Hello again, everybody! If you had asked me before the season started to predict this weekend's game, I would have said that Purdue would come up short once again in South Bend. Most of us know the facts...we have not one in South Bend since 1974 and despite incredible opportunities to get the W the last 2 times up in South Bend, somehow we found a way to lose. The last 2 games in South Bend have been unbelievably heart wrenching, as we seem to be the team that does not have the fortitude to step up in crunch time. I mean, the last time we were up there we watched ND's 3rd string TE, er QB for the day, march ND down the field for a last second FG opportunity. We also made horrific mistakes like the silliest fake punt you will ever see from our own 20 yd line or so that handed over an easy 3 pts to ND. Add in an interception that went the other way for a TD that day, and one can come to the conclusion that the biggest key to tomorrow's game for us is to avoid handing ND easy points. Perhaps our defense or special teams can FINALLY get OUR TEAM some easy points in South Bend.
I'm especially wary of kicking the ball (kickoffs or punts) to ND's Vontez Duff. He only has 2 returns for TD's in his last 2 games. If I'm Scott Downing, I'm putting at least my 4 fastest players on kick return coverage (Williams, Harris, Reeves, Rogers/Void, STU) and even still I will look to kick the ball away from Duff, or maybe just kick it out of bounds every single time. I'd rather see ND start from their own 35 on our kickoffs then see Duff tear our hearts out once again.
As for throwing INT's that go the other way for 6, I am praying all night long that we avoid this completely. Shane Walton had 3 picks last weekend and his partner in crime at CB is Vontez Duff. Neither of this guys are very big (5-11, 185 lbs and 194 lbs respectively), but they are cat quick. My strategy would be the following with these guys:
1. Attack them physically. They may try to play the classic ND press man, er holding coverage, so let's show off the work we did in the weight room this offseason and ram a forearm or elbow into their gut as we break off the line of scrimmage. Let's put them on their heels this time. If these guys feel a little pain and are backpedaling, they won't be in a position to pick the ball off.
2. Let's see how high these guys can get up on the jump ball. Someone tell me why 6-4, former hoops star, John Standeford would not outleap and outbattle these guys for the rock. Johnny has been kicking Jaques Reeves's 6-1, 200lb arse on jump balls during fall camp consistently. The films I saw on Kevin Noel in HS showed him winning jump ball after jump ball down the sidelines. Noel is 6-3, 211 lbs, tell me who's going to get position - Noel or Duff/Walton? Duff/Walton might have great hops, and they might have more desire, but if our guys match their desire they have the physical advantage to win these battles!
3. Orton needs to use his eyes and peripheral vision to avoid telegraphing his throws. This is the toughest thing for a QB to do in my opinion. Also, he needs to use pump fakes to freeze defenders.
Alright, enough about my "strategery" and tactics. The bottom line is that I think are kids will be VERY focused tomorrow and will pull out a squeaker. Despite the fact that ND is much better coached this season, despite the fact that it will be a seriously hostile environment for Willingham's first home game, and despite the fact that past history is not on our side...my diehard heart says...Da Boilers 23, and The Irish 20. The Bosnian Tornado aka Berin Lacevic has seen much more adverse conditions than kicking a game winner at ND on national television. Tomorrow, he will nail a 35 yarder down the stretch that ends the vaunted streak, and his teammates will carry him on their shoulders all the way back to God's Country.
Orton will go 22-36 for 265 yds and 1 TD...he will throw a pick but it won't be returned for a TD. Harris and Lowe will combine for 125 yds rushing and Joey will break one for 25 yds and a TD. Holiday will throw one up for grabs and someone for Purdue will return it for a TD...we will then go for 2 and not convert or we will miss an extra point. ND will score their first offensive TD, convert on a 2pt conversion, and Nick Setta will kick 4 FG's. That's just how I see it. Of course, if Purdue wants to send me into a week long state of euphoria, they are more than welcome to get ahead early and pull away for a 17 point victory :-)
Plenty of news coverage to follow and for those of you heading up to South Bend, Godspeed! The following page of audio/video clips may help you prepare for tomorrow...in particular, I'd check out the first one on the page and the last one.
