Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:46 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Purdue.
Spring Practice Starts: Wednesday, March 7
Spring Game: Saturday, April 14
Returning Starters: Eight on offense, seven on defense, one specialist
Three Things To Watch For:
1. Quarterbacks competing. It wouldn't be a spring practice at Purdue if there wasn't a quarterback competition, would it? This spring there will be four signal-callers vying for the privilege, and all four of them have started at some point in their Purdue careers. Caleb TerBush started for the Boilermakers last season, but he's still going to have to hold off Robert Marve, Sean Robinson and Rob Henry. Marve was granted an extra year of eligibility and he won't want to waste it on a sideline. Then there's Henry who missed last season with an ACL injury (that ligament is the bane of Purdue football) after having a spectacular spring. He may have started for Purdue last season if not for the injury, and he'll want to shine again now that he's been cleared to return.
2. The offensive line. Purdue was one of the deeper teams in the Big Ten on the offensive line last season, but that won't be the case in 2012, and it will be interesting to see how it handles the situation this season. While replacing left tackle Dennis Kelly will be important, it'll be just as important to find competent backups at each spot on the line in case of injury. Purdue did have five offensive lineman as part of its latest recruiting class, and it's possible guys like Cameron Cermin, Joey Warburg and Jordan Roos are forced into action earlier than Danny Hope would like. So I'd expect to see them get a lot of work this spring.
3. Who is playing safety? While Purdue is no doubt happy to have both of its starting corners back in Josh Johnson and Ricardo Allen, the Boilermakers lost both their starting safeties to graduation. The Purdue defense gave up a lot of big plays last season, and having to play two new starters as your last line of defense can't be the most comforting thought when you're trying to fix that. Max Charlot is likely to grab at least one of starting spots, but the second spot is wide open.
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Posted on: September 17, 2011 11:41 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
ILLINOIS: Consistency. Ron Zook-coached teams and mental toughness don't often go hand-in-hand, but that's a trait the Illini will need when No. 22 Arizona State comes to town. With QB Brock Osweiler, WR Aaron Pflugrand, and LB Vontaze Burfict, ASU has a plethora of playmakers. And yet, Missouri nearly pulled off a fourth quarter comeback win on ASU last week by staying focused and taking advantage of the Sun Devils' mistakes. Illinois will likely need to do both to pull the upset today.
INDIANA: Just get the win. Indiana's had two games and two disappointing close losses to start the year, and now South Carolina State comes to town. The Hoosiers should be easily capable of defeating the Bulldogs here, and only a continued mental letdown from the first two losses can or should stand in Indiana's way.
IOWA: Avenge Jake Christensen! In 2008, Iowa travelled to Pitt with embattled QB Jake Christensen starting under center. Iowa lost a 21-20 heartbreaker, Christensen was benched for Ricky Stanzi, and that was that. Now, Pitt comes to Iowa City with junior QB Tino Sunseri struggling mightily. Can Iowa bury Sunseri and the Panthers?
MICHIGAN: That's enough drama for one month, thanks. The Notre Dame comeback was one for the ages, but Michigan's got Eastern Michigan and San Diego State to close out the month of September. Brady Hoke's got to be looking for safe, low-blood-pressure wins tomorrow and next week before Big Ten season begins.
MICHIGAN STATE: Score points (because Notre Dame sure will). Unless Notre Dame has one of the worst cases of the yips in football history, it won't turn the ball over five times again, which means that potent offense is going to put up points -- even against MSU's underrated defense. But Michigan State has major-league talent at every skill position, and that talent's going to have to pay off early and often today.
MINNESOTA: Jerry Kill wants you to kill. We're continually buoyed by the good news coming out of Minneapolis about Kill's improving condition, but meanwhile there is a game to be played, and as head coach, Kill must want nothing more than to see his players take the fight to Miami University -- and take the spotlight off him and his seizure condition.
NEBRASKA: So what's Taylor Martinez here to do? Nebraska has looked unstoppable on the ground at times this season, but good heavens is Taylor Martinez hit-and-miss when he throws the ball. Today's a good day to show the coaches he's been watching game film -- and to make better reads and passes against Washington's sturdy secondary as a result. Otherwise he's a glorified tailback running the wildcat.
