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Old Gold Free Press Update For 7-30-2002

32 Days to Season Opener vs ILL ST at newly renovated Ross-Ade Stadium!!!

Date: 7/30/2002
Author: TexasBoiler
© TexasBoiler

    Old Gold Free Press Update For 7-30-2002

    32 Days to Season Opener vs ILL ST at newly renovated Ross-Ade Stadium!!!

    Date: 7/30/2002
    Author: TexasBoiler
    © TexasBoiler

    check out the history of Ross-Ade page at purduesports.com at the link above


    Holy Cow Boilermaniacs, we have a TON of football coverage for you today. Though we have to see our 3rd verbal for this year's football recruiting class and there is certainly reason for concern, I'm hoping that you may be able to take a moment and be grateful for one of our recent verbals. WR/ATH Jake Cunningham is a gamebreaker folks and I've seen the films with my own eyes to validate his abilities.

    To lead off today's report, Recruiting Film Evaluation - WR/ATH Jake Cunningham (mrgridiron/recruiting.com)...next, we move in to the much anticipated Purdue Football Preview from Andy Gamm (finalscore.net), this is a must read as I challenge you to find another outsider (Andy is a diehard MSU fan) who did his homework as well as Andy has done in his column. In addition, please go to Andy's site at http:www.thefinalscore.net and place your vote with your prediction for Purdue's finish this year. We have 121 votes currently, and the record to break is 754 by the Ohio St. Buckeyes. Spread the word to the non-subscribers out there. Unfortunately, you can only vote once, so you Chicago voters can't vote "early and often". My response to Andy's preview follows his report.

    It's not official quite yet, but the consensus belief is that we will be wearing Vegas GOLD home uniforms this fall, not black like last year. The Indy Star has the report and JoePurdue found a photo for you at:


    My understanding is that this is Joe Tiller's baby and he is doing this to stress the fact that he wants Ross-Ade Stadium to be a Sea of Gold this fall. There is a plethora of articles today and for various reasons I'm just going to feature the first few lines. So, if you want to read on, just follow the hyperlink at the top of the article...Football ticket sales drop from last year (Exponent)...Schweigert will weigh options after season (Boilerstation.com)...Question may plague Purdue's Schweigert (Indystar.com)...Boilers return solid linebackers, secondary (Exponent)...Tiller pleased with progress of wideouts (Boilerstation.com)...Michael Pointer: Purdue Q&A (Indystar.com)...Purdue stadium sets new standard (Indystar.com)...Tiller has optimism, sort of (Exponent)...Kicking game concerns Big Ten coaches (Exponent)...Big Ten football race is up for grabs despite media predictions (Boilerstation.com)...Stubblefield will have CAT scan Wednesday (Boilerstation.com)...New track recruits will attempt double duty (Exponent)...Tiller gives linebackers rave reviews (Boilerstation.com)...Wolverines voted preseason favorite (Boilersation.com)...and The Boiler Report - Chris Pool's New Purdue Football Recruiting Site (Insiders.com).

    Lastly today, the latest from Waggs06 on men's basketball pickup games (mrhoops.com). This Friday I'll be going back to 2 editions per week.


    Recruiting Film Evaluation - WR/ATH Jake Cunningham

    Date: 7/24/2002
    © TexasBoiler

    The tape had highlights of Jake's Sophomore Year, his Junior Year, and a complete playoff game from his Junior Year. Jake looks to be a well built 5-11, 180 lbs or so on the tape. Here are some things that caught my eye when watching #31...

    1. He runs the sweep very well. Remember the play that Vinny used to run where he comes in motion and takes the handoff from our quarterback? I could see Jake filling this role extremely well. Jake's blazing speed is really noticeable when he gets to the corner about 5 yards downfiled from the line of scrimmage. If the defender does not have an angle, Jake is flat out off to the races and gone for a 50 yd plus! I'd say Jake runs more fluidly than Vinny Sutherland, he has less of the machine gun, high knees churning style of Vinny, and more of the deceptively fast smoothness of someone like Joey Harris.

    2. Jake thrives on a play I call The Inverted Bubble Screen. I've always wondered why we don't have this play in our playbook as it would really throw off those used to defending our Bubble Screen to the outside. What you see is Jake cutting back to the middle of the field after catching a short screen in the slot (preferably a WR blocker is ahead of him). The thing I enjoyed most was seeing Jake cut sharply in some congestion and then turning on the jets. Several times it looked as if a defender might make a play and next thing you see is #31 taking it to the house!

