Like us to subscribe
Purdue's return to the postseason after a four your absence was a success. The Boilermakers forced seven turnovers, four of them coming via interception of Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder. That led to a 37-32 victory over the Broncos.
Western Michigan had one last chance to earn the victory when it took over on its own 12 yard line with 2:09 left. After Carder completed a first down pass to Brian Fields he fumbled on the second play. The loose ball was recovered by Ryan Russell for Purdue to seal the win.
SB Nation's Hustle Belt points out this game was an aberration from the norm for Carder:
This was only the second time Alex Carder threw four interceptions in a game. He's usually not this erratic (28 touchdowns and 10 INTs this season) but really made some bad choices and appeared to try and be the first quarterback ever to throw a football through a defender. Not only do physics disallow such throws, it'd be abnormally painful to the defender.
One of the better plays on the day was his early flea flicker pass to Jordan White for a 49-yard touchdown:
Jordan White completed his collegiate career by establishing a bevy of new records. His 13 catches for 265 yards established a new Western Michigan single-game mark, while his 306 career receptions is now tied for the MAC record.
Jordan White established more records in the final game of his collegiate career, but it was not enough for Western Michigan to earn the victory over Purdue in the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, as the Boilermakers won 37-32.
White became the MAC's all-time leader in receiving yards and broke the Little Caesars Bowl record with 13 catches for 265 yards and a touchdown. It was also a WMU single-game record.
The Boilermakers intercepted Alex Carder four times, with Gerald Gooden picking him off twice. Taylor Richards and Albert Evans also had interceptions for Purdue, as the Broncos reached the red zone three times and failed to come away with points. It was Richards who ended their first chance in the fourth quarter. The freshman stepped in front of a Carder pass and intercepted it inside the 10-yard line.
Ryan Russell recovered a fumble forced by Gooden on fourth-and-10 from the 12 with just over six minutes remaining, but during the return he fumbled it at the Western Michigan 38, where the Broncos recovered to stay alive. The second chance led to a five-yard touchdown catch by Chleb Ravenell from Carder after a 62-yard drive.
Western Michigan got the ball back with a chance to win the game, but another turnover doomed the Broncos' chances and gave Purdue the victory.
Western Michigan receiver Jordan White is now the leading receiver in MAC history, as a 24-yard catch on the Broncos' first drive of the second half moved him past Darius Watts for the career mark and he passed Freddie Barnes for the single season mark on the same play.
Purdue began the half with a big emotional victory by getting a goal line stand on a first-and-goal from the one-yard line. Alex Carder was hit for a loss on second-and-goal from the one and was unable to complete a third down pass. The Broncos were forced to kick a field goal on the drive.
After a three-and-out Western Michigan had a solid drive going to the Boilermaker 20-yard line, but Bruce Gaston batted down Alex Carder's pass attempt on fourh-and-one to end the drive with no points for the Broncos. The Boilermakers wasted little time in making them play, going four plays in 80 yards with Gary Bush catching a screen pass and taking it 33 yards for a touchdown. Akeem Hunt also added a 33-yard run from scrimmage on the drive for Purdue's first points in the third quarter of a game since Oct. 15 at Penn State.
On one of the game's craziest plays defensive end Gerald Gooden got his second interception of the game on a tipped pass, but Josh Schaffer chased him down, forced a fumble, and recovered it on the return. Tevin Drake was able to take advantage with a one-yard touchdown run to cap a five-play, 29-yard drive after Schaffer's recovery.
Purdue is driving deep in Western Michigan territory with the ball at the 34-yard line as the fourth quarter begins.
Purdue has taken a 27-15 lead in the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl thanks to the play of its special teams unit. The Boilermakers have recovered a pair of onside kicks and returned a kickoff for a touchdown as they lead the Western Michigan Broncos at halftime.
Carson Wiggs put Purdue ahead for the first time on a 49-yard field goal with 10:34 left in the half. His score was set up by an interception from defensive end Gerald Gooden, which followed a fumble in Western Michigan territory by Akeem Hunt. Western Michigan responded with a 12 play, 74 yard drive for a touchdown to move back in front 15-10. Alex Carder found Josh Schaffer for a 1-yard TD pass just two plays after nearly being intercepted by Joe Holland.
The lead was short-lived as Raheem Mostert returned the following kickoff 99 yards for a score to put the Boilermakers in front 17-15. Purdue then executed its second onside kick of the game with kicker Carson Wiggs recovering. That set up a six-play, 61-yard drive that Reggie Pegram capped with a one-yard plunge.
A fourth down stop at midfield set up yet another scoring drive for the Boilermakers, as Purdue stuffed the Broncos on fourth down and got the ball back after a review. The Boilermakers worked the ball inside the Western Michigan five and settled for a short field goal by Wiggs as time expired.
Western Michigan got off to a hot start thanks to some trickery against the Purdue Boilermakers, but Purdue has been able to answer. The Broncos lead 8-7 at the end of the first quarter in the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl thanks to a flea-flicker touchdown from Alex Carder to Jordan White.