NORTHWESTERN: The Kain mutiny. This is likely Kain Colter's third straight start under center for Northwestern, and since there's a bye week coming up and Dan Persa's at least suiting up for today's game against Army, it's also likely Colter's last start. His last, that is, unless he earns the spot over Persa with play on the field. What I'm saying is, he should aim for at least eight touchdowns today against our troops. It's not patriotic, but neither is any team that beats Army, so what're you gonna do.
OHIO STATE: Win the aerial battle. Both Ohio State and Miami have somewhat suspect situations at quarterback, with Joe Bauserman and Jacory Harris both seemingly one or two bad weeks away from a spot on the bench. OSU's got the better secondary, but not by much, so execution on both ends of the passing game is going to be critical in this night game.
PENN STATE: Don't sleep on Temple. The Alabama nightmare is gone and done, and Penn State can get back on track this week. Except... Temple's off to a hellacious start. It beat FCS powerhouse Villanova 42-7, then stomped MAC rival Akron 41-3. The line on this game is seven points. SEVEN! Temple RB Bernard Pierce vs. Penn State's front seven should be great fun to watch.
PURDUE: A new peace at quarterback? Purdue fans are probably eager for a familiar face under center against Southeast Missouri State, and to that end, Robert Marve appears to be ready to take snaps today. Caleb TerBush is still the starter, but it's generally accepted that he was just placeholding until Marve's rehab from last year's ACL injury; he wasn't even expected to play much this year, but putative starter Rob Henry tore an ACL before Week 1. Sophomore Sean Robinson has had his expected redshirt burnt for the second straight season, and has struggled in his limited opportunities. Sound like a mess? It is. So if Marve looks good today coming into next Saturday's bye week, expect him to be written into the starting role for Week 5.
WISCONSIN: No alarms and no surprises. Wisconsin is headed for a classic "trap game" at Northern Illinois this weekend, and Northern Illinois is better than you think. The Badgers have the horses to win handily, but they're on the road and facing former defensive coordinator Dave Doeren, who's now helming NIU. A fast start and a minimum of mistakes will help put this game away early -- and keep blood pressures down back home in Madison.
Tags: Aaron Pflugrand, Adam Jacobi, Akron, Alabama, Arizona State, Army, Bernard Pierce, Big Ten Bullet Points, Brady Hoke, Brock Osweiler, Caleb TerBush, Dan Persa, Dave Doeren, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Jacory Harris, Jake Christensen, Jerry Kill, Joe Bauserman, Kain Colter, Miami, Miami University, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Ricky Stanzi, Rob Henry, Robert Marve, Ron Zook, San Diego State, Sean Robinson, South Carolina State, Southeast Missouri State, Taylor Martinez, Temple, Tino Sunseri, Villanova, Vontaze Burfict, Washington, Wisconsin
Posted on: August 24, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 5:45 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
No program in the Big Ten has been hampered worse by ACL injuries over the last couple seasons than Purdue, so it stands to reason that head coach Danny Hope would be hoping to have a normal, healthy set of practices before the season this year.
Clearly, whatever cruel football deity is taking residence in West Lafayette has other ideas.
Purdue announced Wednesday that starting quarterback and co-captain Rob Henry tore his right ACL in a non-contact injury during Tuesday's practice. The extent of Henry's injury isn't yet known, but a torn ACL should be enough to end Henry's season before it starts; the real question is how quickly in the offseason he can get back to work.
“Rob Henry is a huge part of our football program, our heart goes out to him,” Hope said in a statement. “He was voted a captain by the team in the spring, and I know he will continue to inspire and push Robert (Marve), Caleb (TerBush), Sean (Robinson) and all of his teammates forward.” Marve, TerBush, and Robinson are all fellow quarterbacks.
The specter of ACL injuries haunts the Boilermakers' quarterback situation even past Henry's injury, though. One of the injured players last season was Marve, who began the season starting at QB before his knee gave way against Toledo early in the year. So while Marve would ostensibly be the new starter in Henry's stead, he's still dealing with soreness in his own surgically repaired knee, and told reporters yesterday he's trying to get his knee ready for conference play -- which, for Purdue, starts October 1.
