Purdue Boilermakers 2010-2011 Season Preview

2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 53
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 69

There is hope at Purdue University in 2010…head coach Danny Hope that is. The second year coach will try to lead the Purdue Boilermakers to more than five wins this year. Graduation and injuries have reshaped this Purdue team, and it will be interesting to see how Coach Hope and his staff will respond.

Quarterback Joe Elliott has moved on after throwing for over 3,000 yards in 2009. His most likely replacement is Robert Marve, the Miami (Fl.) transfer who sat out last season because of NCAA rules. He didn’t exactly light it up in Miami, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, but the coaching staff has a lot of faith in him.

Purdue Boilermakers College Football Fan

He is blessed with one of the best targets in the nation in Keith Smith. Smith led the Big Ten in 2009 with 91 receptions for 1,100 yards. Behind him though, there is very little depth at wide receiver.

The Boilermakers suffered a huge setback this spring when last year’s starting running back, Ralph Bolden, tore his ACL. It is likely he will miss most, if not all, of 2010. The few remaining running backs are very inexperienced. Projected starter sophomore Al-Terek McBurse (ATM) rushed only four times in 2009. He was a highly regarded recruit and has big play ability, but we’ll see if he can become a feature back behind a shaky offensive line.

Purdue’s defense lost all four starters from the secondary and is hoping some young players can step in. All the projected starters have never started before and all the backups have never seen college game action. The front seven will be a source of continuity though, returning five starters. Star defensive end Ryan Kerrigan is back after recording 13 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss in 2009. Also, all three starting linebackers return, including Jason Werner and his 14.5 tackles for loss.

The loss of Bolden puts a damper on the Boilermakers’ enthusiasm for 2010. The team has a relatively easy first month of games though, so they could have a strong start and gain some momentum. The quarterback, running back and secondary questions linger, but there is always Hope to rely on.

Purdue’s odds to win the Big Ten: +2000

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