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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO TexasBoiler'S COLUMNS

PURDUE FOOTBALL:
Old Gold Free Press Update For 9-10-200


4 Days to Western Mich Game at Ross Ade Stadium


Date: 9/10/2002
Author: TexasBoiler
TexasBoiler

    Good morning Boiler Fans! Another bitter loss to ND, another game we should've won, and each of us is going through various stages of anger, depression, and trying to take away some postives from the weekend. One positive is that Drew Brees lifted our spirits with a stellar performance in his first NFL start on Sunday. There is a can't miss article below, second from the bottom, that you must see regarding Drew watching the game like one of us diehards on Saturday. Also, Rosey Colvin, got the game ending sack and forced fumble to help Da Bears pull off another squeaker. It's time for Jerry Angelo to make Rosey an offer he can't say no to before he gets too expensive!

    My first Report Card of the season leads off today's Update, and is followed by all sorts of post game coverage and a look ahead to the Western Michigan game. Projected attendance is 55,000 for this weekend and personally I'm discouraged by that figure. Western Michigan is a heck of a lot better team than ILL St and should be in this game for the first half. This is not an exhibition game. We should have at least 60,000 for this game and it's time for some of you fence leaners to get off the schnide and step up to support our program this weekend. I can assure you that I would be at this game if I lived within a 3 hour drive of this contest. Now is when the team can use a little lift from a very supportive, as close to capacity as possible, crowd this weekend. The game is not televised so if you want to see it, you have to show up.

    It looks like a balmy 81 degrees with mostly cloudy skies for this Saturday in God's Country. I'm already jealous of all those who get to spend a perfect day amongst their Boiler friends tailgating and watching live Boiler Football. Does it really get any better than a football Saturday in West Lafayette, IN? I don't think so.

    -Barclay
    _____________________________

    Barclay's Report Card for Purdue - ND
    9/7/2002

    Offensive Line... (B+)

    These guys have improved tremendously since the ND game last year. They have cut down on penalties and have developed physically to the point where they are opening some holes for our running game. I thought they protected Kyle Orton fairly well for most of the game giving up 2 sacks. I don't think they are quite in the 2000 o-line league yet as they have more TE help than that team had but I'm pleased with their performance.

    Running Backs... (B-)

    Normally, if one of our backs goes over 100 yds rushing against Notre Dame, I'd say this group deserves an A. However, both Harris and Lowe had fumbles and Lowe's fumble really hurt the team as it went for 6 the other way. Take away the fumbles and you have a lot to look forward to from this group. Harris was outstanding as our primary back but I think 25 carries is too much for him per game. He can't be that fresh down the stretch after taking a pounding on that many carries. I'd like to see Lowe get at least 10 carries per game. His first and only carry of the game went for a game high 24 yards and he showed his uncanny ability to break tackles and get extra yards. Jerod Void looks to be an excellent short yardage, red zone back - he has great leverage in terms of getting low and extending towards the goal line.


    Wide Receivers/Tight Ends... (C)

    Standeford was the best WR on the field Saturday and I wish we had gone to the fade route one more time down the stretch. He had 5 grabs for 110 yards. Other than Johnny though, Chambers and Noel (when given the chance) were the only others who seemed to get open and make the catch. I was hoping for more out of Morales, Wilson, Williams, and Rucks and ended up very disappointed. We know these guys were up against some of the best DB's they will see all year an we know we ran the ball more than usual for the spread offense but we need more production out of these guys going forward.


    Quarterbacks... (B-)

    I'm struggling with 14-30 and a slightly less than 50% completion rate. Granted, Kyle may have thrown the ball away correctly at times and his WR's may share the blame for not getting open as often or as quickly as they should have. Yet, from my vantage point I see Kyle fixated on one side of the field and not getting to his reads on the other side too often. It's hard to say without having the coaches wide angle film to see if he was making the correct progressions on each pass attempt. I thought he made some outstanding sideline fade pattern reads and throws to Standeford. His interception was partly his fault as he threw it too hard and behind his intended receiver. While he hustled to catch Duff, it was too late and that play was a killer down the stretch. The overthrown screen pass to Harris was very costly as Joey had nothing but our lineman in front of him and that would've made the score Purdue 21-17 to start the 4th quarter if I remember correctly. He also had Chambers open late and overthrew him but the play was going to be called back anyways. It is my belief, that Kyle needs to throw more than 30 times per game and a few more times in succession to get a better rythm going. All in all, not a bad performance for his first major start in a hostile environment.

