Its interesting to think that in the history of Purdue football, there has never been a stretch where Purdue has been in the national spotlight like it has in the last 7 years under Tiller. Mollenkopf came close in the late 60s but this was before bowl games and the national media coverage that we see today. All 7 years, Purdue has been in a bowl game. After two impressive wins in his first two years, Tiller has lost 3 of his last 4. The losing streak started in 2000 with a loss to Georgia. In that game, a Brees led Purdue ran all over the Bulldogs to lead 25-0 ten minutes into the second period. In what looked like a blowout and a third straight bowl win, turned out to be just the opposite. Georgia's defense tightened and held Purdue scorless the remainder of the game. Georgia, led by Quincey Carter, ties the game in regulation and wins on a FG in overtime, 28-25. Purdue might have won the game if Travis Dorsch hadn't missed an extra points and a FG.
In what has become an ugly trend, starting in the 2001 Rose Bowl, Purdue has decided to take the first quarter off. In Tiller's first three bowl games, Purdue managed to get the early lead. Only the Georgia collapse turned into a loss. In the last 4 bowl games, Purdue has played horribly in the first quarter plus of each game. In the Rose Bowl, Purdue fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter. The Boilers came back to 14-10 at the half before watching Washington pull away in the second half. The next year, Purdue fell behind Washington State 14-0 in the first quarter before coming back under Kyle Orton to take a 20-17 halftime lead only to see Washington State pull away in the second half. Then last year, Purdue fell behind 17-0 in the first quarter before coming back to make it close at 17-14 at the half. What was different last year was that Purdue didn't fall apart in the second half. Purdue gets the lead and stretches it to 31-17 before winning 34-24.
This year seems to follow the recent trends... for better or worse.
1 G25 P00 9-65 TD P27 P30 3--7 punt
1 G23 P00 12-77 TD P27 P35 5- 8 punt
1 G38/G42 4- 4 punt P23 P27 3- 4 punt
2 G26 P11 8-63 FG P25 P29 5- 4 punt
2 G33 P00 7-67 TD P33 G00 6-67 TD
2 G20 G19 2--1 fumble G19 G10 4- 9 FG
2 G10 G35 4-25 half
3 P45 G47 3- 9 punt
3 G20 G23 3- 3 punt P38 P47 5- 9 punt
3 G07 G17 6-10 punt P34 P40 3- 6 punt
3 G26 G44 5-18 punt P09/P38 6-29 punt
4 G20 G25 3- 5 punt P31 G00 6-69 TD
4 G20 P23 12-57 FG P36 P25 3--11 punt
4 G35 G42 3- 7 punt P37 G00 3-63 TD
4 P48 G44 2--8 fumble G34 G27 4- 7 FG
4 G20 G26 1- 6 half
O P25 P00 5-25 TD G25 G04 7-21 downs
Georgia gets the ball first in the game and drives quickly. David Greene is sacked for a loss of 7 on first down. A Purdue offside and a Kregg Lumpkin 4 yd run sets up 3rd and 8. Greene hits Reggie Brown for 12 for a first down at the 46. A 3 yd Lumpkin run and incomplete pass sets up another 3rd and long near midfield. Again, Georgia comes through with a screen pass to Damien Gary that goes for 43 yrds to the Purdue 8. On third and goal at the 6, Greene hits Fred Gibson for the TD in the right corner. Gibson was being loosely defended by Sean Petty who replaced academically ineligible Jacques Reeves. Georgia exploited Petty early and often in the game. Georgia leads early 7-0.
Purdue starts with two short passes to Standeford and Chambers setting up a 3rd an 1. But trying to fool the defense, Purdue makes a late substitution.and is called for delay of game. Orton is then sacked for a loss of 11 to finish the drive. Georgia's next drive starts with a 17 yd completion to Lumpkin to the GA 40. After a short pass, a short run and an incomplete sets up a 4th and 2, Georgia fakes the punt and Sean Jones runs for 4 and a first down at the Purdue 48. On third and 10, Greene hits Jeremy Thomas for 11 and then Lumpkin runs for another 14 to the 23. A play later, Greene throws a pass to Ben Watson to the Purdue 9. After a Purdue offside, Greene hits Gibson for the TD and a 14-0 lead late in the first.