That's not good news for a Purdue team that needs a quarterback a little sooner than that, so TerBush -- who missed last season to academics but is eligible and ready to roll this season -- is probably first in line for Week 1. Past TerBush, Robinson played in emergency duty as a true freshman last year, and he was planning to redshirt this season as the presumptive fourth-string QB. That plan, clearly, might need to be revised yet again.
The Boilermakers also still have Justin Siller, a senior wide receiver who was a converted quarterback, and who made one start against Michigan last season before (yikes) being lost for the rest of the season with a foot injury on the first play from scrimmage. At this point, Siller's not part of the QB conversation, but there's no telling whether the Boilermakers might need him or not again.
It's, to say the least, too bad that these injuries continue to plague Purdue. The team showed a great deal of competitiveness last season, even with backups (and their backups) all over the place on offense. With any luck, the injury spree will stop here, and the Boilers can get something approximating their best eleven on the field this season.
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:25 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Purdue, who opens its practice on March 1.
Spring Practice Question: Is Rob Henry or Robert Marve the man for Purdue?
As far as injuries go, nobody was hit with more rotten luck than the Purdue Boilermakers last year; four key offensive starters suffered torn ACLs, gutting the team's skill position depth and leading to the Boilermakers' worst scoring output in 15 years. That Purdue ended up going just 4-8 is, well, understandable.
Fortunately, at least three of the four injured Boilermakers -- QB Robert Marve, RB Ralph Bolden, and WR Justin Siller -- are back, while WR Keith Smith still awaits word from the NCAA as to whether he'll receive a sixth year of eligibility (an announcement was expected this week).
There's also two other returning starting quarterbacks, though: freshmen Rob Henry and Sean Robinson. Both Henry and Robinson are coming into the spring healthy, and while both QBs saw significant time under center, it's clear that Henry was the better performer last year. Robinson's quarterback rating was an anemic 70.21, and he managed just 3.3 yards per pass attempt.
Henry, on the other hand, comes into the spring session as the putative starter as Marve recovers, and the amount of repetitions Henry should get with the first team could be invaluable as Danny Hope evaluates his signal-callers. That's not to say Marve is going to sit in his room all spring long with his PS3 on or anything like that; he's going to be rehabbing that surgically repaired knee, attending practices, and watching film just like the rest of the quarterbacks, with the intention of returning to the starting lineup in August.
But what if Marve doesn't? What if Henry's entire off-season with the first-teamers provides a level of familiarity and comfort that Marve can't recreate in practice? There's obviously talent there with Henry, but it was also obvious that he wasn't ready to be on the field quite yet. And hey, that's fine; most freshmen aren't. But for all the struggling Henry did to get acclimated to the Purdue offense game-by-game, he still finished with a passer rating that was less than a point off Marve's in 2010.
Above all else, most college football players make their biggest strides between their first and second years on the field, and to that end, Rob Henry's going to get an opportunity to improve substantially before the first game of the 2011 season. Can Marve make up that difference through and after rehab? That's something worth watching in West Lafayette.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 2:00 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Big Ten race might be wrapping itself up early this week, if a certain game in East Lansing holds up. Purdue leads No. 11 Michigan State 21-13 at the break.
MSU has generally looked like the better team over the course of the first half, but QB Kirk Cousins has been dinged up, leaving the game twice with minor injuries. He started the second half, but there's no telling how close he is to 100% and how much it'll affect the MSU offense. MSU went three-and-out on its first drive, for the record.
Though Purdue has three TDs, only one came as a result of a sustained drive; during the last drive of the half, Rob Henry converted several third downs en route to an Antavian Edison touchdown catch (on third down, of course) with :08 left on the clock. Other than that, the Boilermakers have scored on an 80-yard rush by Keith Carlos and a pick-six by DB Ricardo Allen on the ensuing Wisconsin possession.
