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Good morning Boiler Fans! This year's football team is on a roll with 4 consecutive victories over then top 25 Wake Forest, Arizona, Notre Dame, and last week's shellacking of Illinois. 3 of those 4 games (excluding AZ) were retaliation victories for tough losses last season. We did not have the opportunity to get even with JoePA and Penn St. last season, but tomorrow we get our chance! We are 0-6 against The Nittany Lions since they joined the Big 10 in the early 90's and I'm sure nearly all of us can recall the painfully close losses in 1999 and 2000. Hopefully, the sting of those losses will remind us fans and our team that we cannot take this below average Penn St team (2-4 record wise to date) too lightly.
We have the advantage in experience at most of the skilled positions and frankly we have played better, smarter football to date than PSU has this season. For example, Da Boilers are Plus 7 in the takeaway/giveaway turnover ratio while Penn St. is Minus 9! One would hope that the trend continues tomorrow for both teams and that our defense forces a very talented, athletic, elusive, and young QB (Mike Robinson, 4.4 speed) to throw a few picks. PSU has not been able to generate much of tailback led running attack and most likely will have difficulty doing so tomorrow, given that Purdue is 2nd in the nation in run defense (51.8 yards per game). Therefore, it is probable that PSU will have to rely on Robinson to scramble for rushing yards and we must have a plan in place to contain him...with perhaps #31 (Bernie "Smack" Pollard) watching his every move. Robinson shredded Wisco last weekend through the air for 379 yards so our pass defense better be prepared for an aerial assault. In addition, PSU has given up the fewest sacks (6) in Big 10 play thus far and we are last in the Big 10 in sacks with 9 currently (though we've played 1 less game than all other Big 10 teams). Coach Spack will need to be very careful in terms of how he plans to put pressure on Robinson without leaving our secondary too prone to the Big Play. What I'd do is constantly move guys around before the ball is snapped and keep a young Robinson thoroughly confused as to who might be blitzing, and then we drop 7 into coverage as one extra man attempts to shoot the gap and "red dog" the QB. I don't see the need for the all out blitz with the talent we have at DE in Phillips and at DT with Terrill.
Our offense needs to be as efficient as they were last week against ILL. Coach Chaney and QB Orton did a very nice job of calling/checking off to the right plays and keeping the defense guessing on run versus pass in the first 3 quarters. The use of play action led to some big plays in the passing game and I hope we see more of it tomorrow. With WR Ray Williams scoring TD's of 20 yds plus in the last 3 games we seem to have a great triple threat at WR. Standeford and Stubblefield continue to fight through nagging injuries yet play well. The running game has been better each week with Void and the o-line gaining confidence and the use of change up backs in shifty Jerome Brooks and powerful Brandon Jones. Orton surprised nearly everyone last week by scrambling 7 times for 49 yards and moving the chains in a couple instances. That is the piece that many have been missing without Kirsch in the lineup and in my opinion when Kyle bring that type of ground production to the table, in addition to an incredible 10-1 TD to INT ratio, we clearly know who our starting QB is right now. Last week in particular, Kyle led the team to approximately 12-18 on 3rd down conversions, 29 first downs, 533 yds of offense, and 34 pts - that is a stellar effort!
Now, PSU is really struggling in run defense, last in the Big 10 with 212 yds per game and 109th out of 117 D-1 teams nationally! One would think that we will be tempted to run the ball down their throat. In my opinion, we do need to set the tone early and establish the run, but we also need to use the play action to set up some big passing plays. We have scored a TD on every first possession this season and I expect that trend to continue tomorrow. In addition, I'm hoping that we will go to unstoppable #89 (6-9 WR Kyle Ingraham) earlier and more often than we have in the past. He seems to catch everything thrown his way and just his presence on the line of scrimmage causes the opponent to consider double teaming him and he's also been a very effective blocker so far! The way I see it...if you have Taylor, John, and Kyle lined up in the slots...and then the threat of a RB or Orton rushing the ball...you have a very DIFFICULT offense to defend! Yes, I'd also love to see #3, TE Garrett Bushong, catch a couple drag patterns to make things even harder on the Nittany Lions.
Our special teams slipped last week, giving up a blocked extra point, FG, and a punt return TD. I expect that to be mitigated this weekend. Having said that, my gut tells me that tomorrow's game could be very close for a couple reasons:
1. Penn St is a bit like Purdue last year...turning the ball over too much and losing close games - what if they play more mistake free tomorrow?
