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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO TexasBoiler'S COLUMNS

PURDUE SPORTS:
OGFP Update For 12-30-2003


2 days to #13 Purdue vs. #12 Georgia in Capital One Bowl, #22 Purdue vs. CSU tonight!!!


Date: 12/30/2003
Author: TexasBoiler
Old Gold Free Press Columnists

    Good morning Boilermaniacs! My apologies for the extended time away, but I'm back today with the latest news pertaining to our football and men's basketball programs. Let's start with Joe Tiller's football team, who earned their 3rd New Year's Day bowl trip in early December, after a ridiculous deliberation process from the Capital One Bowl Committee. Frankly, it was an insult that Iowa was even seriously considered as an alternative to Purdue when considering that we pummeled Iowa in head to head competition, finished ahead of them in Big 10 conference play, and Purdue has one of the best traveling fan bases in the nation. Yes, you heard that last part correctly. I am proud to say that we broke a Cap One Big 10 school record for tickets purchased by the school's ticket office. The previous record was 15k by Ohio State, but it now belongs to us as we have reportedly sold over 17,335!!! Georgia by comparison only sold around 13k via their school ticket office.

    Now I realize that many Georgia and Purdue fans have purchased tickets through Ticketmaster and the Cap One Ticket Office directly, but those numbers are difficult to measure. We will now be able to use our record breaking number as exhibit A for future bowl game considerations. I think every last one of you, who bought tickets through our ticket office, ought to give yourself a big pat on the back as you have made a powerful statement and are truly helping the future cause!

    As far as the game itself is concerned, one could easily argue that these teams are a near mirror of one another. Both teams boast stingy defenses and offenses that have catered to the prowess of their respective defenses. When you look at the stats comparison in an article below, it's remarkable just how similar these two teams look on paper. Where most folks think the game can be decided is in the trenches, specifically as it relates to Purdue's ability to sack Georgia QB David Greene. UGA has given up an amazing 44 sacks this year, which is mostly due to a very young o-line (not one upperclassmen starts) and in part to an immobile QB who lacks major escapability speed. Seeing that we have amassed 38 sacks on the season, one might surmise that should have several opportunities to pressure David Greene and perhaps force some game deciding turnovers. I know for a fact that #9 in the Gold and Black will be looking to finally take a turnover to the house before his career is over and if he does, we should win this game. On the other hand, we are starting a rookie, R-FR cornerback in Sean Petty (as Reeves failed to make his grades) and you can bet that UGA will try to exploit that match up all afternoon.

    I think you have to be concerned about our offense scoring points in this contest as UGA's defense is fast and physical a la Michigan and Ohio St. They have a DE named David Pollack who gets after the QB like our very own Shaun Phillips and their secondary specializes in the vaunted press man coverage that always seems to give us fits. What I'd like to see as a counter measure is more 5-10 yd passes to Kyle Ingraham, Garrett Bushong, Anthony Chambers and perhaps Void, Jones, or Brooks from the backfield. None of these guys will be the focal point of UGA's game plan as they will likely hone in on Standeford and Stubblefield. Neither John nor Taylor has proven that they can consistently beat press man coverage so let's use them as decoys until UGA makes an adjustment to give them less attention. IF Orton is putting the ball on the money with Ingraham (i.e., where only the 6-8 guy can make the catch), we have an ideal mismatch that we ought to exploit all afternoon. Ingraham is no longer a true freshman (has 12 games under his belt) and hopefully with the extended practice time, we will see more plays designed for him. The same applies to Bushong, who I'd like to see us get involved early with some easy catches to help him get the confidence he needs to be a factor for the rest of the contest.

    With temperatures forecasted in the upper 70's for game time and no moisture in sight, I think the game will be higher scoring than some think. My prediction is Boilers 24, Georgia 17.

    Just a couple quick notes about events in Orlando. Two Knuckleheads from the message boards (twboiler and spoilerdave, with some help from their friends) have organized a rally at The Caribe Royal Hotel in Orlando tonight from 6-10 pm. Boiler radio analyst, Pete Quinn, will be the emcee for the event and Asst. Athletic Director, Jay Cooperider will be on hand to deliver a short keynote speech. Here's the press release on the event...

