Travis Miller of hammerandrails.com joins me to talk Purdue football. Taking a look back at the spring game and how Coach Hazell is settling in. We also discuss the big news out of the Big Ten which are the football divisions along with the move to a nine game conference schedule. As always you can follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.
Tag Archive for Purdue Football
The podcast is a little late this week and for that we apologize, but we have a lot of stuff to talk about. The Colts have the playoffs in their sights after a crazy comeback win at Detroit. Indy hosts Tennessee tomorrow. We also talk about the new Purdue football coach Darrell Hazell and the first quarter of the Pacers season.
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College Football Recap Week 13 (or Notre Dame Edition)
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has taken the Fighting Irish to the National Championship game. In just his third year at the school, Kelly has turned the program around and changed the fortunes of the most recognizable college football institution in the country. The Irish were not expected to be in this situation at the season’s outset, but coach Kelly remade this team. The Irish became a physical team relying on the run game and defense. This was not Kelly’s M.O. coming to Notre Dame. He was known as an offensive guy who utilized the spread offense to out score his opponents. This season however he was smart enough to play to his team’s strengths and now they have earned the opportunity of playing for ND’s first national championship since 1988.
The Notre Dame defense has been one of the most surprising things in all of college football this season. The Irish defense has finished their regular season second nationally in points against average (10.3 ppg). ND has played this season in an old fashioned style depending heavily on the defense. Manti Te’o and the boys did not disappoint. The most points they allowed in a game was a 26 point effort by Pittsburgh in triple overtime. The play by the defense was without a doubt keyed by their leader Te’o. Te’o leads the team with 103 tackles and seven interceptions. He also has 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and two fumbles recovered. Without a doubt Te’o will be in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony and his defense will be showcased in the title game.
Notre Dame coaches have had a great history of championship third seasons under the golden dome. Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine, and Lou Holtz all won national titles in their third season guiding the Irish. Brian Kelly looks to join the pantheon of legendary ND coaches this year. Kelly has the Irish on the precipice of hoisting that crystal football. They are the only undefeated team in the FBS ranks and are awaiting to find out who their final opponent will be. Kelly has turned Notre Dame back into the winning program many have hoped for. They have the chance now to put his name down with the rest of the legends in South Bend including Mr. Rockne himself.
Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida is the location the Irish will take the field against the SEC Champion with the national championship on the line. Notre Dame has played in some big games but without a doubt this will be the biggest contest since 1993. Notre Dame will look to do what they did following the 1989 Fiesta Bowl and that is rush the field to celebrate an undefeated season and national championship.
Other Notes from the Final Week
The Ball State Cardinals won their sixth straight game to finish the season 9-3. BSU took down Miami (OH) on Friday 31-24. Pete Lembo has completely turned this program around and back to where it was a few years ago under coach Brady Hoke. Lembo’s Cardinals finished second in the MAC West and third overall in the conference. Now Ball St. will wait to see what bowl game they will get invited to and who their opponent will be.
Purdue beat Indiana for the second straight season. With their third straight victory, the Boilers became bowl eligible. They finish the regular season 6-6. Although Purdue beat IU again and will be going bowling, that was not enough for coach Danny Hope to stay on board. Purdue Athletic Director Morgan Burke announced this afternoon that coach Hope will not be returning and will not coach the bowl game.
The Marian University Knights have advanced to their second consecutive NAIA Football Championship Series semifinal. Marian beat fellow in-state NAIA power St. Francis 45-34. The Knights lost last season in the semifinal round to St. Xavier. Next Saturday Marian will travel to #2 rated Missouri Valley College with a trip to Rome, GA and the NAIA title game on the line.
Old Oaken Bucket Game
Anytime Indiana and Purdue get together it is a big deal. Doesn’t matter what sport or what the team’s records are this game means a lot. Saturday will mark the 115th time IU and PU have met on the gridiron. This game has several story lines for both squads just as last year did.
Purdue will be in the same situation they were last season- needing a win to become bowl eligible. The Boilers are 5-6 overall, but just 2-5 in the conference. There are a few differences in the scenario however. No matter what the outcome of the bucket game is and possible bowl game Danny Hope will not be returning to West Lafayette. After several mediocre seasons, dropping attendance, and not living up to expectations this season there is a swelling movement for Athletic Director Morgan Burke to find a replacement for Coach Hope.
