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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO TexasBoiler'S COLUMNS

PURDUE SPORTS:
Old Gold Free Press For 10-15-2002


4 days to upset over top 10 UM at Ross-Ade, 4 days to Mackey Magic!!!


Date: 10/15/2002
Author: TexasBoiler
TexasBoiler

    Hello again, BoilerManiacs! You might be a BoilerManiac if:

    1. You've been able to reach deep inside and fight past all thoughts of "our season is over, therefore I'm going to quit watching and supporting this team"
    2. You have committed to getting to the game this weekend and plan to be LOUD and PROUD from the opening kickoff to the final whistle
    3. Your realize that a win over top 10 Michigan IS POSSIBLE this weekend and you plan to inspire our Defense to play with that extra bit of emotion and swagger that separates winners from losers
    4. You remember that the last 2 times Michigan has come to Ross-Ade Stadium, Da Boilers have prevailed. In fact, if there ever was a national powerhouse who has felt the repeated sting of "The Spoilermakers" at Ross-Ade, it has been Meeechigan. Unofficially, I think we've spoiled it for a higher ranked, top 20 Michigan team in 1976, 1979, 1994, and 2000. So why not add one more to the list?
    5. You realize that we have some serious football recruits visiting (who we need to impress) this weekend to include:

    A. 3-star Verbal WR Jake Cunningham from Pontiac, ILL (whose family has requested permission to "say hello" to us tailgaters informally - so stop by Lot D and look for the Gold football flying high on the flagpole and the Wonder Bread Truck painted up with Boiler stuff between 8:30am and 10:20 am or so). So you know, Jake is the favorite to win ILL Offensive Player of The Year and he has told Nebraska and ILL to stop calling him! He is a bigger, faster, healthier version of Vinny Sutherland. He's already a favorite to return kicks and punts for us next year.
    B. 3-star Verbal ATH Cole Seifrig from Heritage Hills, IND (close friend of Jon Goldsberry's family and it's possible that BoilerJoe and The Goldsberry's may stop by also with or without Cole). So you know, Cole may be as explosive as Jake Cunningham and already goes 6-2, 195 lbs.
    C. 3-star Safety recruit Bernard Pollard from Fort Wayne - may be leaning our way and has an incredible 22 forces fumbles and 7 recoveries so far this year!
    D. 3-star LB/DB recruit Corey McKeon from Naperville, IL - may be leaning toward Wisco but this visit could sway him
    E. 1-star OL Chris Norwell from Cincy, OH - he's light at 6-7, 235 lbs but the upside is said to be there and the competition is not as fierce
    F. 4-star TE Garrett Bushong from Ionia, MI - a soft verbal to MSU who may back out if Bobby Williams is let go
    G. 3-star TE Brian Faires from Ben Davis HS in Indy - said to be leaning our way
    H. 2-star TE Josh Powell from Wyandotte, MI.
    I. 2-star OL Pat Sharrow from Monroe, MI - we are in his top 3
    J. 4-star DE Ray Edwards from Cincy, OH and 3-star RB Travis Thomas from Washington, PA may visit

    6. After we beat Michigan (and even if we lose), you decide that it's time to get behind our basketball programs and head over to Mackey Magic 30 minutes after the game. The program is only expected to last for an hour with 20 minute scrimmages for both the men's and women's teams and a dunk contest for the men. I'm anxious to see if the guys will be playing tough defense in the scrimmage and also if Teague, Deane, or Buckley have the skills to outduel Kilgore in a dunk competition. MORE IMPORTANTLY, we have several top recruits (list forthcoming soon), who will be on hand to observe the atmosphere so if you want to make a difference, this is a HUGE oppurtunity to show these kids how much we love our basketball at Purdue!

    On Friday, we will have much more in preparation for the Michigan game but until then here are a couple of my thoughts...

    Over the last 2 weeks and granted Kirsch played more time...
    Kirsch under center - 38 or 45 points scored (defense did score once)
    Orton under center - 14 points scored

    Can anyone compare 3rd down conversion percentages over the last 2 weeks under each? I think Kirsch has that one in his favor also. In fact he does according to "Boilerz":

    "By my count, over the last two weeks, the team converted 6 of 18 third down conversions (33.3%) with Kyle at the helm and 9 of 16 (56.3%) with Brandon at the helm. Of further note, in the 3 games Kyle was the 4th quarter QB and we spent at least a portion of the 4th quarter trailing our opponent (ND, WF, and WMU), the team converted just 3 of 17 third down conversions (17.6%) in the 4th quarter. With Brandon at the helm in the 4th quarter of the last two games, the team converted 4 of 5 (80%, 5 of 7 if we include the OT) and just once during our two 4th quarter scoring drives against Illinois did the chains even show a 3, and that wouldn't have occurred had it not been for a penalty on Purdue. "

    My biggest thing for next week is that UM has an awesome pass rush and I think Kirsch would be more effective with his added mobility/elusiveness and quicker pass strikes. As for my early scouting report on UM, having watched them play Penn St. and ND this year...

