PURDUE VS NOTRE DAME PREVIEW
September 10, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
PURDUE SPORTS RELEASE
THE GAME: Purdue and Notre Dame meet for the 85th time in series history, the most that the Irish have faced any Big Ten school. The Boilermakers are coming off the first win of the Darrell Hazell coaching era with a 20-14 victory over Indiana State last Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Fighting Irish lost at Michigan 41-30 in their first road game of the year. Notre Dame has won the last five matchups against the Boilermakers, though two of the victories came on the Irish’s final drive of the game, including last year’s 20-17 game in South Bend. Purdue and Notre Dame have met annually since 1946. The Fighting Irish’s longest winning streak during that span was 11 from 1986 to 1996. Purdue’s most consecutive wins during that streak was three, two times, with the last from 1967 to 1969. Saturday’s game is the first of three trophy rivalry games that the Boilermakers will compete in this season. Purdue and Notre Dame have played for the Shillelagh Trophy since 1957 and Notre Dame holds the edge 37-19. The other trophies Purdue plays for are the Cannon (vs. Illinois) and the Old Oaken Bucket (vs. Indiana). Saturday’s 8 p.m. ET start will be the third straight at that time between the schools at Ross-Ade Stadium. The game is also the annual Gold and Black Game where the Boilermakers will attempt to stripe the stadium by section in old gold and black. The Boilermakers and Fighting Irish kick off at 8 p.m. on ABC with Brent Musburger calling the action and Kirk Herbstreit at his side. Heather Cox joins the crew from the sideline. Tim Newton will handle the play-by-play on the Purdue Sports Properties radio broadcast with Pete Quinn at his side. Kelly Kitchell will join the crew from the sideline.
HEAD COACH Darrell Hazell: Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell (Muskingum, 1986) picked up his first win as a Boilermaker last Saturday with the 20-14 win over Indiana State. He was named the school’s 35th head coach on Dec. 5, 2012. Hazell spent the previous two seasons as the head coach at Kent State where he led the Golden Flashes to a 16-10 overall record. The 2012 MAC Coach of the Year led the team to a school-record 11 wins and its first bowl appearance in 40 years. Prior to Kent State, Hazell spent seven years on staff at Ohio State and has also been an assistant coach at Rutgers, West Virginia, U.S. Military Academy, Western Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oberlin College and Eastern Illinois. Hazell is 1-1 at Purdue and 17-11 for his head coaching career.
NOTRE DAME: Brian Kelly and the Irish enter the second of three straight games against members of the Big Ten Conference. The Fighting Irish are coming off a 41-30 loss at Michigan, and host Michigan State next week. Notre Dame has played more than twice as many games against the Big Ten as any other conference and Saturday’s game against Purdue will be the 375th such contest. The Irish have faced Purdue 84 times, Michigan 41 times, Michigan State 76 times and Northwestern 47 times for the top four. Notre Dame is 103-71-10 against the Big Ten in road games. Senior quarterback Tommy Rees leads the Notre Dame offense with 660 passing yards on 45 completions in 74 attempts. Amir Carlisle, son of Purdue Director of Sports Performance, Duane Carlisle, MSc, is the top rusher with 132 yards on 19 carries (6.9 avg). TJ Jones has hauled in 15 passes for 232 yards (15.5 avg) and one touchdown.
THIS DATE IN BOILERMAKER HISTORY: Purdue is 1-3 all-time on Sept. 14, including 0-1 against Notre Dame. In 1974, under head coach Alex Agase, the Boilermakers lost 28-14 against Wisconsin in the season opener. In 1991, Purdue traveled to California and the Golden Bears handed Jim Colletto his first loss as the head coach of the Boilermakers, 42-18. Colletto’s Boilermakers fell to No. 9 Notre Dame in 1996, his final year at the helm, 35-0. Purdue picked up its first win on Sept. 14 in 2002 under Joe Tiller. The Boilermakers knocked off Western Michigan 28-24 after trailing 24-21 with less than six minutes remaining in the game. Kyle Orton connected with John Standeford on a 45-yard passing play to set up the winning touchown. The next play, Orton again found Standeford, this time for a 30-yard touchdown. Orton finished 16 of 30 for 216 yards.
