#62 Purdue Football Preview

Purdue Boilermakers

Overall Rank: #62
#10 Big Ten

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2010 Record: (4-8, 2-6)
2010 Bowl: none
Coach: Danny Hope (9-15 at Purdue, 9-15 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Gary Nord
Defensive Coordinator: Gary Emanuel

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Rob Henry, QB, 547 yards
Passing: Rob Henry, QB, 996 yards
Receiving: Antavian Edison, WR, 316 yards
Tackles: Logan Link, S, 91
Sacks: Kawann Short, DT, 6.0
Interceptions: Ricardo Allen, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: LB Dwayne Beckford, RB Ralph Bolden, C Peters Drey, S Albert Evans, DT Bruce Gaston, DE Gerald Gooden, LB Joe Holland, CB Josh Johnson, OT Dennis Kelly, QB Robert Marve, OT Nick Mondek, G Ken Plue, WR O.J. Ross, WR Justin Siller, K Carson Wiggs

Key Losses: TE Kyle Adams, RB Dan Dierking, DE Ryan Kerrigan, G Justin Pierce, WR Cortez Smith, LB Jason Werner

Injuries ravaged Purdue’s offense. Before the season even began running back Ralph Bolden went down with a knee injury and missed the entire 2010 campaign. Top receiver Keith Smith and starting quarterback Robert Marve did not even make it into Big Ten play. The result was a horrible offensive showing for Purdue.

However, the defense picked up the slack and led Coach Danny Hope’s squad to four wins. The defense will certainly miss first round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan, but even the front four has plenty of talent returning. Tackle Kawann Short had a superb sophomore season and should be a dominating force as an upperclassman. Robert Maci will have the unenviable job of replacing Kerrigan, but more pressure will be put on senior Gerald Gooden. Gooden is full of potential, but has yet to live up to it. He needs to now. Dwayne Beckford and Will Lucas bring a new dynamic to the linebacker corps. They are quick and physical and should help the steady senior leader, Joe Holland, turn the linebackers into a solid unit. The secondary is probably the most talented group on the defensive side of the ball. Corners Ricardo Allen and Josh Johnson are probably the best corner duo in the conference. Allen picked off three passes as a freshman and returned two of them for touchdowns. Add Logan Link, the team’s returning leading tackler to the mix, and the Purdue secondary could be very dangerous.

How dangerous the offense becomes will depend on the return to health of players like Bolden and Marve. In 2009 Bolden rushed for 935 yards and nine touchdowns. If he can get back to that form, it will completely change the Boilermakers offense. In 2010 they scrambled to find a consistent running back and failed to do so. In fact, for the first time in Purdue history, a quarterback led the team in rushing. That was Rob Henry and his 547 rushing yards. The elusive quarterback had a fine freshman year after Marve was hurt. He passed for 996 yards and eight touchdowns. He made some freshman mistakes, but he is a year older and wiser now and Henry will also have Marve to come in when needed. Coach Hope plans to play both of his quarterbacks depending on the situation. We shall see how that works out, but Marve’s accurate arm and Henry’s dangerous legs could be a nice combination. Wide receivers Antavian Edison and O.J. Ross have explosive potential and former quarterback Justin Siller should be able to concentrate on being a receiver this year.

The Bottom Line:
With a majority of the offensive line returning, the Purdue offense has a lot of potential. Marve still could be a fine quarterback in the Big Ten and Bolden has proven to be a great rusher. They just need to stay healthy. The offensive line, led by left tackle Dennis Kelly, is deceptively good and one of the best in the Big Ten. If the skill players can live up to their potential, Purdue will be a much better team this year. However, a tough conference schedule will still likely keep them outside of the bowl picture.

Projected Bowl: none

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 160.83 (49th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 150.75 (112, 11)
Total Offense: 311.58 (104, 11)
Scoring Offense: 19.67 (105, 11)
Rushing Defense: 137.92 (43, 6)
Pass Defense: 231.08 (85, 8)
Total Defense: 369.00 (62, 7)
Scoring Defense: 28.75 (74, 7)
Turnover Margin: -.50 (88, 9)
Sacks: 2.75 (14, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (35, 6)

Madness 2012 NFL Draft Rankings

#77 Kawann Short

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