    3. Jake has a nice pair of hands. One one play he went up and outwrestled a defender for a catch in the end zone. He also caught some deep balls downfield.

    In sum, Jake certainly has the speed and cutback moves to remind us of Vinny Sutherland, though I'm willing to guess that he will have a better career because he will keep his body in better shape and therefore have better stamina than Vinny. I did not see Jake breaking a number of tackles on the film, though on many occasions he was simply dodging and running by defenders. Should Honk and Jake continue to make progress with Jake's strength this year, I'd say Jake will see some playing time as a freshman at Purdue. I agree with others who say that Jake will be a perfect fit for the Purdue Offense.

    The Daily Word - 2002 Big Ten Football Preview
    By Andy Gamm


    Editor's Note: This is the tenth in a weekly series previewing the 2002 Big Ten football season.

    Team: Purdue Boilermakers
    2001 record: 6-6 overall, 4-4 (T-4th)
    Returning starters: 9 offense, 8 defense

    Key Returnees: QB Kyle Orton, TB Montrell Lowe, WR Taylor Stubblefield, C Gene Mruczkowski, DE Shaun Phillips, LB Joe Odom, LB Landon Johnson, FS Stuart Schweigert

    Key Losses: QB Brandon Hance, TE Tim Stratton, P/PK Travis Dorsch, DE Akin Ayodele, DT Matt Mitrione

    Looking Back ... For those who don't follow the Big Ten much, it might come as a shock when you hear that a 6-6 season with a bowl bid was a "down year" for the Boilermakers. After all, most that pay no heed to the Big Ten only know that Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State typically carry the torch. But how can you not take note of one of only 13 programs to send a team to a bowl game the last five seasons? Despite the stumbles Purdue had last season, it had to be considered a success, a great rebuilding year for a program suddenly accustomed to winning much more often than losing.

    What we learned in 2001 was the Drew Brees was not immediately replaceable, nor were the key linemen that protected him. Purdue went about its business in a non-traditional Boilermaker fashion -- at least for Tiller era teams -- succeeding by playing lock-down defense while the offense faltered. The best news for the gold and black was that young talent was developing in key areas during those ups and downs. The defense made its mark and with nearly everyone back this year - watch out. The offense started to click when Kyle Orton was handed the reigns for good. That bodes well for the Boilers headed into 2002. Now, if only Tiller could snap out of it and do what everyone else seems to be doing these days - beat Notre Dame ...

    2002 Outlook ... I must admit, Purdue had me stumped last season. I thought the drop-off from Brees to Hance/Orton would be minimal and that the Tiller offensive system would kick in and lead Purdue back to the Promised Land. I was wrong, but by the same token, I learned a lot about the Boilers. First, I learned that there is more to a Tiller team than a break-neck pace on offense. His teams, with the right personnel, can defend anyone in the country. 40 turnovers forced in 2001? By Purdue? No way I saw that coming, but now that I have, I can tell you there will be more of that this season. If only the old gold and black could have converted more of those turnovers, who knows what might have been. But alas, the one thing lacking in 2001 was a steady, consistent offense. And while defense does certainly help win games, we have grown to expect more than three and out or untimely turnovers from this Boilermaker offense.

    Speaking of an offense that was mighty inept at times, 2002 looks much brighter for said unit. Kyle Orton is firmly entrenched at quarterback and he has a plethora of weapons around him. The back that is always expected to be de-throned -- Montrell Lowe -- is back again and poised to make a run at the Purdue career rushing record held by Chris Berman's favorite back Mike Alstott. Speedy junior Joey Harris also returns giving Purdue more than enough firepower in the offensive backfield. Fullback has never been much of a glory position for Purdue in the Tiller era, but with more experimentation with two back sets, expect to see FB/LB Jon Goldsberry and Jacob Rowe to have an impact as well. One other name to keep in mind when it comes to carrying the ball? Converted wide receiver Jerod Void, who brings great hands and speed to the position.