LAST TIME OUT: Purdue picked up the first win of the Darrell Hazell era with a 20-14 win over Indiana State. The Boilermakers scored on the game’s opening play as B.J. Knauf received the opening kickoff at the 1-yard line. He sprinted to the 10 on the right side of the field where Akeem Hunt was waiting to take the reverse. Hunt did the rest as he raced 90 yards down the left sideline into the end zone. Hunt is credited with a 99-yard kickoff return. The Boilermaker defense continued to be stout in the first quarter and kept its opponent off the scoreboard for the second-straight game. Paul Griggs connected on a pair of field goals, his first two of the season, and B.J. Knauf scored his first career touchdown on a 16-yard run. Ricardo Allen sealed the game with an interception with 19 seconds left. It was Allen’s eighth career interception. The Boilermakers played in front of 50,165 fans, a total of 9,597 more than the home opener in 2012. Purdue held the Sycamores to 39 rushing yards, the first time it has held an opponent under 50 since Dec. 27, 2011, against Western Michigan, and the fewest since allowing 13 yards against Arizona on Sept. 17, 2005.
NEXT WEEK: Purdue opens Big Ten Conference play with a trip to Madison, Wis., to take on the Badgers. The game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2. The Boilermakers are 29-43-8 all-time against Wisconsin, including 13-23-5 in Madison. Purdue has dropped seven straight in the series, including a 38-14 defeat last season in Ross-Ade Stadium. The last two Purdue wins in the series, 2000 and 2003, the teams did not play in 2001 or 2002, were both on the road. The 2003 game slated the No. 13 Boilermakers against the No. 14 Badgers with Purdue coming home with a 26-23 victory. It is the first time since 2007 that the Boilermakers will play a conference game before wrapping up non-conference play.
FIRST YEAR COACHES: While Darrell Hazell dropped his Purdue coaching debut, he was not alone. Of the 31 new head coaches across the FBS, the combined record in debuts was 15-16. Of the 15 wins, three came against other coaches making their debut at a new school. New coaches had much greater success at home as they went 11-5, while those on the road were just 2-9 in their first game. Four coaches had neutral starts and were 2-2. Also, of the 15 wins, six were against FCS opponents. Purdue coaches are 18-17 in their first game coaching the Old Gold and Black and fell to 2-10 when their first game is on the road. New coaches went 15-15 in week two, including UTEP which played its season opener last week, while Northern Illinois had a bye. Two of the wins came against other first year head coaches. Home teams again had far greater success, going 13-7, while visiting teams were just 2-8. Against the FCS ranks, new coaches went 9-2 in the second week and now sit 15-4 this season. In games against the FBS in week two, first year coaches were 6-13, and are now just 15-26 this season. Nine teams are still looking for their first win under their new head coaches: Florida International, Georgia State, Idaho, New Mexico State, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Temple, UTEP and Western Michigan. Ten teams are undefeated under their new head coach: Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, Colorado, North Carolina State, Northern Illinois (1-0), Oregon, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Wisconsin.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE?:Purdue and Notre Dame are no strangers on the gridiron. Saturday’s contest will be the 85th time the teams have played, which is the second most for a Notre Dame opponent. The Irish will face Navy for the 87th time on Nov. 2, the most for any Irish foe. The team with the third-most meetings against Notre Dame is Southern California, who will face the Fighting Irish for the 84th time on Oct. 19. The first time Purdue and Notre Dame met was 1896. Only two current FBS teams that played Notre Dame earlier were Michigan (1887) and Northwestern (1889). The Boilermakers and Fighting Irish have played every year since 1946, which is tied with USC for the second-longest continuous series against Notre Dame. Navy is the only team with a longer continuous series with Notre Dame as the two teams have met every year since 1927. The Boilermakers have beaten the Irish 26 times, more times than any other school aside from USC (35) and Michigan State (28). Purdue’s series with Notre Dame is tied with USC vs. Notre Dame and New Mexico vs. New Mexico State for the fourth-longest uninterrupted non-conference series in the FBS behind Notre Dame and Navy (since 1927), Army and Navy (since 1930) and Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio) (1945). Utah and BYU have also met every year since 1946, though the two schools were in the same conference for several years. Clemson and South Carolina have the longest uninterrupted series as they have played every year since 1909, but both were in the ACC from 1953 to 1970. Georgia and Georgia Tech have met every season since 1925, but both were in the SEC from 1932 to 1963. Purdue and Notre Dame presently have an agreement to play through the 2021 season.