    The Knucklehead Rally will be held at the following location:

    The Caribe Royale Hotel
    8101 World Center Drive
    Orlando, FL 32821
    www.cariberoyale.com
    Date: December 30th
    Time: 6pm - 10pm

    The Caribe Royale really wants the Knuckleheads and Purdue Fans to stay at their hotel. In addition to a special rate of $99/night for a 1 bedroom suite (2 queen beds in a separate bedroom, pull out couch in a living room with a kitchenette) the Caribe is going to donate $10 for each "suite night" to Knucklehead Charities. We already have over 650 "suite nights" reserved at the Caribe Royale and there is much more room available.

    To make a reservation at the Caribe Hotel using the Knucklehead Discount Rate, call 1-800-823-8300 and use the reservation ID of "KNUCK". That will guarantee you rooms at the rate of $99/night plus tax. Plus, for each night you stay in the hotel $10 will be donated by the Caribe Royale to Knucklehead Charities

    Knucklehead Charities is currently in the process of filing the necessary 501(c)3 paperwork to become an official tax deductible charity and Spoilermaker.com is excited about helping Knucklehead Charities start off the new year with a bang.

    Although this is not an "official" Knucklehead Charities event, all proceeds from the rally will be donated to Knucklehead Charities in order to help send kids to games throughout 2004. For more information on Knucklehead Charities, go to www.knuckleheadcharities.org

    The Orlando Knucklehead Rally is designed to be a family oriented event that will prove an opportunity for Knuckleheads to gather and meet while supporting a good cause.

    Orlando Knucklehead Rally Tickets are available for sale at www.spoilermaker.com

    Advanced Purchase Tickets (available until Dec 22nd)
    Adult: $20
    Child (under 12): $10

    Door Tickets (available at the Caribe Royale)

    Adult: $25
    Child (under 12): $15

    Pizza, chips, cookies, and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided, along with a raffle for prizes, a silent auction, celebrity appearances, and much much more... This is a family event so there will be no alcohol allowed at the Rally.

    We have now confirmed several celebrity appearances with many other possibilities on the horizon.

    Keynote Speaker: Pete Quinn (color commentator and host of the Joe Tiller Show)
    Keynote Speaker: Jay Cooperider (Asst. Athletic Director)
    Special Guest: Leroy Keyes (football legend & Asst Dir of JPC)

    Also, for those looking for something to do on New Year's Eve, a group of us will be going to Jellyrolls around 9pm it's a dueling piano bar on the Disney Boardwalk. Supposedly there is a $30 cover which may include a buffet of appetizers.

    In addition, there should be a large gathering of Knuckleheads in Lot S, not too far East of the Citrus Bowl stadium. Look for the White Flag that says "Knuckleheads" on it.

    On to football recruiting news, where we've had several verbal commitments in the last 30 days...

    1. 4-star JUCO WR, Bruce Gordon, is expected to transfer in January, though I'm not sure Purdue has his paperwork finalized. He is alleged to be physical with quick feet and a great possession receiver.

    2. 3-star JUCO WR, Brian Hare, has his paperwork in and is expected to contribute as a deep threat next year. His HS ran a similar offense to Purdue.

    3. 3-star WR/DB, Fabian Martin decommited from Illinois and will bring his sub 4.4 speed to Purdue. At 175 lbs, he will likely need a RS year to bulk up a bit, unless he bulks up on his own in the next 8 months.

    4. 2-star DB, Zach Logan, also switched from ILL and will be a Boiler next year. Like Martin he stands to need a year to bulk up but has good height at 6-1 to be a future corner at Purdue.

    5. 2-star OL, Sean Sester, from Brent Grover's HS in Kentucky, gave Purdue another 6-8 OL to work with for next year.

    6. Indiana Mr. Football, and projected WR, Desmond Tardy, passed up on a late offer from Michigan, and firmly re-affirmed his allegiance to Purdue. He looks alot like Taylor Stubblefield with more breakaway speed. Frankly, though he's only 2 stars on the ratings, I think he's the jewel of this class.

    Unfortunately, we have had some serious attrition on the defensive line lately as Doug Van Dyke appears to have left Purdue for academic reasons and Dontrey Flemings is now ineligible. You have to believe that Purdue is on the lookout for big DT prior to signing day. DT Elijah Robinson is down to Purdue and Penn St.