Purdue's next drive starts with a Void run for 6 and a 8 yd pass to Standeford for Purdue's first first down. Then Orton is sacked for a loss of 11 and dislocates his thumb. Purdue was already down a starting cornerback and Gardner gets injured with a strained shoulder and now loses Orton. Kyle Smith comes in but Purdue punts a couple plays later. Purdue's defense finally starts to show that its in the game. After a 13 yd completion to Watson to the Purdue 49, Georgia is called for holding and Greene is sacked on 3rd and 12 and the Bulldogs punt early in the second quarter. The next Purdue drive is a three and out but Orton returns after getting his left thumb taped up. Georgia takes over at the 26 and Tyson Browning rushes twice setting up a 3rd and 7. Green hits Bailey for 8 to the 38. Greene then throws a screen pass to Browning that goes for 43 yrds and a first down at the Purdue 19. But Purdue's defense holds and Billy Bennett hits a 28 yd FG to make the score 17-0.
Void starts the next drive with runs of 4 and 8 for a first down at the Purdue 37. The Ray Williams is dumped in the backfield on an attempted reverse for a loss of 8 and Purdue punts. Georgia takes little time to score again. Reggie Brown takes a pass 24 yds to the Purdue 43. Lumpkin runs twice for 3 and 8 for another first down at the 32. Lumpkins gets a pass for 6 and runs for 1 setting up a 3rd and 3 when Greene scrambles for 13 to the Purdue 11. Greene then passes to a wide open Brown in the middle of the endzone to make the score 24-0. To say the game was one sided at this point would be an understatement. Purdue had only a couple of first downs and less than 30 yds of offense. Georgia had over 260 yds and 24 points with still 5 minutes to play in the half.
After Orton hits Stubblefield for 11, Georgia is called for pass interference that gets Purdue into Georgia territory for the first time. This seems to fire Purdue up. Orton passes complete to Standeford for 12 to the 28. Orton scrambles for 6 more and Jones runs left for 2 yds setting up a 3rd and 1 at the Georgia 17. Orton getting rushed, breaks a run up the middle and goes into the end zone for Purdue's first score to make the score 24-7.
Then Purdue gets a gift when Michael Cooper fumbles the ball back to Purdue on Georgia's first play from scrimmage. Orton's pass on 3rd and 10 to Stubblefield falls a yard short and Ben Jones kicks a FG to make the score 24-10 late in the half. Georgia runs the clock out on the half.
Georgia dominated the first half with 305 yds of offense to Purdue's 79. If Georgia hadn't slipped up a couple of times late in the half, this would be a blowout. Instead, Purdue is within striking distance.
The third quarter becomes a defensive struggle. Spack and the Purdue D adjusts and shuts down Georgia's offense that had run rough-shod over Purdue in the first half. Purdue's offense continued to struggle. Purdue starts the quarter with a 3 and out spoiling a great Jerome Brooks 41 yd KO return. Georgia starts with two Browning runs for a loss of one and a screen to Browning goes for only 4. The screen pass killed Purdue in the first half but the Purdue D neutralized it in the second half. Purdue does get a first down on its next drive when Void runs for 13 but the drive stalls when Orton is sacked on third and 5. Georgia starting at their 7 sees Greene get sacked for a loss of 5 but Georgia gets a reprieve when Greene hits Brown for 20 and a first down at the 29 but a late personal foul moves the ball back to the 14. Purdue sacks Greene on the next play but is called offside setting up a 1st and 5. But a run for a loss and two incompletes force Georgia to punt. Purdue goes 3 and out and punts. Georgia's next drive starts with a Lumpkin run for a loss of 3. Greene hits Watson for 17 yds but Watson is called for offensive pass interference pushing the ball back to the 11, 2nd and 25. Greene hits Brown for 31 yds and a first down at the 42 but the drive stalls and Georgia punts late in the quarter. Purdue thanks to an illegal block starts at their 9. Void runs for 12 and 3 to end the quarter.
Void runs for another 7 for a first down at the 31. A Void run and pass to Void for 6 more sets up a 3rd and 1 but Void is stuffed for a loss of 2 trying to sneak it up the middle. Georgia again goes 3 and out as the offenses continue to struggle. Orton decides to do something about this. After he's sacked, Orton hits Stubblefield for 12 and 7 for a first down at the 46. Orton then hits Stubblefield for 13 and another first down. Orton throws it deep and completes it to an open Stubblefield streaking down the left sideline for 39 yds and a first down at the 2. Orton completes the drive with a bootleg around right to make the score 24-17.
Now that its a game with 9 minutes to play, its up to the Purdue defense to stop the Bulldogs. But that doesn't happen. Greene hits Lumpkin for 8 and Gary for another 8. A play later, Lumpkin runs for 11 and a first down at the 47. Greene now hits Bailey for another 11 to the Purdue 42. Lumpkin runs for 7, Thomas for 1 and Greene hits Gibson for 5 and a first down at the 29. On second down, Greene scrambles for 6 but the 3rd down pass goes incomplete at the 5 yd line and Bennett hits a 40 yd FG to make the lead 10 with 4:27 to play, 27-17.
