdue Career Receiving Statistics
Kyle Adams, TE - 60-522, 3 TDs
Cortez Smith, WR - 33-385, 4 TDs
Jeff Lindsay, TE - 22-187, 2 TDs
Dan Dierking, RB - 19-183, 2 TD
Justin Siller, WR - 12-104, 1 TD
O.J. Ross, WR - 6-68, 1 TD
Antavian Edison, WR - 4-30, 1 TD
Jared Crank, RB - 4-31, 1 TD
Waynelle Gravesande, WR - 3-24

PURDUE-NORTHWESTERN, THE LAST TIME OUT
The Boilermakers jumped out to an early 21-3 lead at Ross-Ade Stadium last season, but an interception and four fumbles, including a dramatic ending to the second quarter, turned the tide in the favor or the Wildcats. Having staked themselves to the 18-point lead with just 2:20 remaining before halftime, the Boilers saw Northwestern turn a Joey Elliott interception into a five-yard Arby Fields touchdown run (1:31 left), an Aaron Valentin fumble on the ensuing kickoff into a 35-yard field goal by Stefan Demos (52 seconds left) and a Jaycen Taylor fumble on the first play after the second kickoff into a 25-yard Demos field goal (31 seconds). In the span of under three minutes, the Boilers' lead had evaporated to just five points. Demos and NU then took advantage of Cortez Smith fumble in the third quarter for a 39-yard field goal to make it 21-19 Purdue, and finally an Elliott fumble on a sack in the fourth quarter led to a Mike Kafka two-yard scoring run and a 27-21 lead. A late Purdue rally came up just short as the Boilers turned the ball over on downs on Northwestern's five with just three seconds left in the game.

THEY'RE WATCHING YOU
Ryan Kerrigan might want to make sure he's not being followed. The senior defensive end was listed on five separate watch lists and nominated for a sixth national award during the preseason. Kerrigan is on the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Rotary Lombardi Award, Lott Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award. He has also been nominated for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award ... Junior guard Ken Plue is on the watch list for the Outland Trophy

ANOTHER OLD TIMER
For a second consecutive season a Purdue player has felt the compassion of the NCAA. Due to a laundry list of medical issues early in his career, linebacker Jason Werner was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the governing body of collegiate athletics. Werner follows in the footsteps of safety Torri Williams, who got a sixth year to play from the NCAA last season. Werner made his 16th consecutive start against Toledo on Sept. 25. In the first four years of his career, he appeared in just 19 total games with no starts.

STRINGING THEM TOGETHER
Junior linebacker Joe Holland has started every single game of his Purdue career and leads the team with 28 consecutive starts ... Senior defensive end Ryan Kerrigan has started 27 straight contests, and sophomore defensive tackle Kawann Short, junior offensive tackle Dennis Kelly and sixth-year linebacker Jason Werner all have started 16 consecutive games.

ODDS AND ENDS
The Boilermakers have posted the same or more first downs than their opposition in each of the first four games ... Purdue has not allowed an individual 100-yard rusher or receiver through four games ... The Boilers are averaging 74 offensive plays per game this season, the opposition just 66.3 ... Purdue has four more sacks than it did at this point last season ... The defense has allowed an average of 72 less yards per game (421.5-349.5) and 35 fewer points than through the same number of contests last season... Kyle Adams, Justin Siller and Cortez Smith have at least one reception in all four game thus far ... Upon further review, Kawann Short was credited with his first sack of the season when he brought down Dane Crist in the fourth quarter in the season opener against Notre Dame. He was originally credited with just a tackle for loss on the play.

ON THE AIR
Head coach Danny Hope's television show will air at 2 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. Each week coach Hope go over highlights from the previous game, host one of the Boilermaker student-athletes, discuss coaching techniques with a taped segment from the Purdue assistant coaches and look forward to the next opponent ... Coach Hope will also host a weekly radio show in West Lafayette at Puccini's restaurant. Local fans are encouraged to stop by in person to see the show live.