    Maybe most important for this team is the experience that returns up front. Last year, Brandon Hance and Kyle Orton had a lot less time to read the field a la Drew Brees in prior seasons. Instead, they found themselves on their backs a league's second worst 42 times - a statistic that tells a lot about the woeful performance of the Purdue offense last season. Orton can rest easier this year knowing that he has a group with 75 combined starts protecting him. That unit is led by senior Gene Mruczkowski, perhaps one of the more underrated centers in the conference. Four other seniors round out the starting five and this group is poised to make a huge leap from last season's shaky performance.

    As we know, aside from quarterback, a key to the Purdue offense is the play from the wide receiver position. The Boilermakers are solid here as well, with last year's leading receiver -- Taylor Stubblefield -- forming the foundation. John Standeford and Seth Morales also return and watch out for newcomers Anthony Chambers (Juco transfer) and Ray Williams. This group is vastly underrated by my estimation and given that Orton should have more time to throw, and has a solid running attack in the arsenal as well, watch out. Stubblefield, once he recovers from a freak skull fracture, might be poised to make a run at the likes of Charles Rogers and Lee Evans as top dog at his position. Another pass catching option comes in the form of tight end Mike Rhinehart. Rhinehart saw the field a lot in 2001 and with Tim Stratton moving on, should find ample opportunity to have an impact on the passing game, both as a blocker and receiver.

    It is obvious that the offense should be improved over last year's version. A squad that went from first to worst in the total offense category should be buoyed by the late season development of Orton and the talented, experienced players that surround him. Don't expect another season of near the bottom performances in key statistical areas such as first downs, passing efficiency and turnovers. Instead, expect last year's transition to pay off in the form of big wins and better football in West Lafayette.

    Enough about the Purdue offense, let's talk about one of the best -- if not the best -- defense's in the conference, maybe the nation. I have yet to see a better-rounded unit than that of the Boilermakers. Sure, Michigan's defense has its playmakers, its star power and NFL caliber talent, but the Purdue defense is already there - a proven entity. It is loaded with talent itself and led by three key players. If you haven't heard much about this trio, write down their names, because they will be All-Big Ten this fall: Shaun Phillips, Landon Johnson and Stuart Schweigert.

    Phillips leads the charge on the defensive line. Sure, the unit lost a key performer in Akin Ayodele but Phillips is just another in a long line of great defensive ends to grace the front four (Colvin, Okeafor and Ayodele). He is joined by three year starter (defensive tackle) Craig Terrill - a playmaker in his own right, and Kevin Nesfield (DE) and Brandon Johnson (DT). Purdue also returns a ton of depth along the front line, an often overlooked by huge plus for a team that likes to get after it. Other players to watch are: Vedran Dzolovic, Doug Swann, Nick Hardwick and Brandon Villarreal.

    Perhaps what makes the front four so effective is the linebacking corps. Led by senior Joe Odom and the aforementioned Landon Johnson, this group is all over the field. Johnson forced three fumbles and Odom picked off three passes en route to a fantastic 2001 campaign, and the recent move of Odom to the outside, where his speed and quickness can really shine, is a move that might make this defense even better than last season. The depth (and quality of it) is also there when you throw in starting middle linebacker Niko Koutouvides and backups Jon Goldsberry, Brent Hawkins and Bobby Iwuchukwu. Gilbert Gardner might also be available as an experienced option, but only if the staff feels he is fully recovered from a broken leg.

    My favorite part of this nose for the ball, tough as nails defense is the secondary. If you don't know who Stu Schweigert is, shame on you. Schweigert is, for my money, the best free safety in college football. He has speed to burn and the soft hands of a wideout. He is coming off two straight seasons of leading the team in tackles and interceptions and is already tied for the school record with 11 INTs. He is joined by a solid duo at strong safety - Deaunte Ferrell and Ralph Turner and lightening fast corner Jacques Reeves and Antwaun Rogers. Another strength is the depth of the playing group. Opposing teams who think that last season's performance was a flash in the pan will be sorely mistaken. Many talk about the Illinois and Ohio State secondaries as being among the best in the nation - where does that leave Purdue? At the very top by my estimation...

    The biggest concern for Purdue comes from the special teams unit. Travis Dorsch handled all the duties last year and handled them quite well. He led the league with a booming 48.1 average on punts and also connected on nine more field goals than the closest competitor (22-27) despite some woes with the PAT (20-25). Maybe most unnoticed was his uncanny ability to pin teams deep with is kickoffs and accurate punting - skills that earned him a drafting by the Cincinnati Bengals. It appears that sophomore Andy Nelson will handle the placekicking duties, with fellow sophomore Aaron Levin poised to take over the punting gig. The development of this unit is key to Purdue's success this season. The return game will undoubtedly be there, but if the kicking is sub-par, expect a loss or two that shouldn't be come season's end...

