Purdue. Shut up you guys, they're in our conference! Penn State is 11-2 against the Boilermakers since joining the Big Ten, with those losses coming at the lowest point of PSU football in Joe Paterno's tenure -- a 28-14 loss in 2003 and a 20-13 loss in 2004.
Where they call home: West Lafayette, Indiana
Endless running begins/ends: March 6 / April 14 (Black & Gold Spring Game)
If they suck, this guy gets fired: Danny Hope
Purdue finished 7-6 last year, especially with a #MACtion-packed bowl win against
Central Western Michigan in Detroit. They were 4-4 in the conference, with wins coming against Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio State, and Indiana. Purdue also turned in a scrappy effort in Beaver Stadium last October, before losing by five points.
Penn State vs. Purdue 2011 (via mmp121)
More specifics below the fold...
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What they return...
A three-headed clusterfrick at quarterback: Rob Henry (recovered from one of Purdue's trademark ACL injuries), Robert Marve (granted a rare 6th year of eligibility by the NCAA), and Caleb TerBush (who tore both ACL's as you were reading this).
Talented WR O.J. Ross appears to be back on a provisional basis. The Two Akeems are pretty decent running backs. Defensively, Kawann Short will be one of the best defensive tackles in the Big Ten. Ricardo Allen and Josh Johnson are also solid at cornerback.
Purdue also brought in Tim Tibesar as their new defensive coordinator. Tibesar was coaching for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, and Danny Hope was weirdly optimistic in his statement announcing the hire:
"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."
What they lost...
Every year, I predict that Purdue will have a breakout year and it inevitably ends for them with mountains of medical bills. Still, there's a decent amount of talent on this team and many of their Pig Division rivals are in flux. So allow our friends at Hammer and Rails and Boiled Sports to dream a little. It's not entirely unjustified.
See you tomorrow as we continue with Spring Snapshot 2012: Nebraska Cornhuskers.