    Also, Purdue lost 4-star LB Dwayne Holmes to Michigan State and the top LB on our board, Chris Graham chose Michigan. LB Cliff Avril from Florida is high on Purdue's list right now.

    The big fish on our list remains to be TE/DE, Ryan Baker from Chatard HS in Indy. The runner up to Desmond Tardy for Mr. Football has visited Purdue more than a few times this fall and winter but a late offer from Notre Dame (his childhood favorite and his dad's favorite) along with first offer loyalty to Michigan and a late push by Boston College has muddied the waters considerably. Purdue insiders remain optimistic but realize this will be a fight to the finish.

    Track star and 2-star running back, Kory Sheets, is said to be leaning towards Purdue slightly with a decision forecasted in the next couple weeks. It looks good as his mom is on record as saying she wishes she could attend Purdue!

    Others high on our list include WR/CB, Otis McDaniel from San Antonio, TX who is down to us and TCU (50/50 reportedly) and could decide next week, RB Anthony Heygood, and RB/DB Chris Clemons from Florida.

    Finally today, The 9-2, #22 ranked Boilermaker basketball team heads to Colorado St tonight to take on a scrappy 6-4 team who will be geeked up to play their best game of the season. After a major drubbing of Central Michigan, The Boilers went into a post finals coma and struggled against IPFW in the first half and then proceeded to blow their opportunity for a perfect home record with a loss to SMU. The team may have some momentum after a shaky first half against Evansville was followed up by a strong second half. The problems for the Boilers lately have been perimeter shooting with Teague, Lowe, and McKnight faltering in particular and some defensive intensity lapses. Matt Kiefer appears to be surging in the post and Ivan Kartelo has been steady. Chris Booker appears to have an incomplete grade to resolve and will sit out tonight's game as well as the Baylor game next week. His mom believes that he will be back by Big 10 season so let's hope so!

    The "Keady can't recruit" crowd will be happy to note that renowned analyst, Bob Gibbons, has our recent class ranked 8th in the nation, ahead of programs like MSU, UConn, Florida, Missouri, and Kansas among others :-)

    Have a safe trip down to Orlando if you have not left already and for those checking their email from sunny Florida, I'll see you in about 28 hours!

    Go Boilers!!!!!

    -Barclay

    __________________________________

    Capital One Bowl tickets are hot item for Boilermakers fans

    http://www.indystar.com/articles/7/104923-6767-041.html

    By Michael Pointer
    michael.pointer@indystar.com
    December 23, 2003
    "The Capital One Bowl has been a major hit with Purdue fans.

    A total of 17,735 tickets have been sold through the school for the Jan. 1 game against Georgia in Orlando, senior associate athletics director Glenn Tompkins said. Purdue's original allotment was 12,000 tickets. Capital One officials have sent the school two additional allotments of 3,000 tickets each.

    Tompkins is the point man for much of Purdue's pre-bowl organization and figured the game would be popular with the Boiler faithful. But he's been pleasantly surprised by the ticket demand.

    "I think we've been in a location the last two years (El Paso, Texas) that was perceived to be, fairly or not, as difficult to get to," he said. "A lot of fans didn't want to go there.

    "Now, you're looking at Florida with its sand and theme parks. It's viewed as a destination. We've had a pretty good season, too."

    ______________________

    Purdue, Georgia have a lot in common


    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312306purdue_football1072760860.shtml

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- On paper, the Purdue-Georgia matchup in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day, is one of the closest of this bowl season.

    Purdue is ranked No. 12 by The Associated Press and No. 13 by ESPN/USA Today. Georgia is ranked 11th in both polls.

    The Bulldogs have won 10 games and finished first in the Southeastern Conference's East Division at 6-2. The Boilermakers have nine victories and ended up tied for second with Ohio State in the Big Ten Conference at 6-2.

    "When I found out we were going to be playing Purdue, we did not have any film, so the only thing I could do was look at the national statistics. It almost was like looking in a mirror," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

    _______________________________

    Revenge not a factor for Boilers

    Heartbreaking loss to Georgia in 2001 Outback Bowl a distant memory

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312290purdue_football1072674019.shtml

    "ORLANDO -- Revenge is often overrated in the world of sports. Fans seem to get more wrapped up in it than players or coaches.