    UM has an impressive front 7 and their secondary will be fast and physical. Still, ND scored some offensive points on them and so did Penn St. I don't expect us to put up 28 or more pts this weekend but I think 24-27 with Kirsch playing all game is realistic. Kirsch may not have the running lanes that he did the last 2 weeks but if he can buy extra time and elude the pass rush, he will see some open WR's. Last year Standeford was abused by press man, this year I expect him to turn the tables and kick his man's ARSE all afternoon. If you see Michigan holding him (and the will HOLD him), make sure you are ALL OVER the refs early and often!

    QB John Navarre may be a step quicker and is throwing more accurately this season but he is NOT at Griese, Brady, or Drew Henson's level of skill. Navarre's OL has done a good job protecting him so either Phillips, Terrill, and others have to step up their play or we will have to decide how/when to blitz some guys to pressure Navarre. If we give Navarre too much time in the pocket, he can pick us apart. He is prone to throwing silly picks if pressured. First and foremost (as is almost always the case) we have to completely stymie Michigan on 1st and 2nd down and force 3rd and 7's or longer where our crowd can inspire the D to make big stops and force some turnovers. Navarre relies on well set up screens to his RB's, misdirection bootleg plays to his very solid TE (Joppru) and in my opinion a future NFL WR in Braylon Edwards. Edwards may not be Marquis Walker or David Terrell quite yet but he is very athletic and could give us fits. Bellamy is a fast WR, but inconsistent with his routes.

    Perry and Askew are capable RB's but neither have 4.4 speed and neither are racking up 100 yd games with regularity like Fred Russell at Iowa and Harris at ILL the past 2 weeks. We should be able to contain the run if we play the lanes correctly. We absolutely must work on defending the screen and the misdirection, bootleg pass plays. Those are the staples of Michigan Football, along with the WR fade in the redzone. Spack must have the kids practicing over and over again for these staples so we are REALLY ready to execute this time. Lloyd Carr is not an innovator on offense and if they have a lead he will go ultra conservative and give us a chance to rally. His idea of innovation might be a reverse or a halfback option pass but don't expect to see 4 WR's and a spread offense.

    Michigan's FG kicker has been inconsistent also but you'd have to give them the edge in terms of blocking kicks or getting better returns or forcing a ST turnover. It goes without saying, that we really need to eliminate ALL ST debacles this weekend if we want to increase our chances of getting the W.

    Well, here's my ILL report card and the rest of the news...

    Barclay's Report Card for Purdue - Illinois

    10/12/2002
    Offensive Line...(B+) Outstanding game with over 600 yds of offense, half of that on the ground. Downside was giving up 3 sacks.

    Running Backs... (A+) Almost had 2 guys get 100 yds, led by Brandon Jones with 24 carries for 127 yds (5.3 ypc) and 1 TD. Jones also caught a screen and rambled 36 yds for a TD. Harris had a nice day with 16 carries for 79 yds before a shoulder stinger took him out.

    Wide Receivers/Tight Ends... (A-) Standeford had a big day with 11 catches for 161 yds. Stubbs backed him up with 7 for 55. Rhinehart was okay with 3 for 15 yds.


    Quarterbacks... (B)... Orton had a very strange day as he led a strong first drive to the goal line, was 12-14 passing, but had 2 tough picks and a fumble at our 8 yard line. The turnovers led to 17 ILL points and Kyle was replaced by Kirsch. To his credit, he threw a brilliant Hail Mary pass that should've been a TD for Purdue to win the game. I give Kyle a C+. Kirsch gets an A- as he moved us in for scores to the tune of 24 pts and had us in position to win the game. His 10 scrambles for 67 yards were key to sustaining drives. His 14-22 for 161 yds and 1 TD and no TO's was solid.

    Defensive Line... (D) Had major trouble with ILL's running game and produced no sacks or tackles for loss

    Linebackers... (B-) Niko led the team with 14 tackles but missed a safety opportunity early. Odom had 7 tackles. Each of them got a sack also. Great second half until the last series, struggled in the first half.

    Safeties... (C-) Ferrell filled in capably for the injured STU and had 5 tackles. Turner added 3 stops. Very rough first half, great second half until the last drive and OT.

    Cornerbacks... (D+) Lloyd torched us for 161 yds on 10 catches. Struggled on run contain also.

    Special Teams... (D-) Yikes...we gave up a 105 yd kick return for TD to start the game and also had a fumbled punt return that hurt our momentum in the 2nd half. Berin got back on track with a FG and remains perfect on extra points. Slaton pooched punt well again. Those 2 factors brought the grade up slightly above failing. Much work to be done on returns STILL.