    Defensive Line... (B+)

    Shaun Phillips had a banner game with 6 tackles and a sack, and at least 1 hurry. Nesfield had a key sack and forced fumble and his cohort Vedran Dzolovic was on the spot to recover the fumble. Brent Hawkins had a sack also. The ends deserve and A- but the Tackles a B grade. Johnson, Terrill, Grover, etc did their job taking on blockers but were not dominating against a very good ND interior O-line.

    Linebackers... (B+)

    Niko Koutovides continues to impress the heck out of me. He is all over the field, covering folks, and making plays on the run. He had 10 tackles including 2 tackles for loss. Goolsby was much higher rated coming out of HS and he was incredible for ND but I thought Niko was every bit as talented on Saturday. Gardner and Odom pitched in nicely as did Jon Goldsberry. As we all know, we are deep at LB, even Leimberger, Bucher, and Iwuchukwu got in there to mix it up. It's hard to say we missed Landon Johnson but I think we did, slightly. I think with Landon on the field, we may have forced a second turnover.

    Safeties... (A-)

    Is there any question that STU is unbelievable even without his fifth gear? He was ALL OVER the field with 12 tackles includuing 6 solo tackles and 2 tackles for loss. You could see him straining a bit trying to chase down Holiday on a blitz...he was not quite 100% out there. Yet, STU at 90% is amazing to watch and makes a big difference when he is in there.
    Ralph Turner is very physical against the run and had an excellent game also. He had 6 tackles including a hit that knocked Ryan Grant out for a series or two. We might have the best pair of safeties in the conference.

    Cornerbacks... (A-)

    Maybe it was an inept QB on the other side or WR's who did not come to play, but I'd say our CB's played one heck of a game. ND only had 50 passing yards, which is simply stellar for our pass defense. Major praise goes to Rogers and Reeves for stepping up their play last week.

    Special Teams... (C+)

    We were back in the D grade territory after Ferrell's inconceivable kickoff return fumble where he ran into his own guy and ND got the loose ball for 6. That play grated on me as much as the infamous Dorsch/Vinny fake punt call a couple years ago. We just seem to be the Bad News Boilers at least once per game at ND. However, Anthony Chambers brought the grade up with a tremendous punt return for a TD that gave us some life. Lacevic was very solid in his attempts and Slaton punted the ball well. I still think we need to find a better kickoff guy and was jealous as ND's guy had a couple touchbacks. Kick coverage did not allow any homeruns, so they passed, despite some missed tackles.

    Coaches... (B-)

    I actually thought Chaney did some smart things with our offense. The 2 TE shift to create a mismatch for our running game worked brilliantly. The screen pass call to Harris was beautiful and the players failed to execute. The reverse call to freshman Ray Williams on the last drive was very ill advised in my opinion. Why not look for Charles Davis and see if he could bull his way forward for the first down? Maybe we could go back to Chambers over the middle or try the screen again to Harris? I loved the sideline fade patterns to Standeford, might have tried that one more time or had JS sell the fade and come back to get the first down and get out of bounds on the last series.

    I don't like running the ball 38 times and passing it 30 times. If anything, I'd like to see it be the opposite or more towards 35 pass, 33 run. We are a passing offense and I'd like to have seen Standeford, Chambers, Noel, or Harris get another chance to make a big play via the pass.

    I've been thinking about burning 2 timeout on the last series and I can't argue with the first one as it was a HUGE 4th down play and might be one to talk over with a young QB. The second timeout was painful as it was because of incorrect personnel and confusion. Still, I don't know if one timeout would've saved us after we turned the ball over on downs. I'm thinking ND could've still run out the clock.

    Brock Spack had his guys kicking arse all game long. Can't say enough about the job our defensive coaches did on Saturday. Holiday had the deer in the headlights look as did Ty Willingham after the game.

    Special Teams got ugly early but recovered nicely in my opinion.


    Intangibles...(D)

    Luck of the Irish, Luck of the Irish, Luck of the Irish. Need I say more? I will though...3 TD's off turnovers that they really did not force is simply "The Luck of the Irish". The only reason for the lack of an F here is that Setta uncharacteristically missed 2 FG's, though one was partially blocked.


    Fans... (B)
    Nice road effort. Actually heard "Let's Go Boilers" on NBC after we scored to tie the game.