Western Michigan was able to get on the board thanks to a fumble by Caleb TerBush at midfield. The Broncos answered immediately with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Alex Carder to Jordan White to open the scoring with 9:14 left. The play came on a toss back to Carder on a flea-flicker. The Broncos then went with a little trickeration, as the holder on the extra point tossed the ball to kicker John Potter, who rushed up the middle for the two-point conversion.
Purdue's following drive ended in a missed field goal by Carson Wiggs, but the Boilermakers got the ball back on an interception by safety Albert Evans. His third career interception set up a nine-play, 38-yard drive that was capped on a short touchdown pass from Robert Marve to Reggie Pegram.
After the touchdown, Purdue elected for an onside kick, which cornerback Josh Johnson recovered for the Boilermakers.
The college football bowl season continues on Tuesday with a pair of games, one of which will be played at Ford Field in Detroit. Western Michigan and Purdue are set to meet in the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, which serves as the first game of the bowl season for the Big Ten.
If this year's game at Ford Field is anything like the last time Purdue played in this bowl, expect a high-scoring affair. Purdue beat Central Michigan 51-48 in the 2007 edition of this game (then the Motor City Bowl) and put on quite a show. More than 60,000 people attended that game, and although the crowd on Tuesday isn't expected to be quite as big, another shootout involving the Boilermakers would not be a surprise, especially when you consider that Western Michigan averaged 52 points per game in the final month of the regular season.
Here's more information on Tuesday's game:
Game date, time: Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2011, 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
TV channel: ESPN
Spread: Purdue is favored by 3.0
Series history: Purdue leads, 2-0
Once again, Purdue has lost a starter due to off the field issues before the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Fifth year senior wide receiver and punt returner Waynelle Gravesande has been declared academically ineligible for what would have been the final game of his football career and did not make the trip to Detroit with the team:
Gravesande joins receiver O.J. Ross as an academic casualty for the bowl game, as well as Dwayne Beckford (legal issues) and Ralph Bolden (torn ACL). Gravesande had 18 receptions for 177 yards on the season and returned 22 punts for 129 yards.
Coach Hope has ruled that starters Will Lucas and Gerald Gooden will play in the bowl game after an incident earlier in the week involving their car. The pair had removed a parking boot placed on Gooden's car due to unpaid parking tickets. Hope stated the two will face internal punishment, but will not be suspended.
Purdue total list of starters out for the game is as follows:
Running Back Ralph Bolden - torn ACL
Linebacker Dwayne Beckford - Arrested for DWI
Offensive Guard Ken Plue - Season-long suspension
Wide Receiver/Punt Returner Waynelle Gravesande - Academics
Wide Receiver O.J. Ross - Academics
As Purdue prepares for the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl the Boilermakers are facing some major off the field issues. Starting linebacker and leading tackler Dwayne Beckford has already been ruled out for the game after being arrested Friday morning for a DUI. Now two other starters could be affected by legal issues off the field. Starting defensive end Gerald Gooden and starting outside linebacker Will Lucas were both arrested on Monday according to Gold and Black.com:
Purdue has also lost an offensive starter in wide receiver O.J. Ross, who has been suspended indefinitely and will not make the bowl trip. If Lucas and Gooden join Beckford on the bench the Boilermakers will be without three defensive starters.
According to Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal & Courier, however, the incident appears to stem from unpaid University parking tickets:
#Purdue police said Gooden and Lucas were arrested for removing wheel locks placed on their cars for unpaid parking tickets.
Lucas and Gooden will not face charges, but could face discipline from the University.
The 2007 Motor City Bowl (now renamed the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl) was a memorable one as one of the most explosive bowl games in college history. Purdue won 51-48 on a last second 40-yard field goal from Chris Summers over Central Michigan, while Curtis Painter had the most prolific passing day in Purdue history. The Boilermakers are back in a bowl game for the first time since then, and they are once again in Detroit. SB Nation's Off Tackle Empire remembers that game:
The first half was great for Purdue. Curtis Painter (yes, that Curtis Painter), did what he did so well at Purdue. He torched a MAC team. Painter generally didn't step up against the good defenses of the Big Ten during his career, but he sure could throw up some stats against the MAC. At the end of the first half, Purdue had a 21 point lead and it seemed to me like it should have been more.
The Chippewas would eventually come back to tie it late before the last second heroics, but the game was still one of the most exciting of the 2007 bowl season. The potential for a repeat is there with Western Michigan having a prolific offense led by Alex Carder. The Boilermakers counter with a strong running game led by Akeem Shavers and Akeem Hunt.
The Purdue Boilermakers will now likely be without two starters, one each on offense and defense, when they face the Western Michigan Broncos in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 27. Sophomore wide receiver O.J. Ross will miss the game due to an indefinite suspension, as announced earlier today:
Beckford, Purdue's leading tackler with 91 tackles, was stopped at 3:57 a.m. Friday morning in West Lafayette with a blood alcohol level of 0.14. It is Beckford's third run-in with the law this year, in addition to an ejection late in the second to last game of the regular season against Iowa for throwing a punch. Purdue coach Danny Hope stated that it is very likely that Beckford will miss the entire bowl trip for Purdue, depriving the Boilermakers of their starting middle linebacker.