    Coaches... (D+) I expected a lot easier time with ILL and we made it a major struggle. The guys rallied nicely again after gettting down but the breakdowns in Special Teams and on the last series defense holding a lead are getting real old.

    Officials...(D) New category this week that should've been introduced after the Wake Forest Game. At least 2 game outcome determining calls went in ILL's favor and that is inexcusable and worthy of and apology from the Big 10 and some suspensions. Instant Replay must be part of the game next year. The 2 calls in MAJOR dispute are:

    1. ILL RB Antoneo Harris's knee going down at the 2 on 4th and goal from the 1 with 15 seconds to go. Harris would eventually push the ball past the goal line after his knee was down and ILL got the TD call. IF called in our favor, Purdue has to have one successful snap and the game is over.

    2. Hail Mary pass from Orton to Standeford with no time left on the clock in regulation was seen by most (even an ILL fan on TheFinalScore.net) as a catch with at least one foot and the ball crossing the goal line before Johnny was pushed back to the half yard line

    Fans... (A+) Sounded like we had a very strong contingent making the long trip and we neutralized whatever home field advantage ILL was expecting. In fact, we may have a slight home field advantage frome what I hear. Awesome Job! Let's build on that effort and reach peak effectiveness early at the Michigan game and NOT LET UP FROM THERE!

    -Barclay

    _________________________________

    Purdue's starting QB will be named later in the week

    By Michael Pointer

    michael.pointer@indystar.com

    October 14, 2002


    "Purdue coach Joe Tiller cautioned not to consider Brandon Kirsch the Boilermakers' starting quarterback just yet.

    Tiller said after Saturday's 38-31 loss at Illinois that Kirsch would be the starter if he had to name one right then. But he backed off that slightly after watching videotape on Sunday.










    "If a guy played bad, you have an easy decision that's black and white," Tiller said. "But (Kyle) Orton did not play poorly."

    Orton, who has started the past 10 games, was 12-for-14 for 127 yards but threw two interceptions. Purdue was trailing 24-0 when he was pulled.

    Tiller said he will observe both in practice this week before making a decision. Purdue hosts Michigan on Saturday."

    for the full story click on the link above

    ___________________________

    Lots of yards add up to 3-4

    Fate frustrates Tiller, players

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200210140purdue_football1034572589.shtml


    "After Purdue's fourth close defeat of the season Saturday, coach Joe Tiller was reminded that the 38-31 overtime loss at Illinois was another statistical win for the Boilermakers.

    "Big deal, huh?" Tiller said sarcastically Sunday.

    You know what they say about statistics. They're for losers, and that's something the Boilermakers have been doing a lot of lately, seemingly finding new ways to go down to defeat each time.

    Purdue's four losses -- to Notre Dame (24-17), Wake Forest (24-21), Iowa (31-28) and Saturday in overtime at Illinois (38-31) -- have been by a combined 20 points.

    In those four defeats, the Boilermakers have outgained the opposition in each game -- 318 yards to 203 for the Fighting Irish, 477-368 against the Demon Deacons, 507-384 versus Iowa and 566-417 against the Fighting Illini."

    for the full story click on the link above

    ___________________________

    Abracadabra! Victory goes up in smoke


    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200210120purdue_football1034485427.shtml


    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The magic is gone.

    "Maybe it's only a temporary condition, but the Purdue football team has lost its way to the winner's circle.

    Remember October, 2000? Remember how Drew Brees created new and exciting ways to produce victories against Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Ohio State?

    That always will be a fond memory for Boilermaker football fans who now are in a state of shock.

    Illinois' strange -- believe me, this game in Memorial Stadium was flat out weird-- 38-31 overtime victory pushed those who saw it over the edge."

    for the full story click on the link above

    ____________________________

    Boilers suffer excruciating loss

    Purdue erases 24-point deficit but again fails to make key defensive stop

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200210121purdue_football1034485427.shtml


    "CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- And you thought last week's loss at Iowa was a heartbreaker.

    Not with this Purdue football team. It just keeps writing new chapters about bitterly disappointing defeats.

    The Boilermakers had scored 31 consecutive points to rally from a 24-0 deficit. But then they let Illinois drive 80 yards in the final minutes to force overtime.

    After the Fighting Illini scored on a 7-yard pass from Dustin Ward to Greg Lewis in the first extra session, the Boilermakers failed to score, with quarterback Brandon Kirsch's fourth down pass hitting the ground in front of intended receiver Chris James.

    The 38-31 defeat was Purdue's sixth consecutive road loss, dating back to last season."

    for the full story click on the link above

    ____________________________

    Defense endures another collapse


    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/columns/200210123purdue_football1034485427.shtml


    "CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- To use a baseball analogy, the Purdue football team's defense is at a loss to explain a second consecutive "blown save."