2. Purdue might be subject to a little bit of a let down emotionally after 4 straight victories
My final prediction is therefore, Purdue 27...PSU 20. As always, Boilermaniacs, let's set the noise level tone early for our defense and give our team a true home field advantage! Be the leader in your section and politely solicit others to make some noise with you.
Enjoy the article coverage today and please take note that next Friday Oct 17th is a HUGE night for Purdue's basketball programs. Joel Rasmus, and his promotional crew at Purdue, have brought back the Midnight Madness at Mackey, beginning at 10pm with an alumni game scrimmage. Key RECRUITS like 5-star 7 foot Center, Luke Zeller, from Washington, IN will be on hand. Luke is our top recruit for the Class of 2005 and I know first hand that Purdue is in his top 3 b/c he loves Coach Keady. I'm going to try to organize a pre game gathering, more on this next week. Here's the most impressive news of the fall for me personally this fall - OVER 3,000 GENE POOL SEASON TICKETS HAVE BEEN SOLD THUS FAR! That is at least 1,000 more tickets sold than last year. So, the students have ante'd up? How bout the rest of you out there who live within a couple hrs driving distance? Upper arena season tickets are $272 for the general public. My good friend Andy Kelley and I are new season ticket holders as we both just moved to Fishers. We may not make all the games but we will send other diehards in our place or we will have the ticket office assign our tickets to some underprivileged folks in God's Country. If you can afford it, I'd encourage you to do the same.
Last bit of business today for all you Tailgating Freaks...look who's coming to town...
Joe Cahn, "The commissioner of Tailgating", will be here Saturday and is compiling film for use on the Food Channel, as well as compiling interviews and other footage for a CNN segment he is preparing on tailgate cuisine. So this is kind of a big deal. He has a 40-foot RV (you can see the images of it the Web site). He will be directly north of the WAZY tailgate porch, in the North Ross Ade Parking lot. Let's stop by and show Joe a warm welcome and how we get it done at Purdue!
Beating Nittany Lions would be Purdue milestone
By Tom Kubat,
Journal and Courier
"It could be quite a day Saturday in Ross-Ade Stadium.
First, any time that guy with the jet black hair, thick glasses, rolled up pants legs and white socks is patrolling the sideline in your stadium, it's a special day.
Mix in that Purdue has the opportunity to beat Penn State for the first time since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993, and it could become extra special.
Throw in that there's a possibility it could be the third consecutive home sellout, and it's super special. "
Tiller craves first victory against Paterno's Lions
By Matt Wilson
"Joe Tiller has accomplished many things in six-plus years.
Two weeks ago he led the Boilers to an impressive victory over Notre Dame for the first time in four seasons.
After a devastating loss to Bowling Green, Tiller seems to have his team playing at an entirely new level of performance.
He coaches one of only 13 teams that have an active streak of at least six straight bowl appearances."
Football Game Notes
Purdue-Penn State: Oct. 11, 2003
Game Notes in PDF Format
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Oct. 6, 2003
No. 18/20 Purdue Boilermakers (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten Conference)
vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten Conference)
Ross-Ade Stadium (62,500) - West Lafayette, Indiana
October 11, 2003 - 2:30 p.m. EST
ALL-TIME RECORD: 533-454-48 (.538) - 116th season
BIG TEN RECORD: 285-316-32 (.476) - 108th season
PROJECTED ATTENDANCE: 62,500 (sellout)
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), Gary Kline (engineer)
TELEVISION: ABC - Tim Brant (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (analyst), Sam Ryan (sidelines)
A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The 18th/20th-ranked Purdue football team, under seventh-year head coach Joe Tiller, plays host to the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, Oct. 11, at remade Ross-Ade Stadium. It is the fourth of four straight home games for the Boilermakers. Purdue and Penn State have not met since the 2000 season. Purdue is one of merely two schools in the Big Ten and one of only 13 nationally to play in a bowl game each of the last six seasons.
IF THE BOILERMAKERS WIN ...
* They will be 5-1 for the fourth time under Joe Tiller (also 1997, 1999 and 2001) and 2-0 in the Big Ten for the third time (also 1997 and 2001).
* They will complete their four-game homestand 4-0.