    Especially when four years have gone by between two events.

    This year's Capital One Bowl game between Purdue and Georgia is a rematch, of sorts, of the Jan. 1, 2000, Outback Bowl that saw the Bulldogs rally from a 25-0 deficit and score 28 consecutive points to beat the Boilermakers 28-25 in overtime.

    The only Purdue players still around now are fifth-year seniors. They were redshirt freshmen back then, and none of them played against the Dawgs in Tampa."

    _______________________________

    Petty eager to make first start

    Sophomore will replace Reeves at cornerback

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312280purdue_football1072589630.shtml

    "ORLANDO, Fla. -- Sean Petty didn't find out until Saturday morning that he would be starting at cornerback when Purdue takes on Georgia on Jan. 1 in the Capital One Bowl.

    The first thing the little-used sophomore did was make some telephone calls to his hometown of Round Rock, Texas.

    "I called my parents and a couple of friends to make sure they'll be watching," Petty said after Saturday's practice at Thunder Field, which is adjacent to the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.

    Petty will get the start because senior cornerback Jacques Reeves, along with sophomore backup offensive lineman Nick Pilipauskis and sophomore reserve defensive lineman Dontrey Flemings, were declared academically ineligible Friday and will miss the game."

    ____________________________

    The Daily Word - Bowl Previews
    By Andy Gamm

    Capital One Bowl (ABC)
    Purdue vs. Georgia

    http://www.thefinalscore.net/


    "Game Time: Thursday, January 1 @ 1pm EST
    It's Big Ten vs. SEC part three and this might just be the best on the slate. UGA has a tremendously stout defense, one that allowed a stingy 11.8 ppg this fall. Purdue, often synonymous with a high-octane offense is also full of playmakers on defense. So, if the two defensive units more or less cancel one another out, what does that leave us? The Bulldogs actually average more points than the Boilermakers but are banged up and could still be reeling from the big loss in the SEC title game earlier this month. The key is for Purdue to come to the table with the same balance that led it to nine wins in the regular season. We all know that Kyle Orton can pass, but Purdue has taken a step up with its recent ability to run the ball with consistency. Orton had a monster bowl game last year and if he can get time and pick apart the Bulldog defense, look out. On the other hand, Georgia quarterback David Greene can throw the rock as well. The gold and black will need to force Greene out of the pocket and get strong play from a solid secondary. Georgia gave up 44 sacks this year, which means the Purdue front seven will be licking its chops. Look for Shaun Phillips and Stu Schweigert to make big plays on defense and for the Boilermaker offense to control the tempo. PURDUE 24 - GEORGIA 23.

    NUCATS1 says... This is perhaps the hardest of the Big 10 bowls to pick. This game will be all about defense - when was the last time that was said about a Purdue game? It will be a good close game but BORING! This one will come down to a late field goal and Purdue should pull it out. Purdue 20 - Georgia 17"

    ____________________________

    Broadcast Sports: John O'Neill
    Purdue looks to avenge loss to Georgia
    http://www.indystar.com/articles/0/105950-8890-041.html

    December 27, 2003
    After taking a 25-0 lead, Purdue lost, 28-25, in overtime. The schools face off again Thursday in Orlando at the Capital One Bowl (1 p.m. WRTV and WNDE-AM (1260).

    McConnell, in his ninth season as radio voice of the Boilers, thinks Purdue will avenge that loss.

    A key difference, he said, is that Purdue's offensive line has played better than Georgia's. The Boilers have given up 28 sacks; Georgia has surrendered 44.

    "They have a fine quarterback (David Greene), but he spent quite a lot of time on his butt," McConnell said.

    The Bulldogs are young -- they start just four seniors -- and "they've got to be a preseason favorite to win it all next year," McConnell said.

    Purdue will have a tougher time next year, as it must rebuild a defense that will lose eight starters, McConnell said.

    There should be plenty of Boilermaker fans for the game they used to call the Citrus Bowl. McConnell said 18,000 tickets were sold through the university, and no doubt many more were purchased directly from the bowl."

