Osipoff: Boilers happy to be Detroit-bound
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or email@example.com December 5, 2011 11:06PM
Purdue head coach Danny Hope holds the Old Oaken Bucket after Purdue defeated Indiana 33-25 in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Updated: January 7, 2012 8:14AM
There were more desirable postseason destinations for Purdue.
Leading up to the official announcement, it appeared as if the Boilermakers would be headed to the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas.
But they still embraced the bid to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 27 at Ford Field in Detroit, against Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan, even if they were somewhat perplexed about how the selection process unfolded.
After all, they haven’t been to a bowl game since 2007, when they edged Central Michigan 51-48 in the then-named Motor City Bowl.
“It’s a big deal for us,” said senior safety Albert Evans, a Portage graduate. “No matter what bowl we’re going to, it’s a good bowl. There’s no such thing as a bad bowl. We’re excited to get there.”
Senior linebacker Joe Holland redshirted that ’07 season. Then a member of the scout team, he recalled everybody dressing for the Boilermakers’ dramatic bowl win against the Chippewas and being on the sideline for the game.
“It means a lot for us being seniors, extends our Purdue career for a whole extra month, which is a big deal for us,” Holland said. “I don’t think any of us are ready for it to be over, and it’s something we’ve been working toward for a long time.
“Purdue has a standard of winning — that’s why we all came here. We were kind of hoping to re-establish that standard and continue getting Purdue back to bowl games.”
The Boilermakers gained bowl-eligibility, at 6-6, by defeating Indiana in the regular-season finale. The Broncos are 7-5.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun with this,” Purdue coach Danny Hope said. “Our guys are deserving of postseason play. We’re excited about going to Detroit, and the opportunity to have a winning season and be together. ... It’s a great step and a great sign for our program.”
Hope confirmed that junior running back Ralph Bolden suffered a torn right ACL in the Old Oaken Bucket game.
It is the third time Bolden has endured that injury to that knee. He did it the second time in spring practice in 2010, forcing him to miss last season, after he also did it as a senior in high school.
Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter on Monday reiterated that Robbie Hummel was “fine” after suffering what was described as full-body cramps in the Boilermakers’ 66-63 loss at Xavier on Saturday. The senior forward from Valparaiso was expected to practice on Monday, and play in Wednesday’s home game against Western Carolina, after the team had off on Sunday.
After the Boilermakers topped Miami last Tuesday at Mackey Arena in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and had Wednesday off, Hummel did not practice on either Thursday or Friday because of flu-like symptoms. His physical condition came to a head down the stretch against the Musketeers.
“He definitely shouldn’t have been in, after watching the tape and watching his body language,” Painter said. “At times, as a coach, you’re watching so many things, and something can be right in front of you and you don’t really see it. But he shouldn’t have been in there in the last three or four minutes. He’s going to always say that he can go, but he obviously could not go.
“He’s a guy who’s been through a lot, he’s done a lot for our program. We did the best we could to help him get him ready for the game after not being able to practice, but it obviously wasn’t enough. He cramped up. He’ll be all right.”
Senior point guard Lewis Jackson also did not practice on either Thursday or Friday, before playing against Xavier without incident. He experienced “concussion-like symptoms” after getting hit on a screen against Miami. He passed the required test to receive clearance for the game against the Musketeers.