Adversary Update: Purdue Boilermakers

The New England Patriots waived Purdue RB Akeem Shavers. Shavers rans for 871 yards and scored 6 TD’s last year on the Boilermakers. He was previously Darrell Hazelllet go by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this offseason.

The Orlando Sentinel ranks Purdue 78th heading into the 2013 season. This preview details the rebuilding job new coach Darrell Hazell has on his hands.

In Pat Forde’s article spotlighting schedules around the NCAA, he has the following to say about Purdue’s slate:

“Michigan State and Purdue are looking at diametrically opposite schedules over the first two-thirds of the season. The Spartans only play one FBS team in the first eight games that had a winning record in 2012 (at Notre Dame on Sept. 21). The Boilermakers only play one team in the first eight games that didn’t go to a bowl game in 2012 (Indiana State on Sept. 7). Advantage, Sparty.”

Rivals currently ranks Purdue’s 2014 Football Class 89th in the nation. It consists of two two-star wide receiver commits. Purdue’s 2013 Basketball Class finished ranked 24th with 61st ranked Kendall Stephens leading the way:

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Final 2013 B1G Recruiting Rankings

Note: As usual we include Notre Dame in B1G Rankings as they recruit same area and are a common opponent.

1. Ohio

Biggest Get – Jalin Marshall (ATH-WR). MarshaJalin Marshallll is a special, explosive athlete who will thrive in Urban Meyer’s offense.

Biggest Miss – James Quick (WR). Quick is one of the most explosive receivers in the country and ended up choosing the hometown Louisville Cardinals over the Bucks.

Sleeper – Jayme Thompson (S). It’s hard to call a borderline 4 star kid a sleeper, but in a class full of highly rated DB’s Thompson is exactly that. While a bit raw, his athleticism makes his ceiling very high.

2. Michigan

Biggest Get – Shane Morris (QB). Any time you can get a five star talent at quarterback you are doing very well. Morris has the biggest arm in the country and was an exceptional recruiter for Michigan.

Biggest Miss – Laquon Treadwell (WR). During the summer it seemed as if Treadwell was a near certainty to commit to Michigan, but in the end he chose to go elsewhere. Treadwell would’ve filled a pretty big need.

Sleeper – Channing Stribling (CB). A virtual unknown, Stribling came to Michigan’s camp this summer and completely shut down the competition over a five day period and earned an offer.

3. Notre Dame

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Grading The Performance: Purdue

Quarterback

Denard Robinson has traditionally played well in bounce back games. Robinson has gone through his share of poor performances but has usually returned the next time out with a great effort. Saturday was no exception as Denard turned in another great performancDenard - Toledo Bladee. The offense continues to lean on Denard as the sole bread winner. 200 yd. days on the ground from Denard have become surprisingly routine though no less spectacular. 235 yds. on 24 carries would be considered extraordinary for a RB but has become expected for Denard. Denard was efficient with his runs, he picked his spots and exploded when creases became available. Denard’s vision and natural running ability are some of his most underrated qualities. Everyone notices the speed and acceleration but the vision is really what really allows Denard to make much of the plays he does in the running game. After 3 years in the system Denard still has issues reading when to give and when to keep the ball on the zone read.

After an abysmal passing performance against Notre Dame, Robinson was protective of the football and Michigan limited the number of passing attempts in the game. Denard threw a picture perfect TD pass to Devin Gardner late in the 2nd quarter and actually threw the ball away when he found himself in trouble. Robinson still showed some accuracy issues, he overthrew a wide open Fitz Toussaint on what should have been a routine play.

Grade: B+

Running Back

For weeks Michigan fans have wondered whether the lack of production from the running game outside of Denard Robinson was a product of the backs or the offensive line/Denard. While there wasn’t always perfect blocking or reads from the QB, clearly there are issues with the backs. Fitzgerald Toussaint was a shell of his former self, hesitant, slow, and not assertive. I continue to wonder whether Fitz is nursing an injury that hasn’t be disclosed to the media because he looks nothing like the back that gained close to 1,000 yards in just the last 5 games of last season. Vincent Smith performed barely better than Fitz on the few opportunities he was given. The most impressive back of the game was Thomas Rawls who gained 33yds and scored a TD in garbage time. It has become repetitive but Michigan must continue trying to get more production out of the “non-Denard running game.”