    _________________________

    Purdue - ND stats recap
    by Brad Jewell

    http://www.oldgoldfreepress.com/gridiron/2002/press/notredamestats.pdf
    ___________________________
    Boilersmakers self-destruct
    Interception, two fumbles result in 21 Irish points
    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200209086purdue_football1031461591.shtml
    SOUTH BEND -- With Touchdown Jesus and the Luck of the Irish on their side, Notre Dame usually doesn't need any help winning games in its own stadium.
    Little did the 23rd-ranked Fighting Irish know that visiting Purdue would come bearing gifts Saturday. Heck, the Irish didn't even have to unwrap them, as they returned two fumbles and an interception for touchdowns en route to a 24-17 victory -- their 13th in a row over the Boilermakers in South Bend, dating back to 1974.
    The game made first-year Irish coach Tyrone Willingham a winner in his Notre Dame Stadium debut.
    "Whenever I've been involved in a closely contested game, in all the years I've coached, it invariably comes down to one thing -- and that's turnovers," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "If you win the turnover battle, you win the close games. If they win the turnover battle, they win the close games, and that's what they did."
    click on the above link for the full story
    _____________________________
    Boiler turnovers give Irish victory
    By Jason Tomcsi
    Sports Editor
    http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2002/09/09§ion=sports&storyid=index

    "The luck of the Irish never seems to run out.
    The turnover onslaught began with 13:48 left in the second quarter when senior running back Montrell Lowe caught a screen pass, slipped and then fumbled. Irish safety Gerome Sapp picked up the fumble and ran 54 yards for the touchdown.

    On the ensuing kickoff came the next turnover.

    Junior safety Deaunte Farrell dropped the ball and after picking it up the ball popped straight into the air. It fell into the hands of Notre Dame's Lionel Bolen who then strolled four yards into the end zone.

    "Those turnovers are huge," said junior free safety Stuart Schweigert. "That's a real momentum builder, especially when it turns into a touchdown."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ___________________________

    Punchless Irish take away win
    ND scores off 2 fumbles, interception
    By David Woods
    david.woods@indystar.com
    September 08, 2002
    http://www.indystar.com/article.php?ndfb08.html,sports
    "SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For the second game in a row, Notre Dame's offense couldn't produce a touchdown. Uncharacteristically, Nicholas Setta couldn't kick a makable field goal.
    Purdue, on the other hand, couldn't keep its hands on the football. So, as usual, Purdue couldn't win at Notre Dame Stadium.
    The No. 23 Fighting Irish returned two fumbles for touchdowns just 11 seconds apart, then secured a 24-17 victory when Vontez Duff scored on a 33-yard interception return with five minutes to play Saturday.
    The Irish appeared more vulnerable in victory than Purdue did in defeat, but the fact they won in coach Tyrone Willingham's home debut was satisfactory to him."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ___________________________
    Boilers defense does its part
    Notre Dame manages just 58 yards in second half
    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier
    "SOUTH BEND -- In baseball, the situation is known as a "hold" -- prevent the opponent from scoring additional runs after it has taken an early lead.
    The Purdue football team's defense found itself needing the ultimate "hold" Saturday in Notre Dame Stadium after the Fighting Irish built a 17-0, second quarter lead.
    While Notre Dame eventually secured a 24-17 victory against the Boilermakers, Purdue's defense certainly was not the culprit.
    For junior free safety Stuart Schweigert, who returned from a knee injury to make a team-leading 12 tackles in his first 2002 action, there was no margin for error when the Irish led 17-0.
    "There definitely was a sense of urgency," Schweigert said of Purdue's defense. "It was like two years ago here -- down 14-0 and came back strong. We knew we could do it."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ____________________________
    Latest loss might be most frustrating
    Purdue shuts down Notre Dame's offense but loses the ball, and with it, the game.
    By Michael Pointer
    michael.pointer@indystar.com
    September 08, 2002
    "SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Twice in the fourth quarter Saturday, one of the nation's top place-kickers trotted onto the field. Twice, Notre Dame's Nicholas Setta missed makable field goals.
    That surely was a sign the Purdue football team was about to end 28 years of misery at Notre Dame Stadium, wasn't it?
    "Once he missed (the second field goal), I really thought we were going to come down and score," Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton said.
    But history shows bad things happen to the Boilers in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus. Notre Dame's Vontez Duff intercepted a deflected pass less than two minutes later and returned it 33 yards for a TD to give the 23rd-ranked Irish a 24-17 victory."
    click on the above link for the full story
    _______________________________

