Good morning Boilermaniacs!!! The long wait shall be over soon, that's right, it's about time for some Boilermaker Football! I'd say "cautiously optimistic" is the cliche that best describes the mood of many Boiler Diehards as the 2002 season if finally upon us. I think many of us felt a little burned by our expectations going into last year. Well, at least in terms of tomorrow's opponent, I'm ridiculously optimistic. Our Boilers will not be looking ahead to Notre Dame for the simple reason that they are craving the chance to whale on an opponent other than their own teammates and 8-31 is that first opportunity to do so. Therefore, my prediction is....Da Boilers 45 and The Redbirds 7. This game won't ever really be close and I see Orton having a very solid first half going 12-18 for 175 yds and 2 TD's (no INT's). Chambers and Standeford will catch TD passes. Lowe will run wild in the first half and have 80 yds on 10 carries and will also get his first TD. Lacevic will kick his first FG of the season from about 35 yards out and Jaques Reeves will return either a fumble or a pick for a TD. It will be Boilers 30 - Rebirds 0 by halftime and the boatrace will be officially on. In the second half, we will see a long run from Joey Harris for about a 55 yd TD and Jarod Void will also score a TD. Led by a confident o-line, we will rack of 255 yds on the ground, and 270 yards in the air. Kirsch and Smith will wow us as backup QB's and some our cautious optimism will turn into rampant optimism as we watch Notre Dame lose to Maryland later that evening :-)
You can read Spoilerdave's preview towards the bottom if you'd like to learn more about ILL St's finer players, but frankly it's not about our opponent this weekend. It is about the return of Boiler Football after 8 arduous months of hoping, waiting, and longing for the countdown to reach zero. For those of you can't be "in the house" for whatever reason, I feel for you. Expectations are a crowd of 45 - 50 k. I know that the economy, family and work conflicts, and the fact that this is a 7th home game (we are used to 6) are reasons keeping some folks at home for financial reasons. Still, it is unfortunate that we have not built up our fan base to the point where sell outs are expected regardless of the opponent and a down economy. This is a critical season in that regard. We absolutely could use a 9-3 or 10-2 season to boost ticket sales down the road, yet the "chicken and egg" irony is that we fans can have a HUGE impact on 7 of those victories this year as they are on our home turf. So, as I do every so often, I encourage you to step up your own personal efforts to further the cause. Find a way to get to an extra game, and when you get there ...WEAR A (preferably Vegas) GOLD SHIRT (the Sea of Gold, let's the players know we are behind them, just a little thing that can help - you can get a shirt online or at most bookstores for just $12) and have some FUN at the game by jumping up and down and making some freaking NOISE for the best defense in The Big 10 Conference. Even at the games versus lesser opponents, the defense can use a little adrenaline rush from the crowd.
Alright I'm getting off the proverbial soapbox, and it's time to give you some info. If anyone is interested in catching QB recruit Clayton Richards tomorrow night, I have one extra FREE ticket to the game at McCutcheon HS at 7pm tomorrow night. I should have my Blackberry on me tomorrow afternoon to receive emails and my cell phone is 512.797.7565 if you'd like to meet up.
The folks at Old Gold Free Press (email and web site) invite you to our tailgate Sat morning at 10 am in Lot T... here's the map http://www.purdue.edu/athletics/jpc/pages/tickets/parking.html
on the south Golf Course closest to the northwest side of Ross-Ade Stadium. We should have a State of Indiana Flag flying high and an Old Gold Free Press sign. You are also welcome to call my cell phone if you can't find us. Boiler B, BoilerJoe, Boylerz, BillD, BullPurdue, LSLBoiler, HillsdaleBoiler, Honk, LasVegasEd, and my apologies if I'm forgetting anyone should be on hand - this is COMPLETELY OPEN TO ANYONE. It's BYO on food and beverages, though we should have some stuff on hand. Young Boiler fans are more than welcome to come by and be brainwashed. In addition, we hope to have videos of the Spring Game, Jake Cunningham's highlight video, and the best of Joe McConnell and Pete Quinn's Tiller Era radio calls. Oh yeah, I'll be the one in the Vegas Gold STU's CREW shirt.