PURDUE-NOTRE DAME CONNECTIONS:Purdue and Notre Dame have more connections than highways I-65 and I-31. The Irish’s top running back Amir Carlisle is the son of Purdue’s Director of Sports Performance, Duane Carlisle, MSc. Duane works directly with Purdue’s strength and conditioning, something that will be needed to stop his son, Amir, who is averaging 6.9 yards per carry this season. The Boilermakers defensive coordinator Greg Hudson is also familiar with the Golden Dome, as he graduated from Notre Dame in 1990 after playing linebacker on the gridiron and catcher for the baseball team.
UNDER THE LIGHTS: The Boilermakers will play their 35th night game in program history when they line up on Saturday against Notre Dame. Purdue is 16-18 in night games and lost its last game under the lights on Oct. 1, 2011, 38-10 to Notre Dame. Saturday’s game will be the eighth night game in Ross-Ade Stadium history. Including Saturday’s game, four of the eight have slated the Boilermakers against the Fighting Irish. Purdue is 0-3 all-time against Notre Dame in night games and 1-6 all-time under the lights in Ross-Ade Stadium. The Boilermakers have hosted Ohio State under the lights twice (0-2), West Virginia once (0-1) and Toledo once (1-0).
THAT’S RANK: Purdue is 54-177-5 all-time against ranked opponents. The Boilermakers are just 34-137-2 when they are unranked and their opponent is ranked, as is the case this weekend against No. 21 Notre Dame. The Boilermakers are 0-7 all-time against teams ranked No. 21 in the country.
SERIES HIGHLIGHTS: Purdue and Notre Dame have had numerous instant classics against each other.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Darrell Hazell’s tenure as Purdue’s head coach starts off with arguably one of the toughest schedules in not only the Big Ten, but also the country. The Boilermakers face four teams that are ranked in the preseason AP poll, including Notre Dame, and four more that are receiving votes. A total of nine teams on Purdue’s schedule have been ranked or received votes this season. Four of the five road games in the 2013 season are against ranked or teams receiving votes. Purdue opponents combined for a 96-56 record in 2012 and made it to three BCS bowls, including Notre Dame’s appearance in the National Championship game. The 96 wins by opponents are tied for the third most of any team’s opponents and the three BCS bowls is tied for the most in the nation. Saturday’s game begins Purdue’s stretch against the three BCS bowl teams in consecutive weeks: Notre Dame (9/14), at Wisconsin (9/21) and Northern Illinois (9/28). Purdue’s opponents went 7-4 in week two, including one game that featured a pair of Purdue opponents (Cincinnati at Illinois) and the Boilermakers win over Indiana State. Boilermaker foes are now 17-6 on the season. Of the six losses, three are from games against other Purdue opponents and one is against the Boilermakers.
THREE AND OUT: After not forcing a three-and-out against Cincinnati in week one, the Boilermakers forced five three-and-outs against Indiana State in week two. Purdue’s defense struggled to get off the field on third down in the season opener as it gave up nine conversions on 15 attempts. Last week, the Boilermakers stopped the first nine Indiana State third downs before surrendering the first conversion with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter. Indiana State finished three for 14 on third downs.
ZERO, ZILCH, NADA: Purdue has not allowed a point in the first quarter this season. The Boilermakers held Cincinnati to 56 yards and no points in the first quarter of the season opener. Last week, Indiana State managed just 48 yards and zero points in the opening quarter. Purdue also shut the Sycamores out in the second quarter.
PURDUE COACHES’ ND DEBUTS: Purdue coaches are 6-16-2 in their first game against Notre Dame. The last coach to win in his first game against the Irish was Joe Tiller in 1997 in Ross-Ade Stadium. Jack Mollenkopf (1956), Noble Kizer (1933), Albert Hernstein (1905), Oliver Cutts (1904) and S.M. Hammond (1896) also won their first games against Notre Dame.
DYNAMIC DAWKINS: Freshman running back Dalyn Dawkins led the Boilermakers in three statistical categories in his first collegiate game. Dawkins led with 26 rushing yards (6.5 avg), 44 receiving yards and 70 all-purpose yards. He followed up that performance with careers highs in carries (11) and yards (35) against Indiana State. The freshman’s hard work and athleticism have earned him the No. 2 running back spot in front of a handful of more experienced players.
