2011 Purdue Boilermakers Football

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Purdue vs Middle Tennessee State Football Preview



Middle Tennessee opened its season in 2010 similar to how they kick it off this year.   They matchup against a Big 10 team and do so without their veteran quarterback.   Senior QB Dwight Dasher was suspended for the first four games of the season for accepting a loan in violation of NCAA rules prior to their opener against Minnesota.   The Blue Raiders would go on to lose that game 24-17 and finish at a 6-6 clip.   They qualified for the  GoDaddy.com  Bowl, which they lost 35-21 to Miami-Ohio. 

This season, the circumstances are different.   Instead of hosting the Golden Gophers, they’ll be traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on the Purdue Boilermakers.   This time, their veteran quarterback isn’t missing due to suspension, but due to graduation.


That means sophomore Logan Kilgore will be handed the keys to the Blue Raider offense after seeing some time during Dasher’s absence.   Kilgore was 50-80 for 540 yards, 3 TDs and 5 INTs in three games of action.   Middle must also replace leading rusher Phillip Tanner, who ran for 928 yards and 13 scores and combined with Dasher to account for 65 percent of the Blue Raider rushing touchdowns. Looking to fill that void will be junior Ben Cunningham (78 for 355 and 4 TDs) and senior D.D. Kyles (77 for 414 and 4 TDs).

Purdue, who weren’t so fortunate to make a bowl game after starting off last year by winning four of their first six game, counters with a sophomore under center as well.   A threat to run or pass, Rob Henry was given the reins after senior Robert Marve went down with a torn ACL in the fourth game of the 2010 season. Marve is back, but the job belongs to Henry, who gained 996 yards through the air and 547 on the ground a season ago.   Joining him in the backfield is junior Ralph Bolden, whom head coach Danny Hope is counting on to regain form after missing all of 2010 with a torn ACL.   As a sophomore in 2009, Bolden rushed for a team-high 935 yards to go along with 9 TDs and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.

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The winner of this game will be the team that can limit the amount of times they screw up, as both teams had a penchant for coughing the ball up in 2010.   Purdue’s -.50 turnover margin was good for ninth in the Big 10 while Middle’s -1.46 ratio ranked as the worst in all of Division I football.

Purdue has not been to the postseason since 2004, when they lost in the Sun Bowl to Arizona State, and is hoping to get back on track in 2011, coach Hope’s third year with the school.


By: Scott Panitz
BigTen-Fans.com Staff Writer



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