After the game, there may be a few of us down at BW3's on the levee around 6:30 pm or so if you'd like to join us. In any event, have a safe trip to God's Country, and I hope to see everyone soaking in a beautiful 82 degree, sunny day in West Lafayette. For those outside of the radio broadcasting area, here is the link to the FREE feed of McConnell and Quinn.
Ross-Ade Stadium, the 78-year-old home of the Purdue Boilermaker football team, will have a new look this season as construction continues on Phase I of the $70 million renovation.
As fans walk into the stadium for Saturday's game against Illinois State, they will see and feel a change not felt since the stadium opened on Nov 22, 1924.
"I would say the change the transformation is something that you can't describe," said assistant athletic director Jay Cooperider. "A number of us on the staff have seen it up close so you have the chance to see the evolution to before and then after. But for fans who have not been in the stadium since last December they are going to be floored."
click on the above link for the full story
Weekly Football Teleconference Coach and player quotes from Tuesday, August 27 Aug. 27, 2002 WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Joe Tiller , Head Coach "On the fact that there are several younger players on the two-deep depth chart, especially at wide receiver... I can't say I'm surprised by the number of youngsters, and I'm actually encouraged by the number because we think we have some good young football players that have come aboard. As far as the receiver position is concerned, we might not have a newcomer there except for the (Taylor) Stubblefield situation. (Seth) Morales did practice with the first group on Sunday, so I believe it would be safe to say that Seth is back. However, we have had some muscle pulls are the receiver spot, so that would dictate that we put some younger guys in the lineup. On the other side of the coin, we think guys like Jamaal Wilson have made tremendous improvement and need to be on the field for us. Even if Stubblefield was healthy, a guy like Anthony Chambers would be on the field."
On what defenses are doing against the spread offense... I believe there is a defensive trend in all of football because the spread offense isn't unique to college football. If you watch the NFL today, you'll see many of the teams running spread formations which you didn't see five years ago. As a result, I think defenses have worked extremely hard at scheming up the spread offense and that has given great credibility to the zone blitz. We see an awful lot of that in the college game now, and blitzing is just the standard of operations. I've been asked if I believe we will see as much blitzing as we saw a year ago, and my response is "yes." The reason for that is not because of what we are doing, but from a cyclical standpoint of what defenses are doing."
for the full story click on the link above ____________________________ Security Measures, Traffic Changes In Place Use of pass-outs to continue at Ross-Ade Stadium in 2002 Aug. 28, 2002 http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/082802aaa.html "Purdue opens the 2002 campaign Saturday, Aug. 31, against Illinois State. The home of the Boilermakers since 1924 is undergoing a three-year, $70 million transformation that is due for completion in 2003. Roughly two-thirds of the project, including the dazzling pavilion that houses suites, club seats and press area; sound system; and new seating in the north bend are now finished.
"Fans who have not seen Ross-Ade in person since the Notre Dame game last December simply won't recognize it," said coach Joe Tiller . "We're excited to get after it in what we consider a nearly new stadium."
Paid parking will primarily be located on the Gold and Black Intramural Fields west of the Recreational Sports Center and south of State Street. Most of Slayter Hill now is reserved for permit parking. A small paid parking area remains at the intersection of David Ross Road and Tower Drive.
Fans who do not display paid parking permits will be directed by police officers to Stadium Avenue, Third Street and State Street.
Those with permits will be directed to Cherry Lane and Stadium Avenue. "
for the full story click on the link above _________________________
Purdue opens up its season Saturday against an unlikely opponent.
The Boilermakers will go up against the Illinois State Redbirds, a Division I-AA team, at 1 p.m. This is only the second time Purdue has played an I-AA team. The other was against Indiana State in 1990.
Head coach Joe Tiller said the reason for the strange match-up is because of the 12th game that has been added to the schedule.