    ______________________________

    Purdue-Georgia comparison

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312301purdue_football1072760859.shtml


    "PURDUE GEORGIA
    Scoring average
    26.8 25.9
    Opponents scoring average
    16 13.5
    First downs
    20.8 20.0
    Opponents first downs
    15.8 15.0
    Rushing average
    156.4 136.6
    Opponents rushing average
    95.0 105.7
    Passing average
    223.5 239.1
    Opponents passing average
    195.5 170.2
    Total offense average
    379.9 375.7
    Opponents total offense average
    290.5 275.9
    Total plays
    907 939
    Opponents total plays
    804 816
    Average per play
    5.0 5.2
    Opponents average per play
    4.3 4.4
    Kickoff return average
    20.1 17.8
    Opponents kickoff return average
    17.8 20.9
    Punt return average
    10.4 10.2
    Opponents punt return average
    10.9 6.8
    Total touchdowns scored
    36 36
    Opponents total touchdowns scored
    22 20
    Rushing
    20 21
    Opponents rushing
    8 6
    Passing
    15 11
    Opponents passing
    9 11
    Net punt average
    35.9 35.4
    Opponents net punt average
    36.9 36.2
    3rd down conversions
    42% 42%
    Opponents 3rd down conversions
    29% 28%
    Total interceptions-yards
    14-115 16-246
    Opponents total interceptions-yards
    6-113 12-166
    Total fumbles-lost
    24-9 13-4
    Opponents total fumbles-lost
    25-12 27-12
    Total sacks by-yards
    38-200 25-191
    Opponents total sacks by-yards
    28-199 44-318
    Penalty yards
    52.3 72.5
    Opponents penalty yards
    47.5 55.0
    Turnover margin
    +11
    +12"


    _____________________________

    Capital One Bowl Media Day Quotes

    Selected quotes from Purdue coaches and players

    Photo Gallery


    Dec. 18, 2003

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/121803aaa.html

    "Head Coach Joe Tiller

    On bowl practices and finals week
    "The practices have gone very fast. We are on schedule and are where we want to be. We are in finals week this week. In all of our previous bowl weeks, finals were up last week. We are not as far along as in the past, but certainly we have an opportunity to make up the ground, so we are not concerned about that. We have a strange schedule. Yesterday was a four o'clock practice and today was a 12:45 p.m. practice. We will practice twice on Sunday and Monday. We will make the ground up. I don't want to say we are behind, just on a different schedule this year."

    On the Georgia offense
    "Speed, speed and more speed. They are a typical SEC team. My initial response after watching them is that overall they are a fast team. I think they are almost a running back by committee. Their wide receivers get a lot more run after the catch yardage then we do. Their tight end is certainly a bigger receiving threat than ours. I think they are a very good football team. They were one game away from winning their league. The other teams in the SEC will have some fun next year trying to contain this team."

    ______________________________

    Boilers' Jones dismisses injury
    Confident kicker misses practice but says he'll be ready to go against Georgia.
    http://www.indystar.com/articles/4/106568-3394-041.html


    Capital One Bowl
    Who: Purdue (9-3) vs. Georgia (10-3)
    Kickoff: 1 p.m. Thursday
    TV: WRTV-6
    Radio: WNDE-1260 AM


    By Michael Pointer
    michael.pointer@indystar.com
    December 29, 2003

    "ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ben Jones provided an alarming sight for Purdue football fans as he left the practice field Sunday morning.

    The player most responsible for turning the Boilermakers' special teams from a nightmare into one of the Big Ten's best units was hobbling with a walking cast around his left foot.

    The sophomore kicker was injured late in Saturday's practice, when he struck the ground hard while attempting a field goal, causing swelling along the arch of the foot.

    "It's kind of like a wild pitch in baseball," Jones said. "You don't mean for it to happen, but it happens every once in awhile. I've done it two or three other times in the last year or two, and this is the worst it's ever been."

    _____________________________

    Boilermaker offense must contend with Georgia's speedy defense


    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312308purdue_football1072760860.shtml

    "ORLANDO, Fla. -- Purdue's offense has faced plenty of top-notch defenses this season -- led by Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa.

    The Wolverines led the Big Ten Conference and were No. 7 in the nation in total defense. The Buckeyes were ninth nationally and the Hawkeyes were 15th.