* They will beat Penn State for only the second time in eight meetings. Purdue won 28-0 at home in 1951.
HEAD COACH Joe Tiller: Joe Tiller is in his seventh season as head coach at Purdue with a 50-29 record (.633 winning percentage) and his 13th season overall with an 89-59-1 record (.601 winning percentage). He is 31-18 in Big Ten games (.633 winning percentage). Tiller is the second-winningest coach in school history, both for all games and Big Ten contests. He trails Jack Mollenkopf, who collected 84 overall wins and 57 Big Ten wins from 1956 to 1969. Mollenkopf is a member of both the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics and College Football halls of fame. Taking the reins of a program that had just one winning season and no bowl game appearances since 1984, Tiller has engineered five winning seasons and six bowl berths. He is signed through the 2007 campaign.
AWAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS: The Boilermakers have played in six bowl games in as many years under Joe Tiller. They played in the Alamo Bowl in 1997 and 1998, the 2000 Outback Bowl, the 2001 Rose Bowl, the 2001 Sun Bowl and the 2002 Sun Bowl. Purdue is one of merely two schools in the Big Ten and one of only 13 nationally to play in a bowl game each of the last six seasons.
Bowl Game Participants Each Of The Last Six Years
Florida Marshall PURDUE
Florida State Michigan Tennessee
Georgia Nebraska Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech Oregon Washington
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: Purdue and Penn State have met eight times previously (since 1951), with the Nittany Lions holding a 6-1-1 advantage. Penn State is 3-1 in games played in West Lafayette. The teams last met Sept. 30, 2000, with the Lions winning 22-20 in University Park. Penn State has won the last six meetings after Purdue won the first meeting 28-0 in West Lafayette on Nov. 3, 1951. The teams tied the second meeting, 20-20 in University Park on Sept. 27, 1952. After those two games, the schools did not play again until 1995, when Penn State joined the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are 0-4 against the Lions under Joe Tiller.
NINE DOWN, ONE TO GO: With last Saturday's win over Illinois, this year's senior class has beaten every Big Ten opponent at least once except Penn State. The breakdown: 3-0 vs. Minnesota and Northwestern; 2-1 vs. Indiana and Michigan State; 1-0 vs. Wisconsin; 1-1 vs. Iowa; and 1-2 vs. Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State. The seniors are 0-1 vs. Penn State. The last group of seniors to defeat every Big Ten foe was the class of 1981 (before Penn State joined the conference).
Williams emerging as a big play threat
Purdue receiver on three-game TD catch streak
By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
"It's kind of like football's version of the which came first, the chicken or the egg riddle.
If a player doesn't live up to his initial expectations, does that mean the player is a disappointment or that the expectations were out of whack?
Ray Williams arrived at Purdue from Scotch Plains, N.J., last year, ranked as the No. 19 wide receiver in the nation. But he caught only eight passes for 141 yards as a freshman Boilermaker.
But in recent weeks, the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is beginning to strut his stuff, with a touchdown reception in each of the past three weeks."
Williams begins to measure up to expectations
Highly touted as a Purdue freshman, wide receiver starts to shine as sophomore.
By Michael Pointer
October 9, 2003
"WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Every freshman class has at least one player talented enough to contribute immediately. Ray Williams took on that role for Purdue last season.
"You guys that know me know I hate to single out and talk about anybody . . . But Ray Williams has a chance to be special," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said on national signing day in February 2002.
Williams stood 6-2. He was a New Jersey 400-meter champion. Plus, Tiller and his staff weren't sure at the time they had much depth in the receiving corps"
Tiller marvels at Paterno's staying power
By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
"Joe T. vs. JoePa.
Saturday's coaching matchup when Penn State plays Purdue in Ross-Ade Stadium will feature the Boilermakers' 60-year-old Joe Tiller and the Nittany Lions' 76-year-old, legendary Joe Paterno.
Tiller, in only his 13th season as a head coach, has made a name for himself by turning around a struggling Purdue program and leading the Boilermakers to bowl games in each of his six seasons in West Lafayette. Paterno is famous for his longevity -- he's in his 38th year as Penn State's coach -- and his success, as the winningest coach in Division I-A history.
So, does Tiller pinch himself when he's preparing to coach against a living legend? "I did when I first came to Purdue, absolutely," Tiller said Tuesday. "I thought about it our first year here. Geez, this is Joe Paterno."