Controlling line of scrimmage pivotal to Saturday's outcome By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200209060purdue_football1031288935.shtml "When the scoreboard clock reads 0:00 to signal the end of Saturday's Purdue-Notre Dame game, the media will write and talk about the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Or maybe about a linebacker or defensive back who had a key fumble recovery or interception. Or a kicker who booted the game-winning field goal. But, chances are, it will be the "big uglies" in the trenches who will really determine the outcome. And, in recent years, the Boilermakers have struggled when they play teams noted for playing "smashmouth football." "The games we've had problems with are the games we get in trouble at the line of scrimmage," said Purdue offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jim Chaney. "It still gets down to that. If we can control the line of scrimmage, we can buy enough time to get receivers open." click on the above link for the complete story ___________________________ Road to frustration Purdue players believe they can gain program's 1st win at South Bend since 1974 By Michael Pointer email@example.com September 04, 2002 http://indystar.com/article.php?pufb04.html "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Brock Spack has left Notre Dame Stadium feeling plenty dejected over the years. He has reminded his players of that in an effort to motivate them to play their best when the teams meet again Saturday afternoon. "He doesn't try to hide it or low-key it," free safety Stuart Schweigert said. "He just comes out and says we haven't won in there for so many years. We just have to go out there and win." Added Spack: "When I was a player here, I always thought this was the game you're judged by. How you matched up with Notre Dame told you what kind of football team you had." click on the above link for the full story _________________________
Purdue to analyze strengths during bout with Notre Dame By Jason Tomcsi Sports Editor http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2002/09/05§ion=sports&storyid=ndpreview1
"Saturday's football game against No. 23 Notre Dame is a test.
It will be a test to see where the Boilermakers stand and what kind of season lies ahead.
"This will be somewhat of a barometer for our football team," said head coach Joe Tiller. "Because what we will see this Saturday is the type of front play we will see in the conference, so I am anxious to see how our team responds. Are they better prepared? We think they are and we will find out when we play the game."
"They consistently beat us on special teams and big plays," said Schweigert. "As far as offense and defense I think we match up very well, if not better than them.". click on the above link for the full story _________________________
In the huddle http://www.indystar.com/article.php?huddle04.html,sports Up next: Purdue (1-0) plays at Notre Dame (1-0) Saturday at noon (WTHR-13, WNDE-1260 AM.) "Stubblefield out: WR Taylor Stubblefield, who had targeted this week as his return after an off-season skull fracture, will not play. Stubblefield underwent about six hours of tests in Indianapolis this week and doctors did not clear him, coach Joe Tiller said. More updates: FS Stuart Schweigert likely will be back, but LB Landon Johnson may be missing from the Boilers' lineup on Saturday. Schweigert, an all-Big Ten performer last season, returned to contact drills on Tuesday for the first time since suffering a knee sprain on Aug. 15. Johnson suffered a dislocated shoulder in last Saturday's 51-10 victory over Illinois State. He did not practice on Tuesday. "We're not ruling him out for Saturday and he's not ruling himself out," Tiller said. Tiller said TE Mike Rhinehart (concussion) also had not been cleared to return to practice, but Tiller thinks he will be back in time to play on Saturday." -- Michael Pointer click on the link above for the full story __________________________ Boilers prepare to end drought against Irish By Jason Tomcsi Sports Editor http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2002/09/06§ion=sports&storyid=index "Head coach Joe Tiller said he was guilty of thinking the Boilers had beaten the Irish two years ago.
"I thought we had the game won," said Tiller. "We were playing so well defensively and we were really struggling offensively. When Drew (Brees) hit Vinny (Sutherland) and we scored the touchdown I thought there was no way the Irish were going to score. I really thought 'Hey we won at Notre Dame.'"
Four years ago another late field goal ended the Boilers' hopes of a win when Notre Dame's Jim Sanson kicked a 17-yard field goal with 57 seconds left for the 31-30 victory.