Purdue now needs two scores but the drive goes nowhere. After a false start and two incompletes, Orton is sacked for a BIG loss of 15. The ball is fumbled and luckily Mike Otto lands on it or the game would have been over. But the punt with 3:30 to play should have sealed Purdue's fate. But like the end of the first half when Georgia got sloppy and let Purdue back into it, they did it again. Needing only 2 first downs to run the clock out, Georgia fumbles it around. Thanks to a delay and two false start penalties, Georgia needs a big play on third down. Lumpkin does run for 13 but ends up 2 yds short and Georgia punts. A short punt is returned 14 by Chambers setting up Purdue at the 37. After an incomplete, Orton hits Standeford down the left sideline and John breaks a couple of tackles and runs the ball down to the 3. Orton completes the TD to Chambers to get Purdue to within 3 at 27-24 with 1:34 to play.
Purdue tries the onside kick but the kick bounces high and out of bounds. Georgia starts at the Purdue 48. Again, all Georgia has to do is sit on the ball but they don't. Taking a knee 3 times and a punt would have given the ball back to Purdue with around 20 seconds to play, no timeouts and a whole field to go to get into FG range. After a bad run that goes for a loss of one. They try it again and Lumpkin gets caught in the face of a rush and tries to make something of it. Instead of fall down, he struggles and Shaun Phillips knocks the ball loose. Craig Terrill recovers for Purdue at the Georgia 34. Purdue had its prayer answered and now has the ball nearly in FG range. Orton completes a pass to Standeford for 7 but on 3rd and 3, Standeford amazingly drops a wide open pass that would have been a first down at the 20. Ben Jones comes in a kicks the 44 yd FG to tie the game. Georgia decides to run the clock out and regulation ends in a 27-27 tie.
Georgia gets the first possession of the OT. Greene hits Gibson for 7 to the 18. On the next play, Greene tries to throw a pass into the right end of the end zone. Purdue's Bobby Iwuchukwu who was subbing for Gardner is caught grabbing the shirt of Watson and is called for pass interference. The penalty was a close call and it didn't look like Watson could have caught the pass anyway. But it sets up Georgia at the 3. Purdue's defense stuffs three runs up the middle and Georgia goes for it on 4th down rather than kick the FG. Lumpkin runs to the right and goes in easily for the TD and a 34-27 lead.
Purdue gets its chance from the 25. Void runs for 2 and Orton scrambles for 7. Orton then runs to the left for 7 and a first down at the 9. Then Georgia gets wise and stuffs two Void runs for only a yard gain. On third and goal at the 8, Orton tries to thread the pass to Stubblefield in the back of the end zone. But Georgia was ready and put two defenders in the way. The first defender tips the ball preventing the second defender from intercepting the ball. Purdue catches another break on the next play when Orton again tries to hit Orton but the ball goes incomplete. Game over?? No. Georgia is called for offsides and Purdue gets another try. Orton's pass is intercepted with no receiver in the area. Georgia wins a close one 34-27.
Purdue ends up with 289 yds of offense against a very good Georgia defense. Most of this yardage, almost 200 yds of it came in the 4th quarter and OT. Georgia's defense did look to be wearing out late in the game giving Purdue some big plays to get back into the game. Orton ended up 20-34 for 230 yds and one INT. Stubblefield catches 8 for 99 yds and Standeford catches 7 for 102. Most of these yards coming on two plays, a 39 yd pass to Stubblefield setting up Purdue's first 4th quarter TD and a 60 yd pass to Standeford setting up the second. Void runs 15 times for 63. Orton is sacked 5 times but manages 42 yds on his 5 runs. Georgia who seriously outgained Purdue 440 to 289 had only 135 yds of that in the second half and OT. Greene went 27-37 for 327 yds. Brown catches 5 for 99, Thomas 5 for 27, Gibson 4 for 22, Gary 2 for 51 and Browning 2 for 48. The screen pass that helped Gary and Browning to big receptions in the first half was non-existent in the second. Lumpkin runs 27 times for 90 and Browning adds 11 more yds on 6 runs. Georgia dominated time of possession 35:29 to 24:31 but most of this came in the first half when Purdue managed little if any offense.
Purdue for the 4th straight bowl game, spots the opponent 14 or more points before getting into the game. This year it was even worse, spotting Georgia 24 points before coming back to tie it at 27. It make one wonder if Purdue could actually come out of the gate strong if these would have been easy wins for Purdue instead of being 3 losses. Tiller now falls to 3-4 in bowl games. Purdue will have a lot of new faces next year. The defense will lose 8 starters and the offense 3. It will be interesting to see if Tiller's recent recruiting means next year will be a rebuilding year or if Tiller will find a way to return to his 8th straight bowl game.
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