Former QB now backing up Schweigert
By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
"It hasn't taken Kyle Smith long to make the switch from quarterback to safety.
After two-plus seasons as a reserve quarterback, Smith was moved to defense two weeks ago, and the redshirt sophomore already is listed as the backup at free safety, behind senior Stuart Schweigert.
"Coach Elmassian thinks that Kyle Smith has picked up secondary play faster than any player he's ever coached. Now that's quite a statement," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said Tuesday, referring to secondary coach Phil Elmassian. "He says he can't believe how much he understands and how much he's picked up."
Penn State (2-4) at No. 18 Purdue (4-1)
"The Postons' Prophecy: Our beloved Cubs are still in the playoffs, and the Red Sox, too. Screw history; Joe Tiller will walk out of Ross-Ade Saturday with his first win against Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions. Purdue 42 Penn State 17
The Juggernaut: Joe Tiller's Purdue teams have never beaten JoePa's Nittany Lions, not even during the Boilers' run to the Rose Bowl in 2000. Two years have passed since the last meeting between the two programs, and Purdue and Penn State are headed in two different directions. The Boilers are Big Ten title contenders and the Nittany Lions are having trouble contending. Which means … Purdue 27 Penn State 10
Steve's Sermon: Hey, there's a first time for everything. Tiller's boys were bound to break the Nittany Lions sooner or later. If you ask me, the time will come no later than Saturday, when a Purdue team will secure victory over an inferior Penn State squad. History doesn't win games, and neither do legendary coaches. Purdue 35 Penn State 16"
Purdue-Wisconsin Football Game To Be Nationally Televised
Either ESPN or ESPN2 will carry Boilermakers, Badgers
Oct. 6, 2003
"WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Big Ten Conference announced this morning that the Purdue-Wisconsin football game on Oct. 18 in Madison will be televised nationally by either ESPN or ESPN2.
Original plans called for ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPN Plus (Regional) to carry the game. A final decision will be made next Monday, Oct. 13.
ESPN will pick either Purdue-Wisconsin or Michigan State-Minnesota, and ESPN2 will get the other game. ESPN Plus will broadcast Illinois-Michigan.
Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Camp Randall Stadium"
Tailgate Guide: Freshman attempts to fill big shoes
By Jessie Ruppel
"At 18 years old, he’s already being compared to one of Purdue’s football greats.
Ask him how he feels about it and he’ll blush.
Put freshman wide receiver Jake Cunningham in front of a mirror and you'll see
Vinny Sutherland's image looming in the background."
Simple offensive plan yields dividends
By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
"Sometimes less is better. As in the case of Purdue's offensive game plan.
In the first couple of years under coach Joe Tiller, the coaches purposely limited the number of plays used by the offense, because the players weren't used to running the spread attack. The number of plays increased with Drew Brees at quarterback but then fell off again the past couple of seasons.
With veteran Kyle Orton at quarterback, plus a bevy of other returning starters, Tiller said the Boilermakers entered this season with as thick a game-day offensive playbook as he can remember.
But that playbook had a few pages removed for Saturday's game against Illinois, and the result was a 43-10 victory, with a very efficient and potent offense piling up 533 total yards."
Orton passes efficiently, runs with authority
By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
"There's always some laughter in the huddle after I run the ball," Orton said, with a sheepish grin, after the 22nd-ranked Boilermakers' laughingly easy 43-10 victory over Illinois.
Orton is known more for his tremendously strong arm than his fancy footwork, but against the Fighting Illini he displayed both an uncanny ability to scramble for yardage and to avoid the rush to buy extra time to hit his receivers.
Orton rushed seven times for a career-high 49 yards, a gaudy 7.0 average.
"It just seems like the opportunity is there a little bit more," Orton said. "I really think the big thing is that I'm stepping up in the pocket more aggressively. That just opens up the run for you when everybody's dropping out.
New Jersey receiver commits to Purdue
By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier
"Purdue's top 10 rating in engineering, not football, was the deciding factor for the Boilermakers' latest commitment.
Brandon Whittington, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound wide receiver from Collingswood, N.J., is the 13th player to verbally commit to Purdue for the recruiting class of 2004.
"I want to be a computer engineer, and Purdue is a top 10 engineering school," Whittington said Monday night. "The other colleges that offered me didn't compete with Purdue."