"The reason is because a traditional team you would look at and say 'That is a good football program' or 'That is an up-and-coming program; boy, they would be a really good opponent.' North Carolina State is a good example of that," said Tiller. "All of these universities, including Purdue, had to find a 12th game, but guess where they all want to play it? They want it at home. So this week you see a lot of games you wouldn't normally see, or maybe they moved a game to accommodate someone else."
for the full story click on the link above
Extra game proves beneficial for team By Doug Elish Staff Writer
" Season ticket holders should notice something different about the upcoming season.
For the first time in Purdue history, the Boilers will play seven home games. The extra home game brings the total number of games to 12, which is the most regular season games the Boilermakers have ever played.
The extra game this weekend against Division 1-AA Illinois State will not only be exciting for the fans, but it should also benefit the players. The experienced gained form another preseason game will help heading into the Big Ten season.
"Whether or not we play a 1-AA team doesnít concern me, but I ask that we donít do it every year. Competition makes a team better and Iím not going to say anything negative about Illinois State because who knows: they could come in here and win," said head coach Joe Tiller. "Iím looking forward to it, but I will say this: I think we also have to have a little luck in terms of no picking up any initial nicks or bruises. The concern is not much the extra game as it is playing healthy," said Tiller. "
for the full story click on the link above
Lowe still stands as Purdue's man Winning back starting tailback's spot just latest in a long line of challenges By Steve Warden The Journal Gazette http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/3962174.htm "WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue tailback Montrell Lowe is all too familiar with the feeling of being hunted, if not unwanted. He knows about getting knocked down, but never staying down. He knows about being chased, but seldom caught.
And this is from his teammates. It was about this time last year when, after sophomore backup tailback Joey Harris put up significant numbers in Purdue's season-opener at Cincinnati, Harris was supposed to be the guy who would replace Lowe - which is how it's been the last few years. Surely, someone could supplant Montrell Lowe as Purdue's No. 1 tailback.
And, for a while, it looked as though Harris could be the one who'd get the starting job. He followed up his seven-carry, 79-yard game against Cincinnati with 68 yards and two touchdowns against Akron. But although the wheels didn't fall off, his production did, and Lowe was still the highest on the depth chart, and stayed there the rest of the season. In the end, Lowe gained 690 yards on 183 caries while Harris had 287 yards on 58 carries"
for the full story click on the link above ____________________________ Purdue notebook Purdue drafts Lowe for kickoff returns Boilers call on their senior running back who is already 5th on their all-time rush list. By Michael Pointer email@example.com August 29, 2002 "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Montrell Lowe has never returned a kickoff in a game during his Purdue career. But in practice during his redshirt season in 1998, he impressed the coaches doing exactly that.
"We could never tackle him before he got back to midfield, and that was against our No. 1 cover team," coach Joe Tiller said.
The coaches remembered. With the Boilermakers looking to upgrade their kickoff return game -- it was ninth in the Big Ten last season -- they have turned to Lowe. The school's fifth all-time leading rusher will be the Boilers' primary returner when they open the season Saturday against Illinois State."
click on the above link for the complete story ___________________________________ Gardner avoids redshirt with quick recovery from broken leg By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200208280purdue_football1030596975.shtml "Gilbert Gardner is full of surprises. He arrived at Purdue in late summer of 2000 as a wide receiver. He was soon switched to linebacker and made such a smooth transition that he ended up making 11 starts that season.
His 2001 season ended early, on Nov. 10, laying in agony on the turf in Ohio Stadium with a broken right leg. Coming into this year's preseason training camp, the Boilermaker coaches figured they'd have to redshirt Gardner, to give him more time to get back up to speed.
But Gardner has played so well during camp, that he made the decision for the coaches a no-brainer. He'll see a lot of playing time Saturday when Purdue opens the season against Illinois State."
for the full story click on the link above _____________________________ Boilers eager for 1st look at touted freshman receiver By Michael Pointer firstname.lastname@example.org August 29, 2002 "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Joe Tiller hasn't done a good job hiding his excitement over Ray Williams. "(He) has a chance to be special," the Purdue coach said on national signing day last February. "He's tall, fast, and he's got an 1,180 (on his SAT entrance exam). He's smart, he's mature. To me, he's the complete package."