    Key games: at Notre Dame (9/7), at Illinois (10/12), Michigan (10/19), Ohio State (11/9), Michigan State (11/16)

    9/7 - at Notre Dame
    9/21 - WAKE FOREST
    9/28 - MINNESOTA
    10/5 - at Iowa
    10/12 - at Illinois
    10/19 - MICHIGAN
    10/26 - at Northwestern
    11/9 - OHIO STATE
    11/16 - at Michigan State
    11/23 - INDIANA

    Prediction: The schedule is nice to Purdue in that the Boilers get to spend nearly double the time in the newly renovated confines of Ross-Ade that they do on the road. Penn State and Wisconsin are off the slate and the non-conference schedule is not too imposing - save for pesky Notre Dame, who down or not, seems to have the gold and black's number. Move that date with Notre Dame a few weeks back and this team might be on a super run headed into the meat of the schedule. In the meantime, the offense, which needs to make improvements, should have ample opportunity to gel early. That bodes well for another run at a Big Ten crown, especially if the injury bug stays away.

    Look for the Boilermakers to get out of the gates 3-1 (O.O.C.), with yet another heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame in store for the boys from West Lafayette. The continued home stretch will be kind, with a 3-0 start on tap. Then things get tougher, with the lone home loss of the season coming at the hands of Michigan, followed by a letdown in the upset of the year - a road loss at Evanston, against a team Purdue has flat out owned during the Tiller era. Orton and company will then rebound with a possible national title run ending upset win over Ohio State before the Spartans avenge some past heartbreak in East Lansing the next week. It all closes with an absolute whipping of rival Indiana, a final slate of 8-4 (5-3) and a trip back to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl. Things could be brighter this season, but only if the defense is as good as last year's (as expected), the offense can get back to form and the kicking game is better than expected...


    Response to Andy Gamm's Purdue Preview

    about the only significant detail (IMO) you missed and believe me you caught several that most would have missed is...our placekicker should be JUCO transfer Berin Lacevic aka "The Bosnian Tornado". I'm sure one BoilerDav or JoePurdue can find a free link to his captivating human interest story. Insert - here are BoilerDav's links http://www.thefinalscore.net/cgi-bin/display.cgi?read=12095 to Berin's story and notice the humorous real photo about IU football. The short of the story, is that he watched his parents die when he was just 11 years old in the fighting over in Bosnia. Fortunately, a man from Kansas saw his plight on TV and had him sent over to the US on a cargo plane. I saw Berin at our spring game and he looks to be an accurate kicker from 40 yards in, but questions remain on his leg strength. Berin will not be kicking off from what I understand.

    Some other comments:

    1. nice catch on 3rd string RB Jerod Void. He's a track star (4.4/speed) in a RB's cleats and he has a little more size than Montrell Lowe or Joey Harris. He got a little banged up before the Spring Game and he may be the victim of not enough carries to go around, but he could suprise some folks. On that note of surprising folks, you may see RS frosh RB/FB Brandon Jones (5-11, 220 lbs) get some carries and catch some balls out of the backfield. He had a nice Spring Game. All that said, Montrell Lowe is our horse at RB and from what his dad says, he is working vigorously on his speed this summer, which has been the knock on him. He should get a majority of the carries this year and break Alstott's record if healthy. That should amaze people who think Tiller pays no attention to the running game. Who'd have thunk the school rushing record would be broken under Joe Tiller? To remind some folks, Alstott played as a frosh quite a bit and got many carries in Jim Colletto's ground oriented offense over his 4 years.