Despite having only four receptions in three games this season, Whittington had scholarship offers from Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Western Michigan and Akron.
Michael Pointer: Purdue Q&A
Indianapolis Star sports reporter Michael Pointer answers your questions about the Boilers.
October 9, 2003
" Question: I am a huge Boilers fan and I would love nothing more than to see them win a big bowl game this year, especially the Rose Bowl. But... in all honesty, I dont see them doing it. They have played well against overmatched teams (Arizona, Illinois, and the always overrated Fighting Irish). How do you see them stacking up with such teams as Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio state at the end of the season? Do they really have it in them (especially offensively) to win big games? (Matt from Knoxville, Tenn,)
Answer: Matt, that's really the $64 million question. I think you should be pleased where Purdue finds itself at the moment, but there's no question it has beaten inferior competition for the most part. (I will add that the Wake Forest game was a good victory, especially on the road.) But the key games are still ahead. I've said all along that I think Purdue will be in every game this season. When you do that, sometimes you get a few breaks and have a special season like Ohio State did last year. I picked Purdue to go 9-3 and I see no reason to change my mind. As good as the defense has played, I'm interested to see how it responds when a team with a punishing offensive line (i.e. Wisconsin and Michigan) just tries to run the ball down its throat. If the defense continues at this level, who knows? It could be a great season.
Used Equipment Sale Set For Friday
Fans can purchase authentic Boilermaker merchandise
Oct. 9, 2003
"WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Pride, in conjunction with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, will hold its traditional used equipment sale on Friday, Oct. 10, outside Gate A of Mackey Arena.
Hours will be 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. or while supply lasts.
The sale will feature old uniforms, coaching shirts, shoes, garment bags and more."
A daily fact countdown to prime Boilermaker fans for the start of official practice
Oct. 8, 2003
Every weekday from Sept. 24 to Oct. 17, purduesports.com will feature a fact about the Boilermaker men's and women's basketball programs to get Purdue fans primed for the 2003-04 season, which officially will begin with Midnight Mackey Madness in the wee hours of Oct. 18.
Men: The Boilermakers finished 10-6 in the Big Ten in 2002-03, marking the 35 season in which they have won 10 or more conference games. Purdue has won at least 10 Big Ten games 16 times under coach Gene Keady. Their total of 35 ranks second in the Big Ten, two behind Indiana.
Men: The Boilermakers will play at least seven games on national television in 2003-04. Purdue has a potential to play 18 times in front of a national audience. The seven guaranteed games are against Clemson (ESPN2), Oklahoma (ESPN2), Michigan State, (CBS), Indiana (ESPN), at Michigan State (ESPN) and Illinois (ESPN) and at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament. The other possibilities include the final game of the Great Alaska Shootout (ESPN2), at Wisconsin (CBS), three additional games in the Big Ten Tournament on ESPN and CBS and six games in the NCAA Tournament on CBS. The Boilermakers played 17 nationally televised games during the 1997-98 season.
Men: The Boilermakers face a daunting Big Ten schedule in the 2003-04 season. Purdue only faces Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State once and play three-straight road games during the month of February. The Boilermakers open the conference season with games at Iowa and Illinois. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan State all visit Mackey Arena before the Boilermakers travel to Bloomington to face Indiana on ESPN. Purdue plays four nationally televised games and will face Indiana on Feb. 14 at 4:37 p.m. on ESPN-Regional.
Men: The Boilermakers' sophomore class is arguably one of the best in the nation. Melvin Buckley averaged 4.1 points per game as a freshman, but showed off his scoring capabilities late in the season with a 20-point performance against LSU in the NCAA Tournament. Buckley shot 42.6 percent from behind the arc last season and has worked on rounding out his game over the summer. David Teague averaged 5.7 points a year ago and set the freshman three-point field goals record by knocking down 35 from long distance. Already one of the team's best defenders, Teague worked on taking the ball to the basket this summer. Matt Kiefer may have made the most improvement over the summer. The 6-foot-10 forward attended the Pete Newell Big Man Camp in August and added around 20 pounds of muscle. Kiefer started six games as a freshman, but should be a starter in 2003-04. The sophomore class welcomes a new addition as Matt Carroll joins the bunch after redshirting last year. Carroll has the ability to be the Boilermakers' best rebounder and is never short on hustle. He led the team in rebounds during its trip to Europe in May of 2002.