    The Boilermakers took a four-point lead into the final 70 seconds at Iowa, only to lose on a fourth down play.

    Illinois, which registered a bizarre 38-31 overtime victory Saturday in Memorial Stadium, forced OT with a fourth down touchdown with three seconds remaining in regulation.

    Iowa drove 83 yards for its winning score against Purdue's designated "closers," and Illinois moved 80 yards in 17 plays when the Boilermaker defense was positioned to "close" what would have been a 31-24 victory.

    Big play-making defensive end Shaun Phillips, who recovered a Fighting Illini fumble, can't pinpoint a central theme for back-to-back "blown saves."

    for the full story click on the link above

    _____________________________

    Trick play exploits weak special teams


    By Mike Carmin, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200210126purdue_football1034485427.shtml


    "CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Another special teams miscue has left the Purdue coaching staff searching for answers.

    On the opening kickoff of Saturday afternoon's eventual 38-31 overtime victory by Illinois, the Fighting Illini returned it for a touchdown. While the Boilermakers recovered to force overtime, the mental state of the special teams took a big hit.

    "It doesn't make us happy, but I don't know what we can do," a dejected Purdue coach Joe Tiller said afterwards.

    The Fighting Illini knew what to do after watching film of the Boilermakers. Illinois ran a reverse when Eugene Wilson caught the ball in the end zone and handed it off to Travis Williams, who raced the final 90 yards for the score.

    The combined return set a school record."

    for the full story click on the link above

    ____________________________

    Rally may earn Kirsch start

    Turnovers send Orton to bench

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200210122purdue_football1034485427.shtml


    "CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Purdue coach Joe Tiller has a decision to make this week.

    Who will be his starting quarterback next Saturday when 10th-ranked Michigan visits Ross-Ade Stadium?

    "We'll see in practice," Tiller said after the Boilermakers' 38-31 overtime loss to Illinois. "But if I had to name one today, which I don't have to, so the hell with you. But if I had to, I'd name Kirsch."

    That would be true freshman Brandon Kirsch, who for the second game in a row, came off the bench to replace starter Kyle Orton.

    But during last week's loss at Iowa, Kirsch was called on after Orton suffered a mild concussion in the third quarter. This time Tiller turned to Kirsch because Orton was struggling, with two interceptions and a fumble.

    Both times, Kirsch delivered big time."

    for the full story click on the link above

    _______________________________

    Illini ignore boos, enjoy exhausting win


    By Jim D. Stafford, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200210125purdue_football1034485427.shtml


    "CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois coach Ron Turner looked like he had played in his team's thrilling 38-31 overtime victory against Purdue.

    He entered the postgame press conference with a dampened Gatorade towel draped across his neck. His brow was dripping with sweat. His shirt was soaked. His voice was hoarse.

    But he had a big smile across his face.

    "That was a great game," Turner said. "Two teams showed a lot of heart and a lot of character. There were two teams that just laid it on the line and gave it everything they had."

    Turner felt the gamut of emotions Saturday as he watched his team take a 24-0 lead, only to later fall behind 31-24. The Illini tied the game in the final seconds to force overtime and then won it in the extra session."

    for the full story click on the link above

    ______________________________

    Football Game Notes

    Purdue-Michigan: Oct. 19, 2002


    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/101402aaa.html


    "Oct. 14, 2002

    Purdue Boilermakers (3-4, 1-2 Big Ten)
    vs. #11/#9 Michigan Wolverines (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten)
    Ross-Ade Stadium (66,295) - West Lafayette, Indiana
    October 19, 2002 - 11:05 a.m. EST

    ALL-TIME RECORD: 525-451-48 (.536) - 115th season
    BIG TEN RECORD: 281-314-32 (.474) - 107th season

    PROJECTED ATTENDANCE: 60,000-65,000

    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) / Westwood One - John Tautges (play-by-play), Shea Walker (color commentary)

    TELEVISION: ESPN - Mark Jones (play-by-play), Bob Davie (color commentary), Holly Rowe (sidelines)

    A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The Purdue football team, under sixth-year head coach Joe Tiller, plays host to perennial power Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. From 1997 to 2001, only Michigan won more Big Ten Conference games than Purdue (33-26). The Boilermakers and Wolverines are the only two Big Ten schools - and two of only 13 nationally - to play in a bowl game each of the last five seasons.

    IF THE BOILERMAKERS WIN ...
    * They will beat a ranked opponent for the first time since defeating No. 12 Ohio State 31-27 on Oct. 28, 2000.
    * They will beat Michigan for the second time in three years and for the third time in the last five meetings (also 1996). From 1969 to 1995, Purdue defeated the Wolverines only three times (1976, 1979 and 1984)."

    for the full story click on the link above




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