2010 Record: (4-8, 2-6 in Big 10)
Head Coach: Danny Hope (9-15 at Purdue, 44-27 All-Time)
Last Bowl Game: 2007 Motor City Bowl (beat Central Michigan 51-48)
CFBZ Purdue Links
9/3: Middle Tennessee
9/10: at Rice
10/1: Notre Dame (2010 result: lost 23-12)
10/8: Minnesota (2010 result: won 28-17)
10/15: at Penn State
10/22: Illinois (2010 result: lost 44-10)
10/29: at Michigan (2010 result: won 27-16)
11/5: at Wisconsin (2010 result: lost 34-13)
11/12: Ohio State (2010 result: won 49-0)
11/26: at Indiana (2010 result: lost 34-31 OT)
2010 Offensive Statistics:
Scoring: 19.7 ppg (last in Big Ten, 105th in Nation)
Rushing Yds/Game: 160.83 yds/game (5th in Big Ten, 49th in Nation)
Passing Yds/Game: 150.8 yds/game (last in Big Ten, 112th in Nation)
Total Yds/Game: 311.6 yds/game (last in Big Ten, 104th in Nation)
2010 Defensive Statistics:
Scoring: 28.8 ppg (7th in Big Ten, 74th in Nation)
Rushing Yds/Game: 137.92 yds/game (6th in Big Ten, 43rd in Nation)
Passing Yds/Game: 231.1 yds/game (8th in Big Ten, 85th in Nation)
Total Yds/Game: 369.0 yds/game (7th in Big Ten, 62nd in Nation)
2010 Misc Stats:
Turnover Margin: -0.50 per game (9th in Big Ten, 88th in Nation)
Penalties: 57.0 yds/game (10th in Big Ten, 83rd in Nation)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders:
Passing: QB Rob Henry, Soph (86 of 162 for 996 yds, 8 TD, 7 INT)
Rushing: QB Rob Henry, Soph (104 for 547 yds, 4 TD)
Receiving: WR Antavian Edison, Jr (32 rec for 316 yds, 4 TD)
Tackles: SS Logan Link, Sr (91)
Sacks: DT Kawann Short, Jr (4.5)
Interceptions: CB Ricardo Allen, Soph (3)
Despite losing an early game to Toledo, Purdue started last season at 4-2 including a 3 point win over Northwestern. From there it was all downhill. It started with a 49-0 thumping at the hands of Ohio State (on the bright side that loss might be wiped from the record books) and it ended with an OT loss to Indiana. Purdue finished 4-8 and 2-6 in the conference which was two games worse in conference than they finished in 2009. Danny Hope has his work cut out for him this year but he does have a lot of experience returning. According to Phil Steele, Purdue has the second most experienced team in the Big 10 (behind Northwestern) and also has the second most experienced offensive line. Looking ahead at this years schedule, Purdue's out of conference schedule is pretty easy. Purdue should be able to go 3-1 out of conference with the Notre Dame game being the toughest out of their first four. In Big Ten play Purdue misses out on Michigan State and Nebraska but still has some tough match-ups against Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa. If Purdue can stay healthy they could be a much improved team this year. This is Danny Hope's third year and that's the year that things should really start coming together in most cases. This will be a very interesting year for Purdue fans and alumni. We caught up with the Purdue blog Boiled Sports to get their take on the 2011 Boilermakers.
What is the status of Robert Marve's injury?
Marve still isn't quite 100% according to Hope, but he's close and should be ready by August. That said, this is Rob Henry's job to lose. Henry was a unanimous choice for captain, and (obviously) is a guy that the players rally behind.
Coming into last season, Hope said he'd use two quarterbacks, regardless of the injury situation...and he did until numerous injuries forced his hand. I think we'll hear the same thing from Hope come August as Marve gets up to speed. But if Marve's recovery is slowed, we might not see as many snaps with him behind center (20-30%) as we might have.
Purdue's leading rusher last year was a QB and their top two RBs were seniors. Who is going to step up this year at the RB position?
Ralph Bolden was injured with a second ACL tear to the same knee prior to last season. But, before that, Bolden was a nearly-1000 yard rusher, even with a few injuries at the end of his Sophomore season. Purdue will lean heavily on Bolden as the experience drops off significantly in '11. Al-Terek McBurse, who had a few big runs at Purdue has transferred and would have seen second-team snaps...in his absence, you'll see Reggie Pegram, Akeem Shavers and Jared Crank all get worked into the offense.
As a Purdue fan, I'd rather not see Henry lead the team in rushing again, as BT defenses will most-likely punish Purdue for being one-dimensional.
As you stated in our Purdue Exit Survey, injuries were a huge issue for Purdue last year. Is the coaching staff doing anything different this year to try and help out in this area?
Some thought there might have been some problems in the way the strength and conditioning programs were preparing the team. The S&C coaching staff has been re-vamped starting with Director of Sports Performance, Duane Carlisle. That said, much of what happened in '10 was poor fortune coupled with a lack of depth that everyone, outside of the nation's elite, struggles to combat.
What are the biggest reasons to be optimistic about Purdue football this year?
Rob Henry has nearly a full season of starting under his belt and will be more effective. Plus, even if Purdue has injury problems, there's no way we'll see the attrition to the skilled positions that we saw last season. Along with that, Purdue returns one of the best cover-corner tandems we've seen at Purdue (Ricardo Allen & Josh Johnson) and a LB corps that's full of speed and experience. Plus, Carson Wiggs can kick field goals from the other side of the 50...not a bad weapon to have in the holster.
Looking at the schedule, what are the most important games for Purdue this year?
The first three and the last are all important as they're winnable and are imperative in Purdue's effort to getting to a bowl game. The last three seasons have effectively taken the wind out of the Purdue fanbase's collective sails...and the ticket sales show it. Purdue needs a winner to re-invigorate the students and alums alike and to make Ross-Ade a tough place to play again...it hasn't been recently.
What is your gut feeling on the final record for the 2011 season and what makes the season successful in your eyes?
A successful season would be .500 or better and a bowl game. Wins against IU and Notre Dame always make a year good, but right now, the overall record is probably more important than trophy games. But some of them have to be won in order to reach the goal. My gut feeling isn't a good one, I think four or five wins is probably about right based on what we saw when Purdue was healthy. That said, IU, Minnesota, Michigan, even Ohio State are all rebuilding, and a ton of the teams on the schedule will be struggling to find their offensive identities as they start new quarterbacks...so anything's possible, that's why we watch, right??
Coming In August: Big Ten Preview
Next Preview: South Florida
2011 Team Previews
Big East- Louisville