Grade: D+

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2012 Game Preview – Purdue

What to watch on offense

Danny Hope was an assistant under former Purdue HC Joe Tiller from 1997-2001. Hope returned to Purdue in 2007 as the named successor to Joe Tiller who retired a year later. DHope PurdueAn OL coach by trade, Hope maintained Tiller’s spread offense but has incorporated a zone based running attack to create some balance offensively. Purdue is still among the conference leaders in passing but they are no longer completely dependent on completing passes in order to win games.

Since taking over Purdue, Danny Hope has consistently used multiple QBs. Former Miami QB Robert Marve was expected to lock down the QB position when he transferred to Purdue in 2009. Injuries and the emergence of the more athletic Caleb Terbush has lead Purdue to continue the practice of rotating QBs. Marve is the better passer and is used primarily in that role while Terbush poses a duel-threat to opposing defenses.

RB Ralph Bolden was expected to carry a heavy load this season after posting more than 700 yds a year ago. Unfortunately for Purdue, Bolden’s late season injury from a year ago has kept him out of the lineup so far this season. Bolden has been a light participate in Purdue practices this week and he has stated that he’s ready to play. Danny Hope has kept his cards close to the vest in an effort to keep the Michigan coaches in the dark about the possibility of Bolden returning on Saturday. Akeem Shavers who filled in for Bolden at the end of last season has averaged 60 yds on the ground per game this season while in a time share with sophomore Akeem Hunt.

Purdue’s receiver core lost just one player from last year’s team, returning much of the unit intact. Senior Antavian Edison is the leading receiver but far from the only weapon in the Purdue WR core. Juniors OJ Ross and Gary Bush have also played key roles helping Purdue rank 2nd in the Big 10 in passing offense.

Purdue lost its best offensive linemen from a year ago to graduation but still returns 3 starters including Honorable Mention All-Big 10 guard Peters Drey. Purdue lacks size on the offensive line, especially at the tackles. Converted DT Justin Kitchens returns at the RT but weighs in at just 275lbs while brand new LT Trevor Foy checks in at 287lbs.

Best Offensive Player

WR Antavian Edison – If he was healthy and certain to play this spot would list Ralph Bolden as the best offensive player. As it stands the best offensive player for Purdue this season has been Antavian Edison who has averaged more than 11yds per reception and scored 5 TDs this season.

Head Coach– Danny Hope-4th year

Off Coor– Gary Nord-4th year

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2013 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings (9/1/2012)

1. Michigan (23) No additions in August.

2. Notre Dame (19) Added former 3 star Penn State verbal Will Fuller (WR-PA).

3. Ohio State (16) No additions in August.

4. Nebraska (14) Added three stars Zach Hannon (OT-MO) and Jonathan Cook (CB-AL).

5. Illinois (19) Added three stars Martize Barr (JC-WR-IA), Reggie Spearman (LB-IL) and Darwyn Kelly (S-DC). Also added un-ranked prospect Miguel Hermosillo (RB-IL).

6. Northwestern (17) Added three stars Keith Watkins (RB-OH) and Godwin Igwebuike (S-OH).

7. Iowa (17) Added un-ranked Matthew VandeBerg (WR-SD).

8. Wisconsin (12) Added three star Alec James (DE-WI).

9. Michigan State (13) Added three stars Demetrius Cooper (DE-IL) and Dennis Finley (OT-MI).

10. Penn State (10) Added un-ranked Jordan Smith (CB-DC). Zach Bradshaw (3* WR), William Fuller (3* WR) and Dorian Johnson (4* OT) all de-committed in August.

11. Purdue (10) Added three star Dwayne Johnson (OT-TX)

12. Indiana (8) Added four star Antonio Allen (S-IN), three star Chase Dutra (S-IN) and un-ranked prospect Myles Graham (RB-FL).

13. Minnesota (6) Added un-ranked Jalen Myrick (CB-GA).

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