BIG TEN HONORS: Akeem Hunt was named the Big Ten co-Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday after racking up 123 kickoff return yards and a touchdown. Hunt returned the game’s opening kick 99 yards for a touchdown to give the Boilermakers the lead for good. Hunt shared the honor with Marcus Jones of Minnesota, who had two punt returns for 67 yards, including a 65-yard return touchdown with just over a minute left in the first half.
HENRY’S HERE, AGAIN: Fifth-year senior Rob Henry was named the team’s starting quarterback after fall camp. Henry was tabbed the team’s signal caller in 2011 before a knee injury one week before the opener forced him to miss the entire season. The two-time team captain also was forced into action as a redshirt freshman in 2010, after a slew of injuries at the position, and appeared in 11 games, including seven starts. That season, Henry became the first player in Purdue history to lead the team is passing (996 yds) and rushing (547 yds). He appeared in 11 games last season and threw for 216 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 74 yards and a score. Henry has 140 career completions, after completing 15 against Indiana State, which is just 38 shy of the top 20 in Purdue history. Henry started the season opener at Cincinnati on Aug. 31, a total of 1,008 days since his last start (Nov. 27, 2010, vs. Indiana). That is the current longest span between starts for a quarterback at the same school and the second longest span for any quarterback. Only Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage has a longer span, as it had been 1,066 days since his last start. He started Sept. 2 against Florida State. Savage’s last start came on Oct. 2, 2010 against Tulane when he was Rutgers’ signal caller.
JUST ONE OF THE ‘GUYS’: Cody Webster, a member of the 2013 Ray Guy Award watch list for the nation’s top punter, has not disappointed this season. In week one against Cincinnati. Webster had three punts for 169 yards, an average of 56.3 yards. Webster had a long of 73 yards in the game, which was fumbled and recovered by Purdue. The 73-yard boot is the second longest of his career and the longest since his freshman year when he had a 79-yarder at Northwestern. The punt is tied with the long of Cayle Chapman-Brown from New Mexico State for the third longest in the country this season behind Tom Hornsey of Memphis, who had a 79-yard boot, and Texas A&M’s Drew Kaser, who had a 76-yarder. Webster also had a great performance against Indiana State with six punts for 280 yards (46.7 avg), including four inside the 20. Webster now averages 43.1 yards per punt for his career, which is second all-time in Purdue history behind only Travis Dorsch (48.5 avg). Webster has 171 punts for 7,375 yards and moved into fifth in Boilermaker lore for career punts. His 171 punts moved ahead of Dave Eagin, who had 167 from 1975-78. Webster is just three punts behind Rod Deignan for fourth all-time and four behind Danny Rogers for third in the Purdue annals. Webster’s 43.1-yard average is second among active punters in the FBS behind just Florida’s Kyle Christy (44.0 avg). Webster is the current national leader in punting average with a season average of 49.9 yards. His average is more than one yard farther than anyone else in the country this season.
IN THE HUNT: Akeem Hunt was back to his usual self after battling cramps at Cincinnati in week one. The junior running back/kick returner took the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against Indiana State. Hunt averages 47.7 yards per return this season, which is second in the FBS this season, only behind Christion Jones of Alabama. He was named Big Ten co-Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts last week. Hunt now has two kickoff returns for touchdowns, a total of 199 yards, in his career (his first at Ohio State in 2012). His talents aren’t limited to kick returns, though. Hunt led the team in rushing against Indiana State with 82 yards and also had 38 receiving yards on two receptions. He finished the game with 243 all-purpose yards to lead the team.
BOILER BRIDGE WALK: Fans have the opportunity to meet and greet the team on Fridays before all home games this season. Head coach Darrell Hazell, the cheerleaders, the Boilermaker Special and Purdue Pete will be on hand as the football team takes the walk across the John Myers Pedestrian Bridge in Lafayette. The event is from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. each Friday before a home game.
