Coach: Danny Hope
Record: 7-6 (4-4 Big Ten)
Postseason: Defeated Western Michigan 37-32 in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
What went right: Purdue finished strong, winning three of its final four games.
The stretch started with an overtime victory over Ohio State. The Boilermakers also took back the Old Oaken Bucket, beating Indiana 33-25 to become bowl eligible.
Tuesday, big plays on defense and special teams propelled Purdue to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl win.
The defense has been anchored this year by Kawann Short. The defensive tackle/nose guard earned All-Big Ten first-team honors by the media. He had a team-leading 6 1/2 sacks.
Punter Cody Webster and kicker Carson Wiggs both received All-Big Ten second-team honors (Wiggs by the media). Raheem Mostert led one of the best kick-return units in the country.
Offensively, quarterback Caleb TerBush emerged as a solid starter after beginning the season at No. 3 on the depth chart. Ralph Bolden rushed for 674 yards and six touchdowns in his return from a knee injury.
What went wrong: Injuries were again part of the story for Purdue.
Bolden wasnt able to play in the bowl game after suffering another knee injury in the regular-season finale against Indiana. Rob Henry, the projected No. 1 quarterback , missed the entire season because of a knee injury.
Purdue also had to have other players step up after leading tackler Dwayne Beckford and wide receiver O.J. Ross were sidelined for the bowl game for disciplinary reasons.
The Boilermakers lost their first four road games (Rice, Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin, the last one 62-17). But they did win their final road game, knocking off the Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium.
2012 outlook: Linebacker Joe Holland, an honorable-mention All-Big Ten pick, and leading wide receiver Justin Siller are among the seniors the Boilermakers will lose.
The secondary should still be strong with cornerback Ricardo Allen, a second-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches, returning.
Hope received a contract extension for two additional years, through Dec. 31, 2016. Hell try to continue to build off the momentum from the bowl victory.