    Monday Morning quarterback
    Tiller sees promise despite Purdue's loss to Irish
    September 09, 2002
    http://www.indystar.com/article.php?pufb09.html
    by Michael Pointer
    "With the teams we've taken up there in the past, if we had been down 17-0 (Purdue's deficit late in the first half), I'm not sure they would have come back like this team did," said Tiller, who has watched Purdue lose three games at Notre Dame by a total of 10 points during his six-year tenure.
    Tiller was especially pleased by Purdue's line play on both sides.
    "We were concerned going into the game how our fronts would hold up, but both our fronts passed the test," he said Sunday. "We blocked a very physical defensive front better than we have in the past."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ____________________________
    Physical line play, intensity please Tiller
    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200209090purdue_football1031549692.shtml
    "The 24-17 loss not only was the Boilermakers' 13th in a row in South Bend, but the manner in which it happened was very familiar, turnovers and poor special teams play.
    But, despite the fact that Purdue now has lost 15 of its past 17 games against the Fighting Irish, Boilermaker coach Joe Tiller managed to find a silver lining in Saturday's disappointing setback.
    "It was a well-played game from an effort standpoint," Tiller said Sunday, after reviewing tapes of the game. "Both teams probably feel, when they look at the tapes, that things were a little shoddy at times, but I think effort-wise it's one of the better games we've been involved in.
    "I think that's the best we've played up there, and that's the most intensity we've had up there."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ____________________________
    Errors keep Purdue a national wannabe
    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier
    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/columns/200209085purdue_football1031461591.shtml
    "SOUTH BEND -- As the final seconds ticked away Saturday afternoon in Notre Dame Stadium, a vivid, two-year-old image popped into my head.
    I thought of Drew Brees and Vinny Sutherland sitting at a tiny table in front of reporters at Penn State, attempting to contain their anger after a two-point loss.
    In so many words, each said that until Purdue proves to itself that it can travel to Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State and win, the Boilermakers' national reputation falls short of elite status.
    Purdue was positioned to shed its demons in the shadows of "Touchdown Jesus'' on Saturday but let another golden opportunity slip away."
    click on the above link for the full story
    __________________________
    Redshirt freshmen make most of playing time
    By Mike Carmin, Journal and Courier
    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200209084purdue_football1031461591.shtml
    "SOUTH BEND -- A handful of Purdue freshmen regularly gathered last year, fully aware they wouldn't see any action during the 2001 season.
    The topic of conversation didn't center on if they played, but when. Three of those redshirt freshmen -- running back Jerod Void, defensive end Brent Hawkins and tight end Charles Davis -- burst on the scene Saturday afternoon during the Boilermakers' 24-17 loss to No. 23 Notre Dame in front of 80,795 fans.
    "We were all in the dorm rooms (last year), talking how we were ready to play and how we wanted to make an impact any way we could," Void said.
    Void's impact was a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:50 left in the third quarter, bringing Purdue within 17-14. Hawkins delivered a big play in the second quarter, sacking quarterback Carlyle Holiday and forcing the Irish to punt."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ____________________________
    Setbacks dishearten Lowe
    By Mike Carmin, Jeff Washburn, and Jim D. Stafford, Journal and Courier
    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200209082purdue_football1031461590.shtml
    "SOUTH BEND -- Montrell Lowe is perplexed about his role on this year's Purdue football team.
    The fifth-year senior running back lost his starting job to junior Joey Harris during preseason practices. Coach Joe Tiller had Lowe return kickoffs during last week's opener against Illinois State, and he started out as Purdue's return man Saturday afternoon against Notre Dame.
    But Lowe's fumble early in the second quarter on a screen play gave the Irish their first score and led to a 24-17 defeat for the Boilermakers.