"He's a physical kid," offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said. "A lot of track guys come in and won't touch anybody. Ray will hit you. He likes that."
Tiller repeated that to Purdue fans and alums during speaking engagements this summer. As if to prove his point, the freshman from Scotch Pines, N.J., is listed No. 1 at one wide receiver spot heading into Saturday's opener against Illinois State."
for the full story click on the link above _____________________________
"The Boilermakers offensive approach this year is no secret; they plan to throw Ö a lot. The only question is who will be catching all of the passes.
The wide receiver group is going into this season as a question mark for the Boilermaker offense.
The good news is that all three starting wide receivers from last year are returning: sophomore Taylor Stubblefield, junior John Standeford and senior Seth Morales. "
Morales has been practicing with the first team this week and that could be key for the Boilermakers because Morales is also coming back as the teamís punt returner. "
click on the above link for the full story
Tiller wants to make stadium 'sea of gold' By Jason Tomcsi Sports Editor http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2002/08/30§ion=sports&storyid=jerseys
" For football head coach Joe Tiller there is just something about gold that is delicious sounding.
It is this feeling that has led to a change in garb for the Boilermakers, as beginning this season they will wear gold uniforms at home.
"We want to give ourselves a different look," said Tiller. "Our fans at Ross-Ade Stadium have come a long way in terms of helping us and that's certainly an advantage. We have suggested over the last three years to be bold and wear gold, and for some reason, it hasn't caught on. So we think the program needs to take the lead.
"With those thoughts in mind, we want to turn the stadium into a sea of gold."
click on the above link for the full story
Redshirts look forward to game action By Danielle Mitchell Staff Writer
This season, Boilermaker football fans will be seeing a few new faces on the field.
As the Purdue football team prepares to take on Illinois State at home for the first game of the season, redshirt freshmen are looking forward to seeing some game time action.
Redshirt freshman tight end Charles Davis said he is eager about Saturday's game and feels he has a good chance of playing.
"This will be my first game in almost two years," he said. "I'm a little nervous but I'm excited to play."
Brent Hawkins ... "I played the first two games last year, but just on special teams. It's still going to be exciting and feel like my first time out there," he said. "I'm trying to step up and be the player that they want me to be; the pass rusher. I think that I'm going to do a good job of that helping the team out this year."
click on the above link for the full story
Football program improves, gains depth By Andrew Hershberger Assistant Sports Editor
" Head football coach Joe Tiller has been here six years and he's done what he was supposed to do: improve the program.
"We have some depth in some positions this year where our first year, I don't think we had any depth anywhere," Tiller said. "This year, we feel good that we have four tailbacks that we can put on the field. We feel very good about the six or seven linebackers that we can put on the field. We feel good about the six combinations of defensive backs that we can put on the field."
Now his focus is on improving the team further. Last season, the Boilers finished 6-6, 4-4 in the Big Ten. While the spread offense faltered in its first season post-Drew Brees, the defense stepped up and continues its dominance this preseason.
"I thought we were improved slightly on offense, but our defense just dominated us this spring," Tiller said. "Anytime I've been around teams with good defense they usually turn out pretty good."
click on the above link for the full story
L. Johnson, Mruczkowski, Odom And Ralph Turner Voted Football Team Captains Head coach Joe Tiller says being a captain the 'greatest honor a player can receive' Aug. 27, 2002 http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/082702aab.html WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Landon Johnson , Gene Mruczkowski , Joe Odom and Ralph Turner have been selected captains for the 2002 Purdue football team by their teammates.
"I think being voted captain is the greatest honor a player can receive because it's decided by your teammates," head coach Joe Tiller said. "All four of these guys are deserving. Everybody is eligible to be a captain on our squad, so to be one of the top vote-getters says a lot about the respect you have earned from your teammates."