And yet, every time Michigan State looks likely to tip the balance of the game back in its favor, Purdue answers somehow, whether by forcing a stop or by putting together a drive. That the Spartans will come back to win this game is hardly a certainty, and plenty of Wisconsin fans would love to see this upset hold.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 2:17 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:15 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Coming into today's game, 1-5 Minnesota was desperate for a big win; not only did the Gopher need to keep a faint hope of bowl eligibility alive, but reports were that Tim Brewster was coaching with his job on the line.
Well, apparently Brewster doesn't respond well to pressure, because Purdue is putting the hurt on these Gophers. An Antavian Edison receiving touchdown pushed the score to 21-0, but Minnesota is shooting itself in the foot.
Minnesota had a chance to make the score 14-7 early in the second half when Minnesota linebacker Gary Tinsley intercepted Rob Henry and embarked on a long return. But Tinsley fumbled the ball into the pylon, which is by rule a touchback. No points for Minnesota, 1st and 10 Purdue at the 20 yard line.
Purdue turned that new opportunity into the touchdown mentioned above, and the Gophers appeared to respond with a touchdown of their own. But Adam Weber 's 13-yard scoring pass was nullified on an illegal shift, and Minnesota had to settle for a field goal on 4th and 14.
So that's 11 points taken directly off the board for the Gophers, and that doesn't even take into effect the botched punt snap late in the first half that Purdue turned into a touchdown with a short field. So let's add that, and there's an 18-point swing in an 18-point game. That's not to make excuses for Minnesota or to suggest that they should be tied; turnovers and mistakes are every bit a part of football as rushing or passing, after all, and Minnesota's regular proclivity for those turnovers and mistakes is a big reason why Tim Brewster's time atop the program is likely coming to an end.
Posted on: October 9, 2010 10:37 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2010 10:41 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
[UPDATE, 10:40 p.m.: Northwestern kicker Stefan Demos missed a 46-yard wide right. Very wide right. Purdue is kneeling to win the game.]
The Purdue Boilermakers didn't look to be serious contenders for more than a win or two in Big Ten play this season. They lost their starting tailback and top wideout to knee injuries before the season, then QB Robert Marve was lost to an ACL tear two weeks later.
But somehow, they've found a way to keep pace with Northwestern in Evanston tonight, and the Boilermakers have just taken the lead late. Following a blocked field goal, Purdue put together their best drive of the night behind freshman quarterback Rob Henry, and went ahead on a Dan Dierking rush up the middle, 20-17, with under five minutes to play.
Northwestern is driving down the field, and is in field goal range with 1:35 to play.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 3:14 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
[Update, 2:46 p.m.: Purdue kicker Carson Wiggs missed his second field goal of the game. Toledo takes over at their own 21 holding a 24-17 lead.]
[Update, 2:58 p.m.: Following a Toledo turnover, Wiggs was given a chip shot from 22, and he made it. The score is now 24-20 Toledo with 8:12 left on the clock.]
[Update, 3:12 p.m.: Toledo nearly took the ensuing kick to the house, and they scored a touchdown on a QB sneak shortly thereafter. Toledo leads 31-20, and Purdue needs two quick scores in response.]
[Update, 3:14 p.m.: AAAAAAND INTERCEPTION TOLEDO. 2 minutes and counting. Game over.]
The third quarter of Toledo-Purdue has been full of offensive fireworks thus far, and the Boilermakers may be working their way back into this game. Purdue kicked a field goal on their opening drive of the second half, then traded long TDs with the Rockets. The critical play, however, may be when Toledo QB Austin Dantin fumbled while being sacked by Purdue CB Josh Johnson on Toledo's ensuing possession; Purdue recovered and charged down the field to cut the lead to 24-17.
Purdue's comeback has also been spurred by the play of Purdue's backup QB, Rob Henry. Henry's in for Robert Marve, who's still out with a potentially serious knee injury. During his halftime interview, Purdue coach Danny Hope speculated that Marve's injury is serious, and Marve is in sweats on Purdue's sideline. He's definitely done for the day.
Now Toledo, who had been controlling the ballgame, must defend a suddenly precarious 7-point lead. Their first step since then -- going three and out -- isn't promising.