Tiller said because the Boilers have been so close the past few times in South Bend, a win would be huge. "Our team is looking forward to winning this game more so than any other game we have had to date," said Tiller. "We might go up there and get hammered 50-0, who knows, but at least our guys think they belong on the field playing those guys." click on the above link for the full story ___________________________
Boilermakers seek end to South Bend skid By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200209050purdue_football1031202267.shtml "The last Purdue football victory over Notre Dame in South Bend came seven weeks after Richard Milhous Nixon resigned as the 37th president of the United States. It was Sept. 28, 1974, and the Boilermakers went into Notre Dame Stadium and upset the second-ranked Fighting Irish 31-20. But since then, in 12 return visits to the stadium that sits in the shadow of the Golden Dome and Touchdown Jesus, Purdue has come out on the short end of the stick every time. That's 28 years and 12 games without a victory at Notre Dame. "That's a long time," said Purdue senior defensive tackle Craig Terrill. "I mean, I wasn't even alive the last time Purdue won up in South Bend." click on the above link for the full story ________________________ Schweigert's return boosts defense Junior expected to play against Fighting Irish By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200209040purdue_football1031116324.shtml "Not playing against Illinois State is one thing, but being on the sidelines against Notre Dame is something else. Which is why Purdue junior free safety Stuart Schweigert claims he will be ready Saturday when the Boilermakers travel to South Bend to take on the 23rd-ranked Fighting Irish. "I practiced for the first time on Sunday and felt pretty good," said Schweigert, who sprained his left knee three weeks ago and missed the season opener against the Redbirds. "It's gotten better every day and I feel pretty good on it. So I think my chances of playing this week are pretty good." click on the above link for the full story ________________________ Boilermakers shall defeat insolent Irish By Jason Tomcsi Sports Editor http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2002/09/05§ion=sports&storyid=notredamesucks
"This year marks Joe Tiller's sixth season as the head coach of the Boilermakers.
I can still remember when I was a freshman in high school and he was announced as the new head coach.
To say that Purdue football was going through a tough time is an understatement. The Boilers hadn't had a wining season since 1984, so the Boilermaker faithful had a sense of optimism entering the 1997 season. But after a 22-36 loss to Toledo in the season opener, hopes faded quickly. There were those who said a wide open offense would not work at Purdue or the Big Ten, a criticism illustrated by the Boilers' inability to beat a MAC team.
Then it happened.
One beautiful September day, Tiller and his boys put Purdue football back into the spotlight when they beat Notre Dame 28-17 at Ross-Ade Stadium." click on the the above link for the full story _____________________________ ND Notes By JASON KELLY Tribune Staff Writer http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2002/09/05/sports.20020905-sbt-MICH-B2-Illness_has_Watson_u.sto "Senior linebacker Courtney Watson continues to be sidelined with a viral infection, his status still uncertain. He became ill on Notre Dame's trip to New Jersey for the Kickoff Classic last week. Watson did not play against Maryland and has not practiced this week. "As soon as that is to such a degree that he is able to practice," Willingham said, "we'll gradually start to work him in." Willingham also said senior offensive guard Sean Milligan missed practice time Wednesday with muscle spams, labeling his prognosis "day to day." Freshman wide receiver Rhema McKnight practiced in pads after missing the previous day with his right arm in a sling. McKnight caught passes and participated in most drills early in the practice, though he still noticeably favored his arm. An ankle sprain kept sophomore running back Marcus Wilson out after only two carries last Saturday night against Maryland. He returned to practice Wednesday, showing no lingering effects, though his ankle remained taped." click on the above link for the full story ________________________ Backs seeking better showing
By JASON KELLY Tribune Staff Writer http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2002/09/05/sports.20020905-sbt-MARS-B1-Notre_Dame_needs.sto "Running will be an integral part of the Irish offense no matter how much California flair it includes. And Notre Dame better improve in that area or the so-called West Coast offense will be stuck in neutral again Saturday against Purdue. Grant's 23 carries for 66 yards in last Saturday's win over Maryland provided more than half of Notre Dame's rushing output of 130 yards, a trifling total that tempered the enthusiasm for an otherwise impressive performance. Quarterback Carlyle Holiday passed with precision and the Irish receivers provided the ignition for an explosive debut. But Notre Dame never scored an offensive touchdown, winning on the strength of five Nick Setta field goals, a Vontez Duff punt return for a touchdown, and a defense that wouldn't have allowed Dr. Laura to make a point." click on the above link for the full story _________________________ Lougheed on par as lineman for Purdue By Pete DiPrimio of The News-Sentinel http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/sports/4001184.htm "His job is to smash somebody, blow a defender off the line of scrimmage or keep him far away from quarterback Kyle Orton.