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl will feature the Purdue Boilermakers and Western Michigan Broncos on Tuesday, Dec. 27 in Detroit. One player it won't be featuring, however, is Purdue wide receiver O.J. Ross.
Ross caught 33 passes for 356 yards and a team-high three touchdowns through the air while appearing in all 12 games for the Boilermakers this season. The wide receiver probably won't be with the team when they look for their bowl victory, however, according to GoldAndBlack.com.
Purdue coach Danny Hope says on 'Gold and Black LIVE' he's 'pretty sure' OJ Ross won't join team at bowl game.
It's unclear what exactly happened, but the report in the Indy Star was rather succinct regarding Ross's suspension.
Purdue wide receiver O.J. Ross has been suspended from the team indefinitely for violating team policy and rules.
Coach Danny Hope announced the move Tuesday in a news release. He did not offer additional details.
Things could change between now and the actual date of the Pizza Bowl, but it looks like the Boilermakers will be without an offensive weapon as of now.
Western Michigan wide receiver Jordan White has had an excellent season. He leads the nation in almost every receiving category, and that is starting to lead to some serious postseason recognition. Yesterday he was named a Third Team All-American by the Associated press, and that was enough for him to become only the eighth player in MAC history to earn consensus All-America honors:
He leads the nation in receiving yards, yards per game, receptions, receptions per game, and is 2nd in TDs. The only reason he wont earn unanimous status (FWAA passed on him) is probably because he plays in the MAC (and Ryan Broyles, but don't even get me started on him).
White is the first player in Western Michigan history to be named a consensus All-American. Of the eight All-Americans in MAC history, three of them received their honor when the school was not a part of the conference.
On the eve of the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, the Western Michigan Broncos find themselves in a rare position for a MAC team facing a Big Ten team. The Broncos are a very slight favorite in some experts' eyes, and most are not afraid to pick the Broncos in a fun shootout:
It might seem crazy, but can the Big Ten team play with the MAC team? WMU QB Alex Carder is expected to be healthy after missing the regular season finale, and the offense has the potential to blow up against a mediocre Purdue defense. The Boilermakers don’t have a high-octane offense.
The SB Nation sites for each school recently traded questions about this matchup. The Hustle Belt received concern for quarterback Alex Carder against a struggling Purdue defense:
I think we're going to see another shootout. I don't trust our coaching staff to prepare well against a very dynamic passing attack. I do think we will be able to run the ball and maybe even work on our passing game a little. Caleb TerBush knows that we have three quarterbacks coming in next year, plus another coming off of a redshirt and the proposed starter for this season coming off of injury. If he wants to keep starting as a senior he needs a big game.
At Hammer & Rails, MAC Defensive Player of the Year Drew Nowak will be a concern for Purdue's running game:
He's the plug in the middle, so as long as we can contain on the outside, we should be able to throw an extra man or two in the box and stop any power run game. Of course this is all in theory and will probably end up like the rest of year where teams ran it down our throats and we really couldn't stop it.
Purdue's Hammer & Rails will be on hand in Detroit for a live account of the game.
Since taking over for Joe Tiller at Purdue, Danny Hope has struggled against the Mid-American Conference. In fact, he owns a better record against Ohio State (2-1) than he does against the MAC (2-2). Purdue has lost a game to a MAC school in each of the past two seasons, but this was the first season in which they did not have a MAC opponent since 1998. That was until it was announced they would played Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
The Broncos are 0-2 all-time against the boilermakers, losing 28-24 in their last meeting in 2002. The only meeting before that was a 28-13 win for the Boilermakers in 1993, when Western Michigan finished 7-3-1. that was Purdue's only win that season.
SB Nation's Hammer & Rails seems fairly confident in a Purdue victory if the boilermakers can slow down a prolific Western Michigan passing game:
The strength of their defense is clearly the passing game, while the run defense is lacking. Therefore, we should definitely play to our offensive strength and run the ball. Their offensive strength is the passing game, while we haven't allowed a 300 yard passer since Middle Tennessee State. Their running game is hardly a threat, so expect a lot of nickel looks as we try to slow them through the air.
Purdue did find out yesterday that one of its top receivers, sophomore O.J. Ross, would possibly be suspended for the bowl game. Ross was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules, but his status for the bowl game was unknown. Ross has 33 catches for 356 yards and 3 TDs this season.
The 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field will feature 6-6 Purdue and 7-5 Western Michigan. The game is set for 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 27.
We'll email you a reset link.
If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.
You must be a member of SB Nation Detroit to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Detroit. You should read them.
You must be a member of SB Nation Detroit to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Detroit. You should read them.
Choose an available username to complete sign up.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.