    2. another nice mention was incoming frosh WR Ray Williams, who many of us Boilers hope will be our true burner to stretch the field. It's hard to count on a true frosh who will only have a month to learn our complex offense, but then again, how hard is it for guy to learn the stop and go or the fly pattern? One guy we are also keeping an eye on is incoming frosh WR Al Royal. He played TE in HS and goes about 6-1, 210 lbs or so. The biggest complaint from our coaches last year was the lack of physical play from our WR's as teams locked us up (or held us well in the case of Michigan :-)) with press man coverage. Royal was overlooked as a Floridian on a great HS team and we are hoping he will come in prepared to set a new physical tone at the WR position. Continuing on the physical WR play note...one incumbent has gotten the message clearly...John Standeford had bulked up to 200 lbs from 188 last season. Sophomore WR Kevin Noel is one other WR to watch. He is the highest rated receiver Tiller has recruited, but struggled last year with injuries and his speed has not quite been what we were hoping for so far.

    3. Jon Goldsberry will get some fullback reps in fall practice (which will determine his fate at that position) and also figures to be our 2nd string MLB right now.

    4. Drew Brees' QB coach (Greg Olson) is back at Purdue after a 1 year stint with the SF 49ers as QB coach for Jeff Garcia. Oddly enough he returns as our Tight Ends coach and Recruiting Coordinator. I have a feeling he will be working with our current QB coach as well. In case you're wondering, Olson returned in part because his wife Lissa became the Head Track Coach (men's and women's) at Purdue months after he bolted to SF, and the distance between the couple became too much. We think he may become our Off Coordinator if Jim Chaney finally gets a much deserved Head Coaching position elsewhere or moves on the NFL. He's been looking the last couple years.

    5. I guess we can add you to the STU Schweigert fan club. Thanks to Nick Saban for allowing us to steal STU from your backyard. I'm hoping the OSU fans will see his 'A' game when we play them this fall. You hit the nail on the head about him, Landon Johnson, and Shaun Phillips - our big playmakers on defense. In addition, MLB Niko Koutovides (is that a great name or what?) has a great nose for the fumbled football.

    Should you still be reading (grin), I've already mentioned there is no way we lose to The Purple Kitties before and I know you were reaching on that one. If you wanted a more probable road loss for us besides MSU and Notre Dame, look no further than Iowa. We always struggle in Iowa City. BTW, I think we beat Michigan but lose to OSU at home. Either way, we both see it 8-4 or better, a fair forecast.

    33 days until kickoff at newly renovated Ross-Ade Stadium. You'll have to see our new press box... and to take a line from DaVinci's Notebook (Bob and Tom Radio Show of course)..."I take a look at our ENORMOUS Press Box and my troubles start melting away".

    - Barclay


    Here's a golden chance to get new Purdue football jerseys

    Staff Report

    July 24, 2002

    "Purdue officials have yet to formally unveil their new football uniforms for home games in the upcoming season.

    But fans eager to obtain replicas of the new gold jerseys can buy them in local stores. The new jersey is on sale at The Finish Line store at Circle Centre. The jerseys also are available for $50 online at www.finishline.com.

    Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller has said he wants Ross-Ade Stadium to be a "sea of gold," and "we're going to do our part," said Purdue sports information director Tom Schott.

    Purdue officials are planning to formally unveil the new uniforms next week.

    Purdue last wore gold uniforms in a 17-15 win over Indiana in 1986. Before that Old Oaken Bucket game, they had not worn gold since the 1940s"


    Football ticket sales drop from last year
    By Danielle Mitchell
    Summer Reporter

    "Purdue football ticket sales for the 2002-2003 season has experienced a slight drop in comparison to last year's sales.

    With the decrease in football attendance from 385,243 in 2000 to 368,051 in 2001, the Purdue Athletics Promotions and Advertising office is researching why fans have not purchased their usual amount of season tickets.

    Joel Rasmus director of athletics promotion and advertising, said the ticket office undertook a campaign in which they called people who had ordered tickets in the past and did not renew their orders.

    "If they were not going to be renewing, on my request, I said, 'can you start compiling information on why they people might not?'" Rasmus said.

    Feedback from the calls showed a number of reasons why people were not ordering tickets. Rasmus pointed out the four prevalent issues that seemed to concern customers."

    click on the link for the full story

    Schweigert will weigh options after season

    Purdue safety thinks NFL career could be one good season away

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    "CHICAGO -- When you're blessed with outstanding speed and sure tackling ability, when you have 11 career interceptions after your freshman and sophomore seasons, when you're a fourth-team All-American as a sophomore and the only second-year player among 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (as the nation's outstanding defensive back), it was bound to happen.

    Sooner or later.

    And, much to Purdue football coach Joe Tiller's chagrin, it happened sooner rather than later.

