Tag:Danny Hope
Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:46 am
 

Spring Practice Primer: Purdue



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: February 1, 2012 8:31 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 9:58 pm
 

National Signing Day Winners and Losers: Big Ten



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Breaking down who won and who lost in the Big Ten on National Signing Day

WINNER: The Recruiting Machine Known To Mankind As Urban Meyer

Scholarship limits, postseason bans, these things matter not to the one known as Urban Meyer. They will not keep him out of your high school classrooms where he's stealing your recruits. Since the day Meyer first set foot in Columbus as its new Caesar, high schoolers have flocked to the Buckeyes, previous commitments be damned. What was already a solid class was boosted on Wednesday by the addition of offensive lineman Kyle Dodson, who had previously committed to Wisconsin. Then there's the work Meyer did on the defensive line, closing on players like Noah Spence, Tommy Schutt, Se'von Pittman and Adolphus Washington, and it's no wonder this class is ranked third in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. Making matters even scarier for the rest of the Big Ten, Meyer's already locked up two top recruits in the 2013 class. The man -- machine? -- just cannot be stopped. 

LOSER: The Bottom Of The Legends And Leaders

Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois and Indiana all managed to finish at the bottom of their respective divisions in 2011, and nothing in their 2012 recruiting classes makes you think any of the four will be climbing the standings anytime soon. Particularly when you compare their classes to the teams above them. Only two 4-star recruits signed with any of them, and both of those players are on their way to Northwestern: defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo and defensive tackle Greg Kuhar.

WINNER: Fans Of The Old Big Ten

Remember the long, long ago of the late 20th and early 21st centuries when the Big Ten was dominated by Ohio State and Michigan? Yes, well, it appears those days may be upon us again. While we already went over Ohio State's impressive haul, the work put in at Michigan by Brady Hoke and his staff shouldn't be ignored. The Wolverines put together the fourth ranked class in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25 thanks to signings like offensive lineman Kyle Kalis and defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins. Brady Hoke put a lot of emphasis on the offensive line and the defense in this class, and it could go a long way to ensuring that "Ohio" and "That School Up North" play twice a season for the next few years. For more on Michigan's 2012 class, you can watch Brady Hoke talk about his newest players here.

LOSER: Wisconsin

This isn't a knock on Wisconsin's class, though it is the smallest of any class in the Big Ten with only 12 commits. No, it's more a representation of the fact that Ohio State and Michigan seem to be back on their way to national prominence. The Badgers enjoyed the last few years and the struggles of the Wolverines and Buckeyes, taking advantage of their problems with two straight conference titles and Rose Bowl trips. This isn't to say that the Badgers won't win the Big Ten again anytime soon, but it just got a lot harder to do so.

WINNER: Penn State

You're not used to seeing the term "winner" in relation to Penn State's football program lately, are you? Well, when you consider all that has gone on in Happy Valley over the last six months, combined with the fact the team's new head coach is still busy trying to win a Super Bowl, you have to be impressed with what the Nittany Lions did on Wednesday. No, the 19 players that committed to Penn State won't blow you away as a whole, but it's a class that will ensure there's still talent at Penn State as the program tries to transition to a new era of Nittany Lions football.

LOSER: The Lack Of Attention Paid To Purdue's Class

You're probably confused right now, and I apologize for that. What I'm trying to say here is that while you weren't paying any attention, Purdue and Danny Hope went out and put together a pretty nice class in West Lafayette. Athlete Carlos Carvajal -- all 6 feet and 7 inches of him -- and defensive end Ryan Watson are probably the most intriguing prospects, but from top to bottom, this whole class is pretty solid. Especially considering Purdue's recent troubles on the gridiron. What's more surprising is how this class is spread across the country. While 4 of the 25 signees are from Indiana, the rest come from all four corners of the country, including New York, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Ohio and California. Depending on how quickly these players can contribute, the Boilermakers may catch some people by surprise in the next couple of years.

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 7:33 pm
 

Purdue hires Tim Tibesar as defensive coordinator

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On Thursday, Purdue head coach Danny Hope announced that Purdue had found its next defensive coordinator in Tim Tibesar. Tibesar's journey to West Lafayette via the unusual route of the CFL; he had been the defensive coordinator for the Montreal Alouettes for the past three years. Tibesar will also serve as Purdue's linebackers coach.

“I am thrilled with the addition of Tim Tibesar to our coaching staff,” Hope said in a statement. “He is on the cutting edge of the science of defensive football. The Canadian Football League is an offensive league – with 12 players per side on a wider field and three downs to get a first down – and features the zone read game that we are seeing more and more of at the college level. Tim knows how to defend that offense, and I am excited to see him bring his defense to Purdue."

"My family and I are very excited to join the Boilermaker family," Tibesar said. "I am really looking forward to working with coach Hope and the Purdue players."

Now, Tibesar's background is not exclusively in Canadian football, so it's not like he's going to be running 12 players out there on every other player then slapping his forehead when the flag gets thrown; that would be funny, but wildly implausible for many reasons. Tibesar's football knowledge is much more grounded in American football than Canadian: he was a standout linebacker at North Dakota through the 1996 season, and he spent nine seasons coaching defense or special teams at the collegiate level at Cornell (one season), North Dakota (five seasons), and Kansas State (three seasons) before heading to Montreal.

Once in the CFL, however, Tibesar was instrumental in the Alouettes' remarkable success. The Als, as they're commonly called up north, won the Grey Cup in Tibesar's first two years as defensive coordinator, then made the playoffs again in 2011. The Montreal D was particularly tenacious in 2009, leading the CFL in nearly every statistical category, and this season's rush defense was the best in the league.