    But the Georgia defense the Boilermakers will go up against in the Capital One Bowl just may be the best they've seen. Statistically it is, currently ranked fourth in the nation in total defense -- including second in scoring defense, seventh in pass defense and 16th in defending the run.

    "I think they're as athletic as Michigan," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "Schematically they're different than Michigan, but I certainly think they're as athletic."

    ________________________

    Boilers enjoy game of catch at SeaWorld


    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312281purdue_football1072589630.shtml

    "ORLANDO, Fla. -- Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton has had the pleasure of throwing passes to John Standeford, the Big Ten Conference's all-time leading receiver.

    But that's nothing compared to tossing bait fish to sea lions and harbor seals at Orlando's SeaWorld.

    "I'll tell you what, they can catch really good, man," Orton said. "It's amazing how they can catch."

    Orton was one of a half-dozen Purdue football players who got to feed the sea lions and harbor seals when the Boilermakers toured the park in the late afternoon and evening Saturday. "

    _______________________

    Cradling footballs nothing new to big brother John

    Standeford finishes career as Purdue's top receiver

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312307purdue_football1072760860.shtml

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- When John Standeford was almost 11 years old, his mother delivered birth to triplets, two boys and a girl.

    Exhibiting early signs of being the team player he's been the past four seasons as a wide receiver for the Boilermakers, John was quick to help out with his three new siblings.

    John, and his older brother Jason and younger brother Jake (a freshman walkon with the Boilermakers), each unofficially were assigned one of the triplets, to help in the parenting department.

    "It took a little bit getting used to, but we have a real close family, a real loving family, we're all tight and care about each other a lot, and we just took on the responsibility," Standeford said. "My mom couldn't carry all three at once, so we were just there to give her a helping hand."

    ____________________

    Versatile Otto earns rave reviews from Tiller

    Purdue coach believes tackle could be an All-American guard

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312260purdue_football1072459112.shtml

    "ORLANDO, Fla. -- Purdue coach Joe Tiller isn't prone to heaping praise on his younger players. He prefers for them to prove themselves on the field before he publicly talks them up.

    Which is why what he recently said about starting left tackle Mike Otto is a real mouthful.

    "We're probably doing him a disservice," Tiller said. "I think the guy is an All-Big Ten offensive guard, maybe an All-American. I think he can be that good.

    "He's one of the better young talents we've had in our seven years here. I think we're pretty fortunate to have Mike Otto."

    _________________________

    Boiler duo in no hurry to tackle roller coasters at MGM Studios


    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312261purdue_football1072459112.shtml

    "ORLANDO, Fla. -- There's at least one thing in this world that Purdue senior linebacker Landon Johnson fears more than a 240-pound fullback bearing down on him.

    And Boilermaker offensive tackle Matt Turner would rather do battle with a pack of linebackers than face the same evil monster.

    As their Boilermaker teammates found out Thursday, the speedy 6-foot-2, 225-pound Johnson and the beefy 6-3, 290-pound Turner are no match for the king of the midway -- the roller coaster.

    Purdue's football players are enjoying two days off from their preparations for the Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl, and many of them spent Christmas morning at Disney's MGM Studios. "

    _________________________

    Boilers warm up to practice

    Players enjoy spirited workouts

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200312250purdue_football1072371713.shtml

    "ORLANDO, Fla. -- Gilbert Gardner almost was penalized before he ever played a down in this season's bowl game.

    Purdue's senior linebacker nearly missed Tuesday afternoon's flight to Orlando, the sight of the Capital One Bowl, which will feature the Boilermakers against Georgia on New Year's Day.

    "It felt like I forgot something, so I was going through my head with a little check list," Gardner said Wednesday as he was walking off the practice field next to the Florida Citrus Bowl stadium. "And I remembered that I left my wallet on top of my bed. So then I had to hurry home to get my wallet, and I almost missed the plane.

    "They were running the checks. They were just about to close the door. So it was close."

    _______________________

    Associated Press Honors Two Football Players

    Phillips named second team All-American, Schweigert earns third team honors

    Dec. 16, 2003

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/121603aaa.html

    "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The postseason honors keep rolling in for Purdue defensive standouts Shaun Phillips and Stuart Schweigert.