    After the fumble, Lowe never stepped on the field for another play. Before his fumble, Lowe had rushed for 23 yards, moving the Boilermakers into Notre Dame territory for the first time.
    Lowe, who had rushed for 2,479 yards as a three-year starter prior to this season, said it's been a difficult transition up to this point."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ___________________________
    Harris' rushing effort encourages Tiller
    Standeford's performance also pleases coach
    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
    "SOUTH BEND -- The offensive numbers weren't outstanding. One touchdown, 15 first downs and 318 total yards.
    But against Notre Dame's stingy defense, which shut out Maryland in its season opener, Purdue coach Joe Tiller managed to find some positives, even after a 24-17 loss.
    "This is a very, very stout defense against the run, and I'm ready to go back to practice, because I think we're going to be able to run the football some this year."
    With Joey Harris carrying 25 times for 109 yards, the Boilermakers rushed for 147 yards against the Fighting Irish. The one negative for Harris was a fourth quarter fumble that Notre Dame recovered at the Purdue 25-yard line, although the Irish failed to score.
    "I thought Joey played well," Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton said. "I know Joey feels bad about that fumble, but you make mistakes. He's having a great year and the offensive line played great today. "
    click on the above link for the full story
    __________________________
    Turnovers hide Notre Dame's offensive woes
    By Jim D. Stafford, Journal and Courier
    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200209081purdue_football1031461590.shtml
    "SOUTH BEND -- Gerome Sapp and Lionel Bolen got Notre Dame off to a quick start, and Vontez Duff provided the perfect ending for a 24-17 victory over Purdue in Tyrone Willingham's home coaching debut Saturday.
    The Fighting Irish turned three Boilermaker turnovers into touchdowns on a day when their offense continued to struggle.
    After a scoreless first quarter, Sapp returned a fumble by Purdue running back Montrell Lowe 54 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Bolen caught a fumble by Deaunte Ferrell and went four yards to put the Irish up 14-0.
    After Purdue tied the game at 17-17 and regained possession of the ball with a little more than five minutes remaining, Sapp tipped a pass by Purdue's Kyle Orton, which Duff intercepted and scampered 33 yards for the decisive score."
    click on the above link for the full story
    _________________________
    Defense confuses Holiday
    Boilers' blitzes result in Irish QB completing 7-of-22 passes for 50 yards.
    By David Woods and Michael Pointer
    david.woods@indystar.com
    September 08, 2002
    "SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- In an opening victory over Maryland, quarterback Carlyle Holiday was scholarly in Notre Dame's new offense. In Saturday's 24-17 victory over Purdue, he looked like a failing student in need of remedial classes.
    "We just tried to get in his head and confuse him a lot," Purdue linebacker Niko Koutouvides said. "It seemed to work out real well."
    Holiday was 7-of-22 passing for 50 yards, completing just two throws to wide receivers. Preparing for Purdue's varying blitzes was one thing. Doing something about them was another.
    "Me and a couple of guys felt really embarrassed," Holiday said. "We shouldn't feel like that. We felt like that toward the end of the game."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ___________________________
    Bob Kravitz
    Purdue does everything except win
    September 08, 2002
    "It is, in fact, always something. (I believe Sartre said that. Right after his existentialists blew a two-touchdown lead with a minute left to Kierkegaard's crew)
    If ever Purdue was going to bust up The Streak, this was the afternoon. But then, it seems like we say the same thing every year, especially since Joe Tiller has been on the job in West Lafayette. The Boilers have dropped 13 in a row during those 28 years, and it seems each succeeding loss is more incomprehensible than the last.
    "Irish mystique, or something," said Purdue wide receiver Seth Morales. "Somehow, balls seem to bounce their way."
    When all of this starts making sense, please stop me:"
    click on the above link for the full story
    __________________________
    Loss to Notre Dame yields some positives
    By Andrew Hershberger
    Assistant Sports Editor
    http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2002/09/09§ion=sports&storyid=NDsider225
    Junior wide receiver Anthony Chambers returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