In this, Lougheed's senior year, awe has become comfort. Anxiety has yielded to anticipation. Pete is a better player this year than last year just because, and he probably won't admit it, but I think he was a little in awe of the position," the veteran coach said. Year two of Lougheed's transformation from tight end finds him handling that No.2 role just fine. At 6-5 and 295 pounds, he is on par with the rest of his fellow linemen, who range from 6-2 to 6-7 and from 286 pounds to 299 pounds.
"It's night and day from last year," he said. "I feel 100 percent more comfortable. A lot of it is experience, and a lot is gaining some weight and getting stronger." click on the above link for the full story __________________________ Demotion leaves Purdue running back Lowe frustrated Associated Press
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/sports/4007437.htm "I thought I would get the bulk of the carries," Lowe said. "I knew a lot of the younger guys would get some and that's when I'd sit down. It's kind of hard," he said. "When you get to this point, you wonder what's going to happen. I just have to stay patient." "I think Joey is a little more talented than Montrell is," Tiller said." Harris, a 5-foot-11 junior, is faster and quicker than Lowe and a better blocker, Tiller said. Tiller said Lowe is a hard-running back who can break tackles, but is hindered by his 5-8 frame. "It makes it difficult for him to step in there and block those blitzing linebackers," Tiller said. "When he's overmatched physically, he has a tendency to go down and try and cut the guys and take his legs out from underneath him. Sometimes if that's right in the passing lane, that's not the best thing for a blocker to do. Joey will go put his bean on a guy and stop him." click on the above link for the full story __________________________ Purdue's Odom ready for ND It will be first trip to historic stadium in South Bend for the fifth-year senior. By Michael Pointer firstname.lastname@example.org September 06, 2002 http://indystar.com/article.php?pufb06.html WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Joe Odom is a fifth-year senior and one of the Purdue football team's four captains. But Saturday, he might be as wide-eyed and giddy as the freshmen. Like them, he will be making his first trip to Notre Dame Stadium, when the Boilers (1-0) play the 23rd-ranked Fighting Irish (1-0). "Growing up, I always thought they were the best team out there," the Purdue strong-side linebacker said. "That's what everyone is led to believe, and they really are a really good team with an awesome history. It's real exciting to go up there." Odom had just two tackles in last week's 51-10 victory over Illinois State, but Spack said that's to be expected against a team that runs a spread-style offense. "That's why I'm excited about this weekend," Odom said. "It's going to be a lot more up tempo. It's going to be a lot more fun." click on the above link for the full story _____________________________ Receiver plans to make big impact By Andrew Hershberger Assistant Sports Editor http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2002/09/06§ion=sports&storyid=raysourguy17 He hasn't caught a pass yet as a collegiate athlete, but chances are, he'll catch a lot of them before he's done in West Lafayette. "For a guy his size - he's 6-foot-2, but soaking wet he's only 175 pounds - he brings some toughness," Gilmore said after practice Wednesday. "The kid is not afraid to go in there and put his face on."
As a senior at Scotch Pines-Fanwood High School, he not only caught passes for an average of16.8 yards per catch, he also picked off six passes as a cornerback. He set the New Jersey state record in the 400 indoors at 47.45 seconds. He's been timed at 4.4 in the 40.