    On Monday, Phillips was named a second team All-American by the Associated Press, while Schweigert earned third team honors.

    Phillips, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound native of Willingboro, N.J., paces Purdue with 13.5 sacks (second on the school season list) and 21.5 tackles for loss (fifth on the school season list). He leads the Big Ten and is tied for seventh nationally with averages of 1.13 sacks and 1.79 tackles for loss per game. Phillips is tied for fifth in the conference with two fumble recoveries and tied for seventh with three fumbles forced. He has 52 tackles, five pass breakups and one interception. Phillips ranks second on the Purdue career sacks list with 32.5, one half behind Rosevelt Colvin, and third in school history with 59 tackles for loss. He has had at least one sack in nine games this season.




    Previously, Phillips earned second team All-America honors from CollegeFootballNews.com and Sports Illustrated. He was the Boilermakers' team Most Valuable Player and a first team All-Big Ten honoree by both the coaches and media."

    __________________________

    Tiller: Take the Ackerman Challenge

    'Competitive advantage' within Boilermakers' reach

    Dec. 17, 2003

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/121703aaa.html

    "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Boilermaker fans have reveled in the resurgence of Purdue football since the arrival of Joe Tiller.

    In early December, while ticking off the reasons he had just signed on to coach in West Lafayette through 2010, he talked about the potential success rather than the success enjoyed since 1997.

    "Our video analysis system and our football program are ready to move to the next level," said Tiller. "We stand on the verge of using technology to achive a competitive advantage, to teach our players better than we ever have, and just as importantly to assess our opponents' strengths and weaknesses in ways we couldn't have imagined just a few years ago."

    James and Lois Ackerman of Indianapolis answered the coach's challenge to help with a likely $600,000 purchase of servers, sophisticated laptop computers, individual coaches' editing stations and other hardware, software and infrastructure. The Ackermans, in turn, are challenging Boilermaker fans to invest in the football program."

    _______________________________

    Inflationary ticket price increases approved

    'Family pricing' expanded in Ross-Ade

    Dec. 21, 2003

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/122103aaa.html

    "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue Board of Trustees on Saturday voted to adjust football ticket prices for 2004, increase single-game ticket prices for women's basketball, and increase single-game and season tickets for volleyball.


    The action provides for inflationary increases in football ticket prices, reduced prices for seating in select areas of Ross-Ade Stadium and incremental increases in women's basketball single-game ticket prices.


    Season tickets for men's and women's basketball will remain unchanged, as will men's basketball single-game tickets.


    Ticket sales are the primary source of revenue for Intercollegiate Athletics, which is self-supporting. The inflationary increase in athletic tickets will fund the increased cost of operations in support of the 18-sport intercollegiate athletic program, said Kenneth P. Burns, executive vice president and treasurer."

    _______________________________________

    Booker's mom says son will be eligible

    Purdue center fell behind in class after stepfather's death

    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/hoops/stories/200312290purdue_hoops1072674019.shtml

    "Chris Booker's mother said Sunday morning that she is confident the Purdue men's basketball team's senior center will be academically eligible for the second semester.

    "He is definitely going to make it," Linda Booker said in a telephone interview from her home in Fort Worth, Texas.

    The player's mother said her son fell behind in one course when he returned home earlier this month to attend the funeral of her husband, who is Chris' stepfather.

    "I don't know if it's a paper, a project or homework assignments, but Chris wasn't able to get everything turned in in time," Linda Booker said. "Coach (Gene) Keady would have to answer that."

    _________________________

    Boiler big men trump Aces

    Purdue rolls, 82-62

    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/hoops/stories/200312280purdue_hoops1072589630.shtml

    "With its most productive post player sidelined by an ailing academic transcript, Purdue's 22nd-ranked basketball team needed a stellar effort from his big-and-tall department companions Saturday in Mackey Arena.

    Matt Kiefer, Ivan Kartelo and Brett Buscher more than compensated for Chris Booker's absence, combining for 37 points, 20 rebounds and four assists in an 82-62 victory against Evansville (1-7).

    The 6-foot-10 Booker, who is averaging 9.4 points and 5.6 rebounds, learned Friday that he may not be eligible for second-semester competition.