GOLD AND BLACK GAME: Saturday’s game against Notre Dame is also Purdue’s annual Gold and Black game. Fans will be asked to wear gold or black, depending on their designated section. Special t-shirts promoting Purdue football’s 2013 theme, “One Brick Higher” have been created in gold and black for the game. Proceeds from the t-shirt sales will go to the 12th Boiler Scholarship Fund in the John Purdue Club to help endow a Purdue football scholarship. Purdue has lost the previous two Gold and Black games, including the 2011 contest against Notre Dame.
“211 SESSION”: The football team has created a new tradition beginning this season. The 211 session is a major pep rally hosted inside Mackey Arena for all home games. It will begin two hours and 11 minutes prior to kickoff and feature the “All-American” Marching Band, head coach Darrell Hazell, the team, the cheerleaders and Purdue Pete. The event is designed for fans to have a personal connection with the team and create tremendous excitement heading into the game. The session is named such because at 211° water is hot, but at 212° water boils and produces steam, which can power an engine. The excitement from the event will help the atmosphere “rise one degree” and make Ross-Ade Stadium, now nicknamed “The Furnace,” a very difficult place for opponents to play. The inaugural 211 Session had thousands of excited fans in Mackey Arena on Sept. 7 before the Indiana State game.
BACK-TO-BACK BOWLS: With last season’s berth in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, the Boilermakers made it to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 2006-07. The quest for the trifecta continues this season and would be the first time Purdue has made a bowl in three straight seasons since the 2002-04 seasons. The Boilermakers went to eight straight bowls from 1997 to 2004, which is a program record.
FRESHMEN IMPACT: Freshman running back Dalyn Dawkins led the Boilermakers in rushing, receiving and all-purpose yards at Cincinnati. A total of 14 freshmen played in the opener and 11 played against Indiana State. Redshirt freshman B.J. Knauf scored his first career touchdown against the Sycamores on a 16-yard rush.
WATCH LISTED: Four Boilermakers have been named to preseason watch lists for the 2013 season. Senior corner back Ricardo Allen is on the Jim Thorpe Award (best all-around athlete) and Bronko Nagurski Award (top defensive player) watch lists. Senior tight end Gabe Holmes was named to the John Mackey Award (top tight end) watch list, while junior running back Akeem Hunt is on the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player) list. Senior punter Cody Webster was named to the Ray Guy Award (top punter) watch list.
TALE OF TURNOVERS: Turnovers proved to be a strong outcome indicator during the 2012 season, and that trend has continued this season. Purdue was 2-6 in 2012 when it did not have more takeaways than its opponent, including a 2-5 record when the Boilermakers turned the ball over more than their opponent. When Purdue had more takeaways, the Old Gold and Black was 4-1 with the lone loss coming in overtime. When the Boilermakers did not come up with a takeaway, they were 1-3. At Cincinnati, Purdue turned the ball over four times compared to three takeaways, and lost, 42-7. Last week against Indiana State, the Boilermakers secured the game when Ricardo Allen intercepted a pass on the Sycamores’ final drive of the game. It was the game’s only turnover and led to Purdue’s 20-14 victory.
CAPTAINS’ CORNER: The team and coaching staff voted for captains on Aug. 22, and named Ricardo Allen, Bruce Gaston and Rob Henry the leaders of the 2013 squad. Head coach Darrell Hazell specified that three players would be selected and that they all must be seniors with one from offense and defense and the next highest vote-getter.
READING BETWEEN THE LINES: The Boilermakers return 39 starts on the offensive line and 34 on the defensive line from last season. The offensive line helped Purdue rush for 2,165 yards in 2012, while the defensive line starters from last year return 18.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. Sophomore center Robert Kugler looks to lead the offensive line that returns five players with starting experience from a year ago. Senior defensive tackle Bruce Gaston and junior defensive end Ryan Russell return with 14 tackles for loss and four sacks combined from last year to lead the defense, while Ryan Isaac and Jalani Phillips also have starting experience. Gaston, Russell and Phillips all have two sacks this season.
BABY BOILERS: There are 52 freshmen, 29 true and 23 redshirt, on the Purdue roster for the 2013 season. In comparison, there are 17 sophomores, 21 juniors and 22 seniors. Student-athletes with freshman eligibility make up 46.4 percent of the 112-player roster. The Boilermakers have played 14 freshmen, three true and 11 redshirt, this season.