"We recognized a chance to get him, and from day one he liked us," Gilmore said. "All the receivers we had committed and signed before him - that didn't scare him in the least. He's a very competitive kid and he feels he brings something to the table." click on the above link for the full story ___________________________
Notre Dame sets regulations for tailgating By Yuri Victor City Editor http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2002/09/06§ion=city&storyid=index "They decided to change the tailgating policy again, this time reducing regulation.
The administration will now allow tailgating before and after the game, but not during. Purdue students attending the game can only tailgate in a vehicle hosted by a Notre Dame student.
Phillip Johnson, assistant director of security employees at Notre Dame, said tailgating "is a great game day tradition - something our fans enjoy. The university is pleased to be host for these gatherings."
But, he said many people use tailgating as an excuse to stage all-day drinking parties. "These people are virtually oblivious to the games. It's that behavior we want to stop." click on the above link for the full story _______________________________ Michael Pointer: Purdue Q&A THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR September 4, 2002 http://www.indystar.com/article.php?purdueanswers_p.html "Question: What's your take on the new press box, the new uniforms, and the Boilers' chances at South Bend on Saturday? From Tiller's comments on Joey Harris and Jerod Void, it sounds like Montrell Lowe might be third string in a couple weeks. From a fan's point of view, the restrooms and the space under the stands is wonderful. No five deep lines at a trough in the restroom and plenty of room to socialize at halftime. Thanks for all your great articles on the Boilers! (George from Knightstown, Ind.) Answer: 1) Love the new press box. Great place for us in the media to get our work done, and a great asset to the university in general. Purdue will be able to do things in it that just weren't possible in the old place. 2) Uniforms aren't that attractive. It's hard to read the numbers, and gold is just kind of ugly. But my opinion doesn't count; Joe Tiller has the final say. 3) Purdue can win if three things happen on Saturday. It must get good special teams play, its offensive line must show it can handle Notre Dame's front seven, and Orton must have a good game. It's a tossup, in my opinion. I'm looking forward to it more than any Purdue game since the Rose Bowl." click on the above link for the full story _____________________________ Brees' 1st foe knows him well Ex-Purdue QB will make 1st NFL start vs. Bengals, who coveted him on 2001 draft day. By Mark Curnutte The Cincinnati Enquirer September 06, 2002 http://indystar.com/article.php?brees06.html "If San Diego had not taken the former Purdue quarterback with the first pick of the second round of the 2001 draft, he probably would have landed in Cincinnati four spots later. "He's a great competitor," Bengals coach Dick LeBeau said Wednesday. "He has faced adversity. And he has played in an offense that got him hit, and you could watch that young man compete and get knocked down and get up and bring his football team back to score points." LeBeau said a defense normally has an advantage playing against a young quarterback making his first NFL start. "But this quarterback has thrown the ball 50 times a game for the last 10 years," LeBeau said of Brees. "In college, all they did is open everything up. People pressured him. He's seen every blitz you're going to see. Hopefully, we can make it at a little bit different than he has seen. We're not going to fool him." "I expect them to blitz the heck out of me, which is fine," said Brees, who made one appearance last season, in which he was 15-for-27 passing for 221 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. "I feel like I'm going to be prepared for everything they have." "He's had considerably more background in the passing game than a lot of kids that come out of college," he said. "That's kind of accelerated his progress. The other part is, he's very instinctive. The decisions that he makes are based more on instinct." click on the above link for the full story ___________________________ NCAA honors Komara September 05, 2002 INDIANAPOLIS http://www.indystar.com/article.php?localbrfs05.html "Former Purdue basketball standout Kelly Komara has been selected as one of 50 state winners in connection with the NCAA's annual Woman of the Year award. A national winner will be selected Nov. 2 from 10 finalists, who will be determined later this month. Criteria for the award include academics, athletics and community service. Komara, who had a 3.49 grade-point average while majoring in physical education, was first-team All-Big Ten last season and honorable mention All-American. She played on Purdue's 1999 NCAA title team and three conference champs. The Schererville native volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and THE CHAPS (Therapy, Health and Education through Children and Horses as Partners), walking disabled children on horses." _______________________________
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