It is the first time in Tiller's 12 seasons as a head coach that he has had four captains. His teams have selected three captains on six occasions (five at Wyoming and in 1997 with Purdue).
for the full story click on the link above ____________________________ GAME PREVIEW GAME TIME: 1:00 p.m. Illinois State at Purdue http://www.spoilermaker.com/02isupre.html "Purdue opens the season against the Division 1-AA Illinois State Redbirds. Heavy Favorites, this should be a good warm up for the Boilers as they prepare for the trip to South Bend to take on new head coach Ty Willingham's Fighting Irish for his virgin game in the land of golden domers.
Illinois State may not be picked to win their division, however they do have several players who stand out as stellar perfomers by Divison 1-AA standards. Senior RB Quincy Washington is a big strong back weighing in at 209 pounds who has a chance to break some big plays if his offensive line can open some holes against the Boiler defense. Washington averaged a team high 5.8 yards per carry last year even though he only had the opportunity to start one game.
One of the co-captains, Senior WR Vito Golson has big play potential as well. He was a 2001 second team all-gateway conference pick last year and could be one of the better receivers in all of Division 1-AA football this season."
Purdue 49 Illinois State 3"
for the complete story click on the link above _______________________________ The Daily Word - Weekend Preview By Andy Gamm Editor's Note: Joining me this week, after nailing the margin of victory tiebreaker in week one is MSU fan Bres-Lynn. When push comes to shove, never put it past a woman to out pick a bunch of men who think they know it all. She may be a prognosticator of few words, but pay attention, she knows her stuff. Play along this week, and every week, on the message board . Picks are due in by 11am Saturday.
http://www.thefinalscore.net/index.html "Illinois State at Purdue This one may battle MSU - EMU for cupcake game of the week. On paper, I'll give the nod to the match-up between one of the better five-year teams in the Big Ten and 1AA weakling Illinois State. This should be the perfect tune-up for Purdue as it seeks to get back into Big Ten title contention after a year with a surprisingly great defense and a woefully inept offense. Brandon Hance left the team, meaning it is time for Kyle Orton to shine. He has plenty of weapons around him and the defense is stockpiled with talent. This game should give the one weakness - the Boilermaker offensive line - a chance to come together. Thank goodness this isn't televised because it'll be a yawner! PURDUE 41 - ILLINOIS STATE 6.
Bres-Lynn says: All of the Purdue fans will like the new uniforms better with a little dirt and a win on them. Purdue wins big. Purdue 34 - Illinois State 10"
For the rest of this week's Big 10 game previews, click on the link above ____________________________
"Hershberger's Hope: Nothing against Illinois State in particular, but they are a Division I-AA school for a reason. The Redbirds went 2-9 last season, 2-5 in the Gateway Football Conference. They really don't stand a chance against Purdue, but as coach Joe Tiller said, you really can't overlook these teams. I think this will give the Boilers a good opportunity to test-drive our freshmen and inexperienced players in a low-pressure situation. I give the Boilermakers 35, but that might be conservative. Purdue 42, Illinois State 7.
Tomcsi's Testimony: When asked why Purdue was playing a I-AA school, head coach Joe Tiller said his team had to play somebody other than themselves. Congratulations to the Redbirds, they get a chance for Purdue to work out the kinks in the offense and receive a division I-A beating. Fans will get a chance to wander the stadium and take a look at the improvements because I guarantee that whatever they are serving in one of the new concession stands is more interesting than watching Purdue roll up on Illinois State. But maybe I am not giving the Redbirds a fair shot. Maybe they could pull off some miracle upset. But then again probably not. Purdue 56, Illinois State 10." ________________________________
Coach, player suspended Recruitment rules violated in Pontiac football program
By Bryan Bloodworth Sports editor " BLOOMINGTON -- Pontiac High School football coach Mick Peterson and senior quarterback Isaac Monts were sacked Wednesday by the Illinois High School Association for violating recruiting bylaws.
IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman announced that Peterson is ineligible to coach at any IHSA member school for one year "for exercising undue influence to secure the attendance of Monts at Pontiac High School."
Monts, who transferred to Pontiac from Woodland High School in South Streator, was ruled permanently ineligible to participate in interscholastic activities at Pontiac as a result of his recruitment to the school.
Pontiac High School officials have appealed the decision to the IHSA Board of Directors and will present their case Tuesday. "
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