Tibesar is Purdue's third defensive coordinator in as many years. 2011 DC Gary Emanuel was quietly deleted from Purdue's roster of coaches in the offseason this year after his first year atop the defense; in 2010, Emanuel shared the defensive coordinator position with Donn Landholm, who still coaches outside linebackers for the Boilermakers. That kind of tumult isn't generally conducive to success in developing players and a defensive system, but Hope must think he's got a long-term prospect at DC in Tibesar, who won't turn 40 years old until less than a week before the 2012 season.

It should be noted, however, that KSU was ranked 117th in total defense under Tibesar in 2008, and while the Big 12 was absolutely loaded with offensive talent that year (that was the season of the three-way tie in the Big 12 South at 11-1 between Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech), that doesn't excuse the 38 points given up to Louisville or the 37 ceded to Louisiana-Lafayette in non-conference play. Tibesar is likely a much better coach now than he was four years ago, but his track record isn't exactly one of a wunderkind just yet.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 12:45 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Little Caesars Bowl

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

PURDUE WILL WIN IF: They're focused and motivated, which isn't always the easiest task for Big Ten teams squaring off against MAC opposition in the postseason. And let's be honest--a Tuesday afternoon game in Detroit on Dec. 27 doesn't exactly scream MUST-WIN EPIC MATCHUP TO DECIDE FATE OF THE PROGRAM AND ENTIRE WEST LAFAYETTE WAY OF LIFE. It more kind of whispers "hey, guys, a win would be nice." The good news for Danny Hope: after three years of being shut out of a bowl game (including the first two years on Hope's watch), the Boilers should be excited to make any kind of postseason appearance, and they should have enough overall depth and talent to get past a 7-5 MAC team if they are sufficiently motivated. But we'd have said the same thing before their failed trip to Rice in Week 2 of this season, and Western Michigan is much, much better than Rice.

WESTERN MICHIGAN WILL WIN IF: Alex Carder and Jordan White do their thing. Of all the things either the Boilers or the Broncos do, the only one either side does especially well is Western Michigan throwing the ball; they're eighth in the nation at 329 yards per-game behind Carder's pro-grade arm, and White has received All-American notices after leading the FBS in yards and receptions. Purdue, meanwhile, isn't terrible at defending the pass but -- like we said -- isn't great at it, either, ranking 54th in opposing passer rating. Still, WMU hasn't always lived up to that air-it-out billing--Carder failed to top 233 yards in any game of a three-game midseason slump, during which time the Broncos went 1-2 and fell to Eastern Michigan. But as long as the usual Carder/White tag-team shows up, Purude may be hard-pressed to keep pace.

THE X-FACTOR: The Broncos aren't much to look at on defense, statistically speaking -- they finished 100th in total defense -- but they seemed to keep something in reserve for their "punching up" contests, holding Illinois to 23 points and less than 6 yards a play and UConn to 6.2 yards a play in a 38-31 road win. Both YPP marks were above WMU's average (despite them playing in the MAC) and has been a repeating theme under Bill Cubit. On paper the Boilers should certainly be able to make some offensive hay, but the Bronco resistance may be tougher than the numbers make it look.
Posted on: August 24, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 5:45 pm
 

Starting Purdue QB Henry tears ACL

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: July 5, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Purdue releases statement on Sean Matti

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As we wrote about on the blog on Tuesday morning, the body of Purdue running back Sean Matti was found in Lake Freeman in Indiana on Tuesday. Matti had first been reported missing on Sunday evening.

The school has released a statement on Matti's death.
It is with great sadness that the Purdue Department of Intercollegiate Athletics reports the passing of Boilermaker football player Sean Matti.

"On behalf of the entire Purdue Boilermaker family, our hearts go out to Sean's family - Frank and Karen, Samantha, Kyle and Amanda - and all those who knew and loved him," athletics director Morgan Burke said. "It is during difficult times like these that families must unite to grow stronger, and we extend our hands out to help however we can."

Head coach Danny Hope said: "Purdue football is a family, and I am terribly saddened by the loss of one of our young men. Sally's and my prayers continue to go out to Sean's family and all his friends and loved ones. He was a special young man whose positive spirit will be a part of our program forever."
Matti was 22 years old and had walked on to Purdue's football team as a running back in 2007.
Posted on: February 28, 2011 5:39 pm
 

NCAA denies sixth year for Purdue WR Keith Smith

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Purdue Boilermakers' hopes for 2011 took something of a hit today as the NCAA ruled that wide receiver Keith Smith, who led the Big Ten in receptions and receiving yards in 2009, would not be allowed a sixth year of eligibility. Smith had played in just two games in 2010 before tearing an ACL and MCL, but the NCAA evidently didn't find that to be a sufficient amount of time lost to injury to allow him a medical redshirt.

The good news for Smith is that he was allowed to attend the NFL combine for 48 hours while he awaited word from the NCAA about his eligibility, so his professional career is already underway, in a sense. He didn't do any physical drills or anything -- his knee injury is only five months old, after all -- but he was measured and participated in interviews, so the trip wasn't a waste.

Still, this is bad news for Purdue, and Danny Hope didn't try very hard to contain his displeasure. "The entire Purdue football family is very disappointed for Keith," Hope said in a statement released by the school today. "We're not only losing one of the top wide receivers in the Big Ten, but one of the top leaders on our team."

At the very least, Smith should project well to the next level; he's big enough to out-muscle most defensive backs, and his route-running and hands make him a potential asset, especially on third downs. So if there's an NFL season this year*, he'll at least be getting paid handsomely to play football instead of sticking around in college for one more year. Yes, the injury will take a toll on Smith's draftability and subsequent rookie contract (there's a reason he was trying to come back for the sixth year, after all), but being forced to go to the NFL is not exactly the worst thing that can happen to a football player.


*There will not be.

Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Purdue

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.

 
 
 
 
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