    Boilermaker junior free safety Stu Schweigert was one of two Purdue players (along with wide receiver Taylor Stubblefield) who was on hand for the second day of the Big Ten Kickoff meetings. And it didn't take long for a couple of sportswriters to ask him if he would consider jumping to the NFL after this season.

    "I think every player would like to go to the NFL, and if it presents itself early I think you have to really make a hard decision," said Schweigert, whose next interception will break the Purdue career record."

    "I'm not going into this year (thinking) that I want to make it to the NFL. I want to help my team win. If I do, the possibilities of going look pretty good."

    "He's said that I have to get some of those big-time hits," Schweigert said. "That's the only thing I'm lacking right now, the physicalness of coming up and laying someone out. That's one thing I'm really going to work on."

    click on the link for the full story

    Question may plague Purdue's Schweigert

    Tiller hopes junior free safety won't be distracted by queries about jump to NFL.

    By Michael Pointer


    July 27, 2002

    "CHICAGO -- Stuart Schweigert spent Friday morning in a hotel meeting room, enjoying mostly lighthearted banter with reporters.

    But he had to pause for a few seconds and ponder his response to one particular query: Next year at this time, does he think he will be back at the Big Ten football media days, or in an NFL training camp?

    "In a perfect world, I would love to play in the NFL next summer," the Purdue junior free safety said. "But I also would like to stick around. Being in college and playing with my teammates is a lot of fun."

    It's a difficult question for Schweigert, who dreams of playing in the NFL but also cherishes every minute of college. He has his own cheering section at Ross-Ade Stadium named "Stu's Crew" and just might be the most popular student on campus."

    click on the link for the full story

    Boilers return solid linebackers, secondary


    By Andrew Hershberger
    Summer Editor

    "Purdue football coach Joe Tiller had some glowing remarks for his defense at the Big Ten Football Kickoff Thursday. And why shouldn't he — his linebackers and secondary are being ranked among the best in the conference.

    "We think we have some very good linebackers," Tiller said, "perhaps as good as there is in the conference and maybe a group that's worthy of being recognized nationally. They are very athletic and they make a lot of plays. They will be the strength of our defense."

    Tiller's 4-3 defense showcases three linebackers in the starting lineup — Landon Johnson, Niko Koutouvides and Joe Odom — from weak side to strong side. The group was ranked the 11th-best linebacking corps in the nation by The Sporting News. In the off-season, Tiller switched Odom, a former middle, and Koutouvides, a former strong side, to maximize each individual player's strengths."

    click on the link for the full story

    On the receiving end

    Tiller pleased with progress of wideouts

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    "Within minutes after the final gun had sounded to end Purdue's 33-27 loss to Washington State in last December's Sun Bowl, Boilermaker coach Joe Tiller was letting anyone within earshot know that he wasn't very happy with the play of his wide receivers.

    It wasn't just a one-game disappointment. Tiller said the Purdue wideouts weren't fast enough, physical enough and they had problems all season dealing with the basic job description -- catching the football.

    But on the eve of a brand new season, Tiller has high hopes for his receiving corps.

    "I guess through the media -- I've done it personally too -- I've really kind of issued a challenge to our wide receivers," he said. "And I think, to a man, our wide receivers improved the most in the spring of the previous five springs we've had at Purdue."

    click on the link for the full story

    Michael Pointer: Purdue Q&A


    July 29, 2002

    click on the link for the full story


    Purdue stadium sets new standard

    Purdue officials say renovation will give fans one of the best facilities in the country.

    By Michael Pointer


    July 25, 2002

    "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Steve Simmerman looks at Aug. 10 on his calendar and gets a little nervous. It seems like there is so much left to do at Ross-Ade Stadium.

    But at the same time, there's also a feeling of optimism and pride for Purdue's athletic facilities director when he looks at work going on at the 78-year-old edifice.

    "I've been here for 19 years and there were times I wondered if I would ever see it done," said Simmerman, a Purdue graduate. "It's really been an exciting project."

    Indianapolis-based Hunt Construction Group ceases most of its work at Ross-Ade on Aug. 10 so Simmerman and his staff can prepare it for the upcoming season.