DANGEROUS DUO: Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert are one of the most dangerous kick return duos in the country. Mostert was the NCAA FBS return leader as a freshman in 2011 with a 33.5 yards per return average (25-837). He had four returns of 71 yards or more, including a 99-yard touchdown against Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Hunt had 867 return yards last season, including a 100-yard return touchdown at Ohio State. Mostert is third among active FBS returners with a 30.1 career average. He trails Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett (32.9 avg) and Duke Johnson of Miami (Fla.) (31.6 avg). Hunt already has a kickoff return touchdown this season as he took the opening kick against Indiana State to the house. Hunt is second in the country this season with an average of 47.7 yards per return, only behind Christion Jones of Alabama (54.5 avg).
END ZONE ALLEN: Ricardo Allen has a knack for finding the end zone. The senior cornerback has four interceptions returned for touchdowns, which is a school record and currently leads all active players. He is just one pick-six away from tying the NCAA record of five which is held by Darrent Williams, who played at Oklahoma State from 2001 to 2004. Allen is also fourth among active FBS players in interception return yards with 207 yards, including two yards from last week’s game-clinching INT. He trails just Ed Reynolds of Stanford (301 yds), Wyoming’s Blair Burns (218 yds) and San Jose State’s Bene Benwikere (213 yds). Allen has eight career interceptions which puts him in a tie for 12th place all-time in Purdue history with Chuck Piebes (1970-72), Rock Supan (1976-78), Robert Williams (1978-81) and Kennedy Wilson (1982-85). Allen is one pick shy of cracking the top 10, and just three shy of second place. Stuart Schweigert (2000-03) holds the Purdue record with 17 career interceptions.
CHAIN MOVERS: Akeem Hunt, Gabe Holmes and Dalyn Dawkins have done the majority of the heavy lifting this fall in terms of picking up first downs. Hunt leads the team with nine first downs, six rushing and three receiving. Holmes is second on the team with five first downs, all receiving. Dawkins has four first down pickups, with three on the ground and one receiving. The three have combined for 18 of the team’s 28 first downs this season.
REBUILDING THE STABLE: The Boilermakers need to replace running backs Ralph Bolden and Akeem Shavers, who both graduated last season. The duo rushed 235 times for 1,226 yards (5.2 avg) and six touchdowns in 2012. While Akeem Hunt looks to get the majority of the reps, freshman Dalyn Dawkins looks to be a large part of the group as he led the offense in rushing, receiving and all-purpose yards at Cincinnati with 26, 44 and 70, respectively. He followed that up with 11 carries for 35 yards against Indiana State, both career highs. Junior Brandon Cottom had 23 carries last year for 209 yards (9.1 avg) and two touchdowns, including an 87-yard score against Eastern Michigan and may help carry the load.
BOILERMAKER DEPOT: For all information regarding the activities on campus during game week, fans have a one-stop spot for it all. The “Boilermaker Depot” lists all the happenings on and around campus for the excitement leading up to each big game. It can be accessed by going to BoilermakerDepot.com.
HOME OPENING SUCCESS: Purdue’s success in home openers continued last Saturday. The Boilermakers won their 10th straight home opener in Ross-Ade Stadium with the victory over Indiana State. Purdue has now won 16 of its last 17 home openers with the lone loss of the streak coming in 2003 against Bowling Green, 27-26. The Boilermakers are 86-36-4 all-time in home openers.
IRON MEN: Junior defensive end Ryan Russell has 26 career starts, including 18 straight. Senior defensive tackle Bruce Gaston has 15 straight starts and 34 total for his career, the second most on the team. Junior safety Landon Feichter has 16 starts, including 15 consecutive, though he is not expected to play this weekend because of injury. Junior safety Taylor Richards has started 15 consecutive and total games. Junior linebacker Joe Gilliam is the only other returning Purdue defender to start all 13 games last year. He has 15 in a row and 16 total for his career. Senior corner back Ricardo Allen started 11 games last season and has 38 total for his career, including both this season, to lead the team. Senior wide receiver Gary Bush is the only returning player on offense who started all 13 games last year. He played against Cincinnati and Indiana State, but did not start either game.
