Purdue has more football to play! In addition to the bonus of bowl practices and experience for the young guys redshirting, the seniors that have suffered so much have a chance to go out on a high note. It seems like we’re going to Jacksonville, New York, or Detroit, but regardless, it is a chance to finish the year with another win and keep the positive momentum going toward next season. It is also a chance to see a few players reach some career milestones.
He started the season as the No. 2 quarterback. He’ll finish he year as one of Purdue’s greatest passers ever. With 9,550 yards he trails only Mark Herrmann (9,946), Curtis Painter (11,163), and Drew Brees (11,792) on the career passing yardage list. With 450 yards he can hit 10,000 for his career and pass Herrmann. He is also at 9,793 yards of total offense in his career, which is third behind Brees and Painter. With 207 yards passing + rushing in the bowl game he can reach 10,000 career yards of total offense.
In terms of other numbers, he is at 849 completions, which is third behind Painter and Brees. His 69 career touchdown passes have him third, two behind Herrmann for second place. Finally, he has completed 66.6% of his passes this season. As long as he stays above 65.8% it will be a new school record for single-season completion percentage. He also had 13 games of at least 300 yards passing, second only to 16 from Brees. His 7 such games this season ties a school record with Brees and Jim Everett, and he missed an eighth by 4 yards vs. Boston College.
What a year for Rondale! Not only is he a lock for freshman All-American, he might be a straight up First Team All-American when those awards get announced. He’ll pocket a number of other awards over the next few weeks, including another Big Ten Freshman of the Week Award and likely First Team all-Big Ten honors this week. As far as the numbers, they are astounding.
First, with 103 receptions he is very likely going to lead the nation in that category. He is currently No. 1 among everyone in the country there, one ahead of Andy Isabella of UMass. UMass does not have a bowl game, however, and neither does third place Preston Williams (96), or fourth place James Proche (93). The next highest players with a bowl game left are John Ursua of Hawaii and Greg Dortch of Wake Forest, each with 89 receptions. Among players with more than one game left you have Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown with 70, but he would have to go crazy in the Big 12 title game, have Oklahoma make the playoff and win a semifinal, and have another great game both there and in the CFP Championship. Even then, he still needs 34 receptions in three games to pass Rondale assuming Rondale has none in our bowl game.
Rondale’s 103 receptions is the second best single-season number in school history behind Chris Daniels’ 121 in 1999. With 1,164 yards he has the fourth best season in that category in school history. The 1,307 yards from John Standeford in 2002 is the record and, let’s face it, within striking distance. His 12 touchdown receptions trail only Taylor Stubblefield in 2004 (16) and both Vinny Sutherland (2000) and Standeford (2002) who had 13 in those years. He has tied the school record for 100-yard receiving games in a season with 7, and his 13 total touchdowns is 11th.
One record Rondale will soon own is the All-purpose yardage single-season record. Dorien Bryant had 2,121 all-purpose yards in 2007. Rondale is sitting at 2,048, so he will likely pass that before halftime in the bowl game. Bryant did that as a senior. Moore is a freshman.
Jones had the second straight year where he crushed Indiana’s bowl hopes. He rushed for more than 300 yards in the last two Bucket games and yesterday went over 500 on the season. He now has 2,559 yards in his career, which is sixth on Purdue’s all-time list. He could still catch Montrell Lowe for 5th, as Lowe is at 2,648.
Markell’s 4th quarter touchdown was the 20th rushing score of his career, making him the 9th player in school history with 20 rushing scores. He also moved past Stubblefield for 16th with 22 total touchdowns in his career.
Knox has had his own solid season and has climbed the career rushing lists. With 132 yards in the bowl game he can still reach 1,000 for the season, but subpar totals since the OSU game may have killed that dream. He is also at 1,838 yards for his career, which is 16th on the all-time list. It would have been nice to see him hit the 2,000 mark, but unless he has a monster bowl game that seems unlikely.
Bailey currently sits as your Big Ten leader in solo tackles with 74. It is an impressive total that is 7th nationally, even. When combined with 30 assists he hit the century mark with 104 tackles, which is fifth in the Big Ten. Tre Watson of Maryland leads this category with 115, but has no bowl game. Neither does Mohamed Barry of Nebraska (112) or Trevor Morris of Rutgers (109). Northwestern’s Blake Gallagher (112) has two games left. His 13.5 career sacks so far has him in the top 20 on the career list.
Evans has had a pretty solid season, connecting on 18 of 23 field goals. That’s fourth on the single season list for made field goals. He is currently 8th on the school’s career field goals made list with 26, which is not bad when he was only a two-year guy.
Schopper is going to finish his career as one of Purdue’s most decorated punters. He is second in career punts with 243, trailing only Shawn McCarthy by 30 punts. He has a career average of 41 yards per kick, which is in the top 5 all-time in school history. He also has all those completions and first down runs on fakes.