    "Coach got on me all week long; he just told me once I catch the ball to get upfield," Chambers said. "That's what I did, I saw a seam and got up the field and scored with it."
    "I think our defense came out and played really well," sophomore linebacker John Goldsberry said. "I was impressed with how we performed on the field, we were pretty intense. We held them to three points on defense, but they got some big plays. That's what they came out to do."

    "We just kept the ball in our offense's hands as much as we could," junior safety Stu Schweigert said. "We only created one turnover and that's something we wanted to improve on. We were hoping to have three or four."
    "We made some big plays," Tiller said. "We were down 17 to zip and we came back to tie it. We did a good job on the road; we moved the football and did some things with it. Our passing game is going to be good."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ____________________________


    Purdue-Western Michigan: Sept. 14, 2002
    Sept. 9, 2002
    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/090902aaa.html
    Game Notes in PDF Format
    Download Free Acrobat Reader
    Purdue Boilermakers (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
    vs. Western Michigan Broncos (1-1, 0-0 MAC)
    Ross-Ade Stadium (66,295) - West Lafayette, Indiana
    September 14, 2002 - 1 p.m. EST - Band Day/Family Day
    ALL-TIME RECORD: 523-448-48 (.537) - 115th season
    BIG TEN RECORD: 280-312-32 (.474) - 107th season
    PROJECTED ATTENDANCE: 55,000
    RADIO: Boilermaker Sports Network (Flagship - WAZY, 96.5 FM, West Lafayette) - Joe McConnell (play-by-play), Pete Quinn (color commentary), Brett Schetzsle (sideline), Tim Newton (pregame/halftime/postgame)
    TELEVISION: none
    A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The Purdue football team, under sixth-year head coach Joe Tiller , plays host to Western Michigan, of the Mid-American Conference, on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. It is Band Day and Family Day. The Boilermakers, who play their next three games at home, are 1-1 with a 51-10 win over Illinois State at home Aug. 31 and a 24-17 loss at No. 23 Notre Dame on Sept. 7. Purdue is one of merely two schools in the Big Ten Conference and one of only 13 nationally to play in a bowl game each of the last five seasons.
    IF THE BOILERMAKERS WIN ...
    * They will begin the year 2-1 for the fourth time in six seasons under head coach Joe Tiller (also 1997, 1998 and 2000). Purdue won its first three games in 1999 and 2001.
    * They will improve to 5-1 against Mid-American Conference schools under Tiller and 28-6-1 all-time.
    * They will improve to 27-5 at home under Tiller"
    _____________________________
    Sept. 21 Football Game Against Wake Forest To Kick Off At 1 p.m. EST
    No television for the Boilermakers, Demon Deacons
    Sept. 9, 2002
    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/090902aab.html
    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Big Ten Conference this morning announced its television plans for Sept. 21, and the Purdue-Wake Forest game is not among them.
    As a result, the Boilermakers and Demon Deacons will kick off at 1 p.m. EST at Ross-Ade Stadium.
    ___________________________
    Drew's 1st start a Brees: Ex-Boiler shines in NFL
    http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/sports/4035775.htm
    CINCINNATI - He spent his Saturday afternoon walking off 10 yards at a time in his downtown Westin hotel room, throwing insults at the TV, then feeling like he was going to throw up. Finally, when it all got to be too much, he dialed the number of his former quarterback coach, who passed the phone to the offensive coordinator, who passed the phone to the head coach, who nearly passed out when he realized who was on the line.
    "Coach Tiller," an angry Drew Brees barked into his silver, pocket-size cell phone. "Oh God. I just can't believe this happened again! Just like '98."
    So this is how Drew Brees gets ready for the NFL.
    He paces in his hotel room on a sweltering Saturday afternoon, frantically calling his fiance, Brittany, over to the TV to tell her Notre Dame just got another one on his former team in South Bend. Then another. And another. Then he feels sick to his stomach. So he turns away, turns back, and watches more.
    "Didn't it remind you of the last few times we played at Notre Dame?" Brees asked Sunday, standing in front of his first NFL microphone after his first regular season start and his first win. "That's OK. Two years from now will be the 30th anniversary of us last winning a game at Notre Dame. We're going to beat them then. Guarantee it."
    After it was all done - after the touchdowns, the yards, the win and even the quarterback rating that more than tripled his heart rate (136.8) - his direction was the same as it seems it's always been, back on the field doing the post-game interview that used to be conducted on something called a "Brees Box" at Purdue, then waving to former Purdue players Ben Smith and Scott Kurz who were in the stands, then waving to fans wearing black jerseys in the stands.
    "I saw those jerseys," he said. "You know you're in the Midwest when you see the Purdue 15s."
    click on the above link for the full story
    ____________________________
    Michael Pointer: Purdue Q&A
    THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR
    September 9, 2002
    http://www.indystar.com/article.php?purdueanswers_p.html
    "Question: Being Taylor Stubblefield's first grade teacher, I have followed his progress through the years. How's his noggin? (That's first grade lingo ... not sure melon would have been appropriate.) When can I expect to see him back on ESPN? Go Taylor!!! (Buddy from Yakima, Wash.)
    Answer: That's a tough question to answer. He will not play against Western Michigan this week. Stubblefield told me in July he was hoping to be back for the Notre Dame game, but his return might be delayed until the Iowa game on Oct. 5. Joe Tiller said this Sunday that Stubblefield will be tested every two weeks. As soon as he gets the clearing from doctors, he will return to practice.
    He's scheduled to undergo another test next week. Tiller also has said doctors have told him the recovery time for this type of injury is 2-5 months. That means Stubblefield could return any day, but there's also a chance he'll miss the entire season.
    Here is the situation in a nutshell: I know the coaches want him back. But I also know they are planning as if he's not going to be around this year. That tells me that whatever they get from him this season, they'll consider a bonus"
    click on the above link for the full story
    _____________________________




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