s2010 Purdue Boilermakers Football

 
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Purdue Boilermakers vs Michigan Wolverines Football Recap

 

 

The Purdue Boilermakers’ postseason hopes are slim after a 27-16 loss to the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday dropped them to 4-6.  It was Purdue’s fourth straight loss.

Purdue’s defense was up to the challenge, however, against one of the nation’s top offenses.  Michigan entered the game ranked fifth nationally in total offense at 535.9 yards per game.  Purdue held them to 395 yards.  The Boilermakers were also the second team this season to hold the Wolverines under 28 points.

Purdue forced Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, one of the nation’s top offensive players, to turn the ball over four times, resulting in a brief benching during the second half.  Michigan had five turnovers overall.

 



Star defensive end Ryan Kerrigan had another spectacular game, finishing with 10 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles.  The senior now has 14 forced fumbles in his career, which is a new Big Ten record and ties the all-time NCAA mark.

Kerrigan found out Friday that he was left off the list of finalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s top defensive lineman.  The snub served as extra motivation for Kerrigan, who terrorized the Wolverines’ offense all day. Unfortunately for Purdue, its banged-up young offense couldn’t hold up its end of the bargain.  The Boilers matched the Wolverines’ five turnovers, and didn’t manage to score an offensive touchdown.

Justin Siller was the surprise starter at quarterback.  Siller, who played quarterback in 2008 before missing the ’09 season due to academic issues, returned this season as a wide receiver.  Injuries to quarterbacks Robert Marve and Rob Henry forced the coaching staff to move Siller back to QB.

However, Siller had missed most of the season so far with a sprained foot, and as it turned out, he wasn’t ready to return to action.  Siller lasted just one play before hobbling off the field, meaning Purdue would have to turn back to Rob Henry and Sean Robinson.

Henry, whose finger is not yet healed after a laceration suffered against Ohio State, still struggles to throw accurately, but his athleticism sparked the Purdue offense anyway.  Occasionally Henry lined up at running back while Robinson, a true freshman, played QB.  Henry was Purdue’s leading rusher, carrying 12 times for 75 yards. 

 

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The Purdue passing game struggled mightily, though.  Robinson completed 12 of 23 attempts for just 78 yards, and was intercepted twice.  Henry was 5-for-9 for 54 yards, but had a couple of ugly incompletions that seemed to be caused by his finger injury.

The wet weather probably contributed to both teams’ struggles offensively.  The Boilermakers and Wolverines turned the ball over five times each, and each team returned a turnover for a touchdown.  Michigan’s Cameron Gordon ran a fumble back 58 yards to put Michigan ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter, and Purdue’s Ricardo Allen intercepted a Denard Robinson pass and returned it 94 yards for Purdue’s only touchdown of the day, which cut Michigan’s lead to 14-10 in the second quarter.

Michigan led 14-13 at halftime.  A fumbled punt early in the third quarter by Purdue’s Waynelle Gravesande gave the Wolverines the ball at the Purdue 32.  It took Michigan two plays to stretch their lead to 20-13 on a 19-yard run by Vincent Smith.  Seth Broekhuizen missed the PAT. Purdue cut Michigan’s lead to 20-16 with 9:38 left in the third quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Carson Wiggs.  The kick was set up by a Josh Johnson interception.

Purdue was still in it early in the fourth, down by just four points, but the offense couldn’t mount a drive despite three opportunities.  Their first attempt resulted in just one first down.  Their second ended after two plays on a Dan Dierking fumble.  Their third netted one yard.

Michigan finally put the game away with a nine play, 49-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown run by Stephen Hopkins on third-and-goal, giving the Wolverines a 27-16 lead with 1:58 to play.

Purdue now must win at No. 12 Michigan State, and at home against archrival Indiana, to become bowl eligible.

 

By: James Lambert
DFN Sports Staff Writer

 

 

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