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September 29, 2009

Number Crunching

Every week during football season, GoldandBlack.com takes a look inside the numbers with "Number Crunching."

4

The number of Purdue-Notre Dame games since 1997 that were decided in the final minute, in practical terms.

In 1998 and 2000, the Irish kicked field goals in the final 60 seconds to win. Saturday, they scored a touchdown with 25 seconds remaining for the game-winning points.

In 1999, it didn't come down to a score, but rather a non-score, as the clock ran out on Notre Dame at the Boilermaker 1-yard line in a 26-22 Purdue win in Ross-Ade Stadium.

In the past 13 seasons now, six Purdue-Notre Dame games have been decided by a touchdown or less: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009.

The Boilermakers won only the '99 game.

13

The number of penalties Purdue was called for against Notre Dame, accounting for 103 yards.

That penalty total included three different kinds of 15-yard infractions - an unsportsmanlike conduct, a personal foul and a pass interference - as well as three off-sides penalties, two holds, one delay of game, a false start, a block in the back, a procedure infraction and a delay of game.

It was a team-wide issue, as the offense and defense were each flagged five times and the special teams drew three penalties.

11

The number of flags thrown against the Boilermakers in the prior three games combined, for 69 yards.

162.8

Aaron Valentin's average per-game total offense, ranking him first in the Big Ten.

The senior has racked up 330 kickoff return yards, 138 punt return yards, 175 receiving yards and eight rushing yards for a total of 651, 30 more than second-place Ralph Bolden, who has 488 rushing yards, 133 receiving yards and a per-game average of 155.2 total.

15.3

Valentin's punt-return average, leading the Big Ten by a mile. Second-place Keshawn Martin of Michigan State averages 10.0.

Of the top 10 in the league in this category, Valentin has more attempts (nine) than anyone other than Ohio State's Ray Small, who has fielded 10 punts.

The single-season Purdue record for punt return average is held by Vinny Sutherland, who netted 16.4 yards on 18 returns in 1999.

108

Purdue's national ranking in total defense, out of 120 Division I-A teams.

The Boilermakers are allowing 421.5 total yards per outing.

Next worst in the Big Ten is Illinois, which is ranks 90th at 386. Michigan is No. 89, at 385.75.

38

The yardage covered by Jaycen Taylor's touchdown catch in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame, making it the longest scoring reception by a Boilermaker running back since Kory Sheets' 41-yarder against Michigan State Nov. 10, 2007.

Purdue has now thrown two touchdown passes of 20 or more yards to running backs this season, the other being Bolden's 22-yard score at Oregon.

Boilermaker running backs have now caught 11 passes this season for 175 yards. That's an average of 15.9 yards per catch, nearly triple the 6.5 yards running backs averaged over their 43 catches a year ago. The 2008 Boilermakers scored on just one pass to a running back, so the '09 team has already doubled that.

The 38-yard score was not the longest catch of Taylor's career, as he had a 46-yarder as a sophomore against Michigan State in 2006. The touchdown against Notre Dame was the senior's first catch of the season.

1

The number of catches through Week 4 made by Purdue's much-talked about corps of freshman receivers, with Antavian Edison's touchdown against Toledo in the opener still standing by itself.

Junior college transfers Keith Carlos and Cortez Smith, though, have combined for 11 grabs, nine of them by Carlos.

3

Linebacker Jason Werner's sack total through four games, tying him with two other players for the league lead.

8

Werner's tackles-for-loss this season, putting him just a half TFL behind IU's Jammie Kirlew for the conference lead.

Last season, Ryan Kerrigan's 11.5 TFLs led the Boilermakers, so Werner's one monster game from matching that total before the season's even half over.

84, 1,074

The statistical pace wide receiver Keith Smith is on for final numbers through 12 regular season games in receptions and receiving yards, respectively.

Purdue hasn't had a thousand-yard receiver since Dorien Bryant in '06, when he racked up 1,068.


For the best Purdue team and recruiting coverage out there, click here.





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