The other difference is the failure to keep the program progressing upward. This season started with a lot of promise for the Boilermakers. They had a lot of experienced players back from their bowl bound team last year. Their defense has three guys that should be on NFL rosters next season- Ricardo Allen, Kawaan Short, and Bruce Gaston. The quarterback position had four guys available who all had started games. However this season through eleven games has been a disappointment. In a division that was up for grabs, Purdue needs a win to avoid finishing next to last.
Indiana comes into this game unable to reach a bowl game, but that does not mean this season has been a down year. The Hoosiers at 4-7, 2-5 have shown a lot of improvement in coach Kevin Wilson’s second year. No they are not yet to where Coach Wilson, the university, or the fan base wants the program to be, but four wins is a much better mark than their 1-11 posting last season. IU did win two Big Ten games in the same season for the first time since 2007. The Hoosiers were also very competitive in several conference games this season and let two non-conference games get away from them.
This game still holds a lot for Indiana. Indiana has a chance to win the Bucket for the second time in three years and three out of six. They can keep Purdue from going to their second straight bowl game. More importantly than that for the bigger picture another IU win shows the continued progress under Coach Wilson and can help keep the recruiting momentum going. The Hoosiers are in the mix with several highly touted recruits that could be big difference makers for the program. The key to those recruits are that most of them are in-state prospects. That advantage could be a big factor in a turnaround.
Saturday will hold a lot of importance in the future of both programs. These teams seem to be headed in different directions, but this game can sway the momentum. Purdue is looking for their third straight win and possibly four if they can get to a bowl game. Indiana is trying to get to three conference wins for the first time in five years. On Saturday, things will be sorted out on the field but the outcome will be a factor for the future.
After a short time off, the Coach and I are back in the Man Room with tons of stuff to talk about. October is an exciting sports month with football, baseball, and basketball all at the forefront. This week we talk Colts, college football, college basketball, and even some World Series chatter. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @thadvandeventer, @C_K_42, and @IndySportsCrew. And subscribe to all Indy Sports Crew podcasts on iTunes.
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College Football Recap Week Eight
The Notre Dame offensive line showed their strength again yesterday. As is the case most of the time, the line does not get as much recognition as they probably should. We cannot overlook the play though of Braxston Cave, Mike Golic Jr., Chris Watt, Zach Martin, and Nick Martin. The Irish line has become one of the strengths of this team. The identity of this team has been a throwback of running the football and great defense. The offensive line proved its worth yesterday by opening holes that lead to 270 rushing yards and a Notre Dame win over BYU 17-14. That may not seem overly impressive on the surface, but when you look closer to see that the Cougars had a rushing defense rated in the top five nationally in rushing yards given up and rushing average this Irish line had a great day yesterday.
The Indiana State Sycamores won their fourth consecutive game yesterday beating Western Illinois 23-7. There are a few reasons why this win sticks out. The Trees have won three games during this streak on the road, they have taken down two of their biggest competitors in the conference race (North Dakota State and Southern Illinois), and most importantly all four victories came in conference games. ISU now sits atop the Missouri Valley Conference standings at 4-1. With three games remaining, Indiana State has the opportunity to come away with a conference championship and make it to the FCS playoffs. Both of these ideas would have been dreams a few years ago, but with coach Trent Miles at the helm this program has turned the corner. Keep your eye on the Sycamores and especially RB Shakir Bell as they push to reach their goals.
Purdue was leading at Ohio State and looking for their third consecutive win against the Buckeyes until just :03 remaining in the 4th quarter. That was when backup OSU quarterback Kenny Guiton threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to Chris Fields to cut the Boiler lead to 29-27. The Buckeyes then converted the two-point conversion on another Guiton connection this time to TE Jeff Heuerman which sent this game to overtime. Ohio State scored on their first possession of the extra session and followed that up by stopping Purdue on four straight pass attempts to escape with the victory. This is a tough loss for Purdue for a few reasons. It is their third straight loss which puts them at 0-3 in the conference. It is also their fourth loss already this season which means they will now have to win at least three of their final five games just to become bowl eligible.
