Posted on: September 25, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 3:14 pm

Purdue struggling against Toledo, 31-20

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.

Posted on: September 25, 2010 1:09 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 1:11 pm

Purdue losing 17-0 to Toledo; Robert Marve hurt

Posted by Adam Jacobi

[Update, 1:09 p.m.: Make it 17-0; Toledo just hit a 34-yard field goal. There's under 5 minutes left in the first half.]

The Big Ten is facing a slate full of cupcakes this week: they're playing literally zero teams in BCS conferences, feasting on FCS schools and MACrifices. 11-0 for the conference this week, right?

Actually, nobody told Toledo and Purdue about the automatic win waiting for the Boilermakers. Toledo's beating Purdue 14-0 early in the second quarter, and Purdue looks bad. Case in point: Purdue forced a three-and-out, but committed a sideline interference penalty to let Toledo keep the ball. And now Toledo's in Purdue territory and rolling.

Toledo's scoring has come via two touchdown passes by Austin Dantin, who's carving up Purdue's secondary to the tune of 15-20 for 115 yards--and counting. He's making confident, accurate throws under pressure, and it's unclear whether Purdue's even capable of slowing him or the Toledo offense down.

Oh, did we mention Purdue QB Robert Marve is hurt? Yep! He went down with a knee injury, and his return is in serious doubt. Ye gods.

Posted on: September 13, 2010 12:57 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 12:40 pm

Hope is pessimistic about Keith Smith

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last season was a breakout year for Purdue wide receiver Keith Smith .  Smith finished his junior season with 91 receptions for 1,100 yards and six touchdowns and was placed on the 2010 Biletnikoff Award watch list for the top receiver in the country this year.  Though the way things are sounding in West Lafayette, there may not be many more chances to watch Smith play in 2010.

The senior receiver left Purdue's 31-21 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday during the fourth quarter after taking a hit to his right knee while being tackled.  He'd later appear on the sidelines with crutches in tow.  As for the severity of the knee injury, nobody will know for sure until Smith undergoes an MRI in the next couple of days, but his head coach Danny Hope isn't, well, he isn't very hopeful .

“We'll have to move on and get other guys ready to play,” Hope said. “That's why we recruit. It's why we work 80 to 100 hours a week and why we go at it all the time working hard to bring in the next good player to develop to get ready to play.”

It's known for a fact that Smith won't be playing this weekend against Ball State, as he isn't listed on Purdue's depth chart .

If Smith is lost for an extended period of time -- and there's some belief that his season may be over -- it's a big blow to a Purdue offense that had already lost their top running back, Ralph Bolden , to a torn ACL.  Smith had been proving to be Robert Marve 's favorite target through the first two games of the season, making 18 catches for 123 yards.

UPDATE: Hope's pessimism was confirmed on Tuesday when the school announced that Smith had torn both his ACL and MCL and will miss the rest of the 2010 season.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 4, 2010 5:10 pm

Brian Kelly Era in South Bend Off To A Nice Start

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Before Saturday afternoon, Brian Kelly had never set foot inside Notre Dame Stadium for a football game.  Now, thirty minutes into his first game in South Bend, the new Notre Dame head coach has to like what he's seen so far. 

The Irish currently hold a 13-3 lead over the Purdue Boilermakers at halftime thanks to what has been a balanced attack on offense and strong performance from the defense.

Quarterback Dayne Crist -- in his first start -- had a solid effort in the first half, completing 12 of his 16 pass attempts for 126 yards, but the ground game has been the driving force for the Irish.  Armando Allen has 48 yards rushing and a touchdown on only eight carries, while sophomore Cierre Wood has mad the most of his college debut with 43 yards on six carries.

On the other side of the ball, the Notre Dame defense has done a nice job of slowing down Robert Marve and the rest of the Boilermakers offense.  What was a glaring weakness for Notre Dame during the Charlie Weis era looks like it may end up as a strength under Kelly.  The only time the Irish defense had any trouble stopping Purdue was when backup quarterback Rob Henry took over for Marve during the second quarter and picked up 16 yards on three carries to get Purdue inside the Notre Dame 20-yard line.

The Irish were able to hold once Marve returned to take snaps, and forced Purdue to settle for a field goal.

Of course, the second half has been a big problem for Notre Dame the last few years, so the true indicator of which direction this team is heading will be in the third and fourth quarters, and whether or not they can finish what they've started.

Posted on: September 1, 2010 10:11 pm

Big Ten division winners and losers

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The new Big Ten alignment doesn't come into effect until 2011, but who comes out the best and worst among conference members?

Winners: Most of the conference, actually. Michigan and Ohio State keep their end-of-season rivalry, and they're each the marquee members of their own divisions. If they're not to meet for the title, then effectively nothing has changed about their tradition; if they do, then so much the better, as far as the Big Ten's coffers go. Penn State and Nebraska are the second in command in their respective divisions, and they get to start a protected rivalry with each other that's sure to move needles for television rating. Northwestern and Illinois have an annual game guaranteed, plus their own divisions in which to play spoiler--and Wildcats fans must be especially pleased that they've now got an annual divisional game against the Hawkeyes in what's rapidly becoming a contentious showdown. Minnesota gets to be in a very geographically friendly division, and they get to play for every one of their trophies every year.

We'll call it a draw: Iowa and Purdue have no reason to be protected rivals, and Delany's explanation that "both teams have won conference titles recently" is at best a non sequitur. But Iowa was rewarded with a season-ending game against Nebraska, to the delight of both fanbases, and Purdue has all the protected games they could have asked for. Likewise, Michigan State-Indiana is a total head-scratcher, but at the very least, each team stays in the same division as their in-state rivals.  

Losers: Holy hell, must Wisconsin be upset about this new alignment. Consider A) that the Badgers were the only team in the Big Ten without a season-ending rivalry game up until Nebraska showed up, and B) the amount of work Barry Alvarez has done as the de facto mouthpiece of the conference during realignment talk. Surely the Big Ten would reward the Badgers, yes? Au contraire, bonjour: Wisconsin's request to get a rivalry game with Nebraska was flat-out denied, and the Badgers don't even share a division or protected rivalry with historical rivals Iowa anymore. Oh, also, they're in a league with Ohio State and Penn State, a top twosome that seems much tougher than Michigan or Nebraska do for the near future. Nobody's got more beef than the Badgers about this lineup.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com