AGAINST THE REST OF INDIANA: Purdue is 119-105-8 against teams from Indiana in the FBS and FCS combined, including last week’s 20-14 win over Indiana State. That record includes a 106-93-8 record against FBS Indiana teams and 12-3 against FCS Indiana teams. The Boilermakers are 72-37-6 against Indiana, 8-0 against Ball State and 26-56-2 against Notre Dame for FBS schools. Purdue is 4-0 against Indiana State and 9-3 against Butler for FCS schools.
DEN OF DEFENSIVE ENDS: Purdue has a longstanding history of producing elite defensive ends. Among the greats are Rosevelt Colvin and Chike Okeafor from the late 1990s, Akin Ayodele, Shaun Phillips, Ray Edwards and Rob Ninkovich from the early 2000s, and Anthony Spencer, Cliff Avril and most recently Ryan Kerrigan, all since 2006. Leo Sugar, Keena Turner and Lamar Lundy are also in the club. Junior Ryan Russell wants to continue making his case for a spot among the elite this season. Through their first two seasons, Russell and Kerrigan’s numbers are very similar.
Russell has had a strong start to his junior season with eight tackles, two for loss and two sacks. In comparison, Kerrigan totaled nine tackles and 0.5 for loss in the first two games of his junior year.
AIR DEFENSE: Ryan Isaac, Frankie Williams and Ricardo Allen all have an interception already this season. Isaac and Williams both picked off Munchie Legaux of Cincinnati in week one. Williams has three for his career. Allen picked off Mike Perish of Indiana State last week and now has eight for his career. The Boilermakers picked off 14 passes last year, including three returned for touchdowns to set a program record. Returning players had 10 of those interceptions, led by Landon Feichter’s four, which tied for the Big Ten’s best.
SEASON OPENING QBs: Purdue has had five different opening game quarterbacks in the last six years, and none who have started the opener in back-to-back seasons during that span. Henry made his first season-opening start on Aug. 31 at Cincinnati. Robert Marve had two season-opening starts, one in 2010 and the other in 2012 during that span.
BOILERS HEADED WEST: Following the 2013-14 academic year, the Big Ten Conference welcomes the University of Maryland and Rutgers University to the league. The addition of the two schools will give the Big Ten 14 teams and will mark the end of the “Legends” and “Leaders” divisions in football. The conference redivided its teams into new “East” and “West” divisions and the Boilermakers will be joined by Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin in the West. In the East division are Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. Purdue’s Old Oaken Bucket Rivalry with Indiana is the only protected crossover game and will continue to take place at the end of each season.
FROM MAC TO B1G: Five of the 12 head coaches in the Big Ten Conference have been a head coach in the Mid-American Conference at some point in their careers, as was Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell is the latest to join the club as he came to the Boilermakers from Kent State (2011-12). Ohio State’s Urban Meyer coached at Bowling Green (2001-02), Illinois’ Tim Beckman came from Toledo (2009-11), Minnesota’s Jerry Kill made the switch from Northern Illinois (2008-10) and Michigan’s Brady Hoke began his head coaching career at Ball State (2003-08). Some of the Big Ten and country’s most successful coaches began in the MAC including Alabama’s Nick Saban (Toledo, 1990), former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes (Miami, 1949-50) and former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler (Miami, 1963-68) among many others. Kelly was the head man at Central Michigan from 2004 to 2006.
TICKET SALES:As of Aug. 30, Purdue had sold 30,350 season tickets (including 6,606 students), an increase of nearly 10 percent over last season. There were 5,657 new season ticket sales. The last time Purdue had an increase in season ticket sales was 2007 (8 percent more than 2006). The home opener against Indiana State had 50,165 fans in attendance, a total of 9,597 more fans than the 2012 home opener. The Notre Dame game is nearing a sellout, though ticket sales have not reached capacity as of Sept. 9.
Season Ticket Sales By Year Since 2007
2013 30,350 (as of Aug. 30)
HEADING TO THE HALL OF FAME: Purdue has selected nine individuals to enter its Hall of Fame on Sept. 28, 2013, including four from Boilermaker football. Tony Butkovich, Alpha P. Jamison, Matt Light and Joe Tiller will enter the now 135 member Hall of Fame.
IF PURDUE WINS: If the Boilermakers knock off Notre Dame on Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium...
IF PURDUE LOSES: If Notre Dame beats Purdue on Saturday inside Ross-Ade Stadium...