    The $70 million renovation won't be fully completed until next summer. But when Purdue fans arrive for the season opener against Illinois State on Aug. 31, they should notice more restrooms, more concession areas, wider concourse areas, wider seats on the north end and a giant new press box."

    click on the link for the full story

    Tiller has optimism, sort of

    By Jason Tomcsi
    Summer Reporter

    CHICAGO — As Purdue football coach Joe Tiller approached the podium Thursday at the Big Ten Conference Kickoff Luncheon, he said he wasn't where he wanted to be.

    "We were always here next week instead of this week," said Tiller. "This cut into a week of my fishing, so I am not real happy to be here."

    Tiller said there is an aura of guarded optimism around this year's Boilermakers.

    "Over the summer when talking to alumni groups I made the statement that I have good news and bad news," said Tiller. "We have 17 starters coming back, that's the good news; the bad news is they're the same 17 that could only win six games last year."

    "We'll look like a different football team," said Tiller. "We'll look different because were going to gold jerseys. Be bold, wear gold, Hail Purdue!"

    click on the link for the full story


    Kicking game concerns Big Ten coaches
    By Jason Tomcsi
    Summer Reporter

    As coaches from the Big Ten spoke about their teams Thursday and Friday at the Big Ten Media Days, many coaches had the same concern — the kicking game.

    Purdue is among many in the Big Ten that will have new players doing the legwork for the team.

    Purdue loses Travis Dorsch, the winner of the 2001 Ray Guy Award for outstanding punter and one of 10 finalists for the Lou Groza Award given to the best kicker. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Dorsch with the 11th pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

    "I think the biggest loss to our football team is quite frankly our kicker, Travis Dorsch," said Purdue head coach Joe Tiller. "Last year he punted, kicked off and placed kicked for us. This year we will probably have three guys do what he did last year."

    click on the link for the full story

    Big Ten football race is up for grabs despite media predictions

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier


    "It may be a bit of a cliché, but this year the saying fits the upcoming battle for the Big Ten Conference football championship -- the race is as wide open as it's been in a long time.

    There doesn't appear to be a dominant team in the league. Which means the Big Ten once again probably won't be in the national title game and that mediocrity may be creeping its way into the league.

    At the two-day Big Ten Kickoff meetings in Chicago last week, the media picked Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State as the top three favorites.

    The problem is, all of the preseason contenders have some serious question marks.

    Around these parts, everyone knows that Purdue is very solid on defense, but there are questions galore on offense. Can Kyle Orton be a star quarterback as a sophomore? Will the offensive line, and the running game, improve? Will the wide receivers bounce back from a mediocre season?"

    click on the link for the full story

    Stubblefield will have CAT scan Wednesday

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    "Taylor Stubblefield is encouraged by his recovery from a closed skull fracture suffered July 4, and he hopes to get good news from the doctor this week.

    "I don't have any more headaches and my hearing's fine," Purdue's sophomore wide receiver said. "My symptoms are pretty much gone. I've been cleared to do light workouts. The real key as to how I've progressed will be a CAT scan on Wednesday.

    "If the CAT scan says everything's clear, I'll probably have an MRI, just to go a little bit deeper and make sure everything is gone."

    Stubblefield, who was Purdue's leading receiver last season with 73 catches for 910 yards, suffered the injury when he fell and hit his head trying to scale a fence that surrounded a swimming pool at an apartment complex in Columbus, Ohio.

    It is still unknown whether Stubblefield will be ready for Purdue's season opener Aug. 31 against Illinois State, miss the early part of the season or have to sit out the entire campaign."

    click on the link for the full story

    New track recruits will attempt double duty
    By Andrew Hershberger
    Summer Editor


    "The Purdue men's track and field team has signed two athletes for the Class of 2006 who will also clock time on the football field.

    Strong safety John Lampert of Abilene, Texas, is the reigning state champion in the long jump and has been timed at 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

    An honorable mention all-state, first team all-district and first team all-conference honoree his junior and senior years, he was also named a three-star prospect by Prep Football Report after his final year at Wylie High School.

    Lampert said Purdue was a natural choice for him.

    "Purdue just wanted me more than any one else," Lampert said from his home in Abilene. "And I know it's a good program as far as athletics and academics and everything goes."

    click on the link for the full story

    Tiller gives linebackers rave reviews

    Coach: Boiler trio among Big Ten's best

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    "CHICAGO -- Purdue coach Joe Tiller was in midseason form Thursday during the first day of the Big Ten Conference Kickoff meetings.