    He is waiting for two professors to return to campus in hopes of clarifying questions he has concerning first-semester grades. In the meantime, Booker will neither play nor practice. "

    ___________________________

    No. 22 Men's Basketball Travels To Colorado

    Boilermakers play next four games on the road

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/122803aaa.html

    Dec. 28, 2003

    Purdue-Colorado State Game Notes in PDF Format
    Download Free Acrobat Reader


    No. 22/22 Purdue at Colorado State


    Time: 9 p.m. EST
    Arena: Moby Arena (8,745)
    Date: January 3
    Location:Fort Collins, Colo.
    Television:None.


    Radio: The Boilermaker Sports Network. Larry "The Cliz" Clisby (play-by-play) and Elliot Bloom (color commentary) call the action. Brett Schetzsle handles the pregame show, and Wes "Smooth as Silk" Scott engineers.

    Internet:All games can be heard on purduesports.com. Click on the live coverage link.

    Tickets: Limited amount remaining.
    Records: Purdue 9-2 Colorado State 6-4
    Rankings: Purdue is ranked 22nd in the ESPN/USA Today poll and 22nd in the AP poll. Colorado State is not ranked in either poll.

    Series: This is the fourth meeting between the two teams. More information on the series can be found on pages 2, 3 and 4.

    Coaches: Purdue - Gene Keady (Kansas State '58) is 497-237 in his 24th year at Purdue and 535-256 in his 26th season overall.

    Colorado State - Dale Layer (Eckerd College '80) is 52-49 in his fourth season at Colorado State and 219-136 in his 14th year overall.

    Websites:Purdue - purduesports.com Colorado State - csurams.com

    Officials: Announced on game day.

    __________________________


    Rocky Mountain high for Carroll


    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/hoops/stories/200312300purdue_hoops1072760860.shtml

    FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Had life taken a slightly different turn, sophomore forward Matt Carroll would be playing basketball for Colorado State tonight in Moby Arena instead of for 21st-ranked Purdue.

    "Had I stayed in state, I would have chosen Colorado State," said the Aurora, Colo., native who selected Purdue in a recruiting derby that included Utah, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

    While Carroll is averaging only 1.1 points and one rebound, the 6-foot-8 management major played well in Saturday's 82-62 victory against Evansville and is looking forward to making the most of any opportunity he is given tonight.

    Carroll's home is approximately an hour from the Colorado State campus, where some of his high school friends attend college.

    "It's definitely exciting," Carroll said. "Playing in Fort Collins, a lot of friends and family will be able to attend. I'm looking forward to it. There should be a lot of people there I know.



    College athletes have no excuse to be academic casualties


    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/hoops/columns/200312282purdue_hoops1072589630.shtml

    "For Purdue football players Jacques Reeves, Nick Pilipauskis and Dontrey Flemings and for Boilermaker basketball center Chris Booker, the best of times have become the worst of times.

    As the football team is preparing to play Georgia in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Purdue fans learned Friday that three student-athletes, including starting cornerback Reeves, have been ruled academically ineligible.

    Several hours later, Gene Keady confirmed that the likable Booker also may be at the end of an academic gangplank as the Boilermakers move closer to the start of what should be a most entertaining Big Ten Conference season.

    It appears Booker may have an opportunity to plead his case when a pair of professors return to campus after the December holidays, but listening to his teammates after Saturday's game against Evansville, they aren't optimistic."

    ________________________________

    Loss leaves Boilers searching for answers

    Keady: Don't blame lackluster performance on final exams

    By Jeff Washburn, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/hoops/stories/200312230purdue_hoops1072156783.shtml

    "A single loss certainly isn't reason to push the panic button.

    But in the aftermath of its surprising 60-59 loss to unranked Southern Methodist in the Boilermaker Invitational's championship game Sunday, 22nd-ranked Purdue will do some soul-searching during the next several days.

    The Boilermakers led 30-24 at halftime and 54-48 with 4:38 remaining. Usually, that's more than enough for defensive-oriented Purdue, which had won 19 of 20 in Mackey Arena before facing the Mustangs.

    Coach Gene Keady isn't buying into the theory that the Boilermakers shot poorly (35.6 percent) and defended poorly (SMU shot 51.1 percent) because they were coming out of a week of first-semester final examinations. "

    _________________________




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