I know that this post is designed to be a recap, but I can’t help myself here in looking ahead to next week’s match up of Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma at Memorial Stadium in Norman, OK. The Fighting Irish and Sooners worked out a home-and-home series which in this age of scheduling was great news to see. This season ND has started 7-0 for the first time since 2002 and is very much in the national title hunt. Oklahoma is 5-1 and cannot afford another loss if they want to have any chance of sliding back into the championship picture. This game is also intriguing because it is the classic match up of offense versus defense. Oklahoma’s offense is fifth in the country averaging 44.7 points per game including 115 points combined in their last two games both wins. Notre Dame has hung their hat on defense so far this season and rank second nationally in giving up only 9.4 points per game. Prime time Saturday night will be a huge game on the national stage for both teams. Oklahoma trying to prove that they can win a big game and deserve to be one of the top programs in the country. Notre Dame is trying to ride this recent wave of success and continue on with what they believe has the chance to be a magical season.
I take this podcast by myself this week and take a look back at the Colts big comeback against Green Bay. Reggie Wayne and Andrew Luck put up huge numbers in the game while the Colts defense came through in the second half. Plus a look back and look ahead at college football action. Then my wife Jessica joins me to talk about her experience at the Colts game and to welcome our new nephew Jacoby Ryan Vandeventer!
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College Football Recap Week Five
Ball State’s Keith Wenning continues on with his excellent season to this point albeit in a loss for the Cardinals on Saturday. The Cards (3-2, 1-1) fell at Kent State 45-43, but not to the fault of Wenning. He threw for a ridiculous 445 yards and five touchdowns while connecting on 74% (32-for-43) of his passes. The yardage and touchdown marks set career highs for the junior quarterback. Wenning has proven this year that he is very capable of leading the Ball State offense to big scoring outputs, but at this time needs to get a little bit more help from the defense. Ball State still has a chance to be in the MAC Championship race with a very big game against West Division rival Northern Illinois on Saturday. To do this, the Cards will need Wenning to continue his spectacular start to the season.
The lack of defense by the state schools this week was very evident. Notre Dame and their stifling defense had a bye week leaving Indiana, Purdue, and Ball State with opportunities to showcase. Their defenses however did not show up on Saturday. They gave up a total of 130 points in the three games combined (45, 44, and 41 points respectively). Indiana’s defense had the most alarming performance. IU gave up 44 points, 704 total yards, 36 first downs, and just over 36 minutes of possession to Northwestern. Purdue’s defense had the most surprising outing this week. The Boilers defensively have been highly touted and have looked very good so far this year. Saturday at home against Marshall they looked anything but allowing 41 points, 534 total yards (439 yards passing), and 31 first downs. This comes from a defense who entering the game was only averaging 14 points allowed per game. The Ball State defense is much like the IU defense as far as their lack of strength up front. Please see above on how/why Ball State has won and what they will need to continue winning.
Week six is when the Indiana Hoosiers start true freshman Nate Sudfeld at quarterback. Sudfeld came in in relief of Cam Coffman on Saturday and led the Hoosiers on several scoring drives ending the day with 29 points. Sudfeld played the last drive of the first half and the entire second half going 9-for-16, 157 yards, and a touchdown. Sudfeld came to IU from Modesto, CA as a high ranking recruit. He wanted to play for head coach Kevin Wilson and offensive coordinator Seth Littrell who had great success coaching QB’s at Oklahoma and Arizona respectively. The QB switch will not only be interesting since Sudfeld would become just the second true freshman to start (the other being the injured Tre Roberson last season), but it would be almost the exact same scenario. Roberson started the last 5 games of last season so Sudfeld would be a little ahead of that mark. Roberson was also the third starter of the season as will Sudfeld. This move is necessary right now after two straight losses as IU is getting set for homecoming and the Big Ten season, but could make the offseason and fall training camp very interesting next year.
Ball State suffered their first conference loss of the season Saturday at Kent State’s Dix Stadium. After two straight games where they won with exciting late scores, the Cards were downed by a field goal with just :06 remaining. The Cardinals had a good start to their season and seemed to be hot after beating IU and South Florida. This puts BSU at 1-1 in conference making their push to the conference championship a bit tougher now. Kent State does reside in the MAC’s East Division so the Cards still have their chance to make their mark in the West Division.
Tons and tons of topics to discuss this week in the Man Room. Notre Dame is making the move to the ACC. We look back at the Colts season opening loss and look ahead to the home opener against Minnesota. A run through all the college football games on the docket. Plus who can forget Coach’s Quick Hitters!?