    When asked to compare Boilermaker sophomore quarterback Kyle Orton to the legendary Drew Brees, Tiller joked, "Right now, the biggest difference between Kyle and Drew is that Kyle hasn't won a game as a starter."

    While Brees led to Purdue to a 24-13 record, and a trip to the Rose Bowl, as a three-year starter, Orton is just beginning his college career, taking over for Brandon Hance in the final three games of 2001.

    Unfortunately for Orton and the team, Purdue lost those games -- to Indiana, Notre Dame and Washington State in the Sun Bowl -- as the Boilermakers finished 6-6 a year ago.

    "Orton threw more passes in the Sun Bowl (74) than Brees threw in his freshman season," Tiller said. "He's gotten better so we look forward to his development at quarterback. He's a talented guy. He's bigger than Drew, he has a stronger arm, he throws the ball up the field better."

    click on the link for the full story

    Wolverines voted preseason favorite

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    "CHICAGO -- Following the 1997 season, when the nation's sportswriters and broadcasters voted Michigan as their national champion but the Wolverines had to share the title when Nebraska won the coaches poll, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr jokingly praised the intelligence of the media.

    It was a different story Thursday, after Carr was informed that the media which cover Big Ten Conference football had voted his team as the preseason favorite to win the league championship.

    "I'd have to question your intelligence," Carr said as the two-day Big Ten Kickoff meetings got under way.

    "I always tell our players that opinions disappear and records endure. The expectations at Michigan, both from people outside the program and inside the program, are extremely high. It's a compliment to our program, and we'll do everything we can to make you look good."

    click on the link for the full story


    The Boiler Report - Chris Pool's New Purdue Football Recruiting Site


    I realize that pay sites aren't popular. I work hard for my info and since I'll be spending a lot of time around Purdue football this year and probably the next two after that (watching Kevin Noel, good friends with his father Dana), I decided to do this site.

    I'm going to make every other update and story FREE from this point on. Cost is $5.95/mth for premium subscription.




    Rumor has it Tiller and Co. have offered DL William Knepper of Warsaw. Knepper is 6'3 275....5.1 and is athletic as HELL!!!! Another rumor surfacing in Warsaw is that QB Ryan DeGeeter will be offered is the Boilers cannot land Richards. DeGeeter is 6'5 220lb and runs a 4.8...is alot like Richards(size, speed, smarts, athletic)...also is Pitcher on the HS baseball team..he went 11-0!!!!


    PickUp Games Update: Thursday, July 25th
    Date: 7/25/2002
    © Waggs06

    It's been a while since my last column, so this one will have a good amount of information. First, Kevin Garrity did not have a cast on today at the pickup games, but is still not participating. I think he should be able to play in a few weeks. Kenny Lowe had a nose injury on Monday and still has not played in any games since then. I believe it was just a bloody nose, but i know he broke his nose a few years ago, so he may be taking precaution to make sure nothing major happens with his nose.

    Here are a few things I have noticed in the past week:

    - Chris Booker is looking a lot better in the post offensively.

    - Willie Deane doesn't seem to foul as much and looks good offensively from the inside and outside.

    - Kilgore and Teague both have had several stretches where they didn't miss a shot. If either of them is hot, get them the ball.

    - Kiefer keeps impressing me as he is quicker then the other forwards and looks better and better on defense.

    - Parkinson had a good week, making more of his jump shots and making lots of steals.

    - Buckley keeps shooting well and is a great rebounder for a SF.

As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

OGFP_Staff -Career Blocked Shots Rankings
Bob_Richards -Women's Recruiting Update: Liza Clemons No. 1
Steve -Opponent #11: University of Wisconsin
MDC -NCAA: (5 seed) Purdue 76 - (4 seed) Washington 74
Capri_Small -Purdue 76, Western Illinois 44
Jimmy_D - Gazing into the Crystal Bubble, Part III: SEC / Big Ten / PAC 10
Brad_Jewell -Introducing Purdue Sports News via Facebook
Bob_Sienicki -Nike Camp: Elena Delle Donne Interview
Bob_Sternvogel -Nike Camp Report #1 (Sparks and Monarchs)
Guest_Columnist -Gazing into the Crystal Bubble, Part III: The SEC/Big Ten/PAC 10
Others -Purdue Sports Info
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