Notes From 1996
Coach Colletto And Nine Seniors Say Good Bye: The 1996 season was the last for Boilermaker head coach Jim Colletto and nine seniors: LT Jon Krick, RE Craig Williams, MLB Chris Koeppen, WLB Joe Hagins, SCB Derrick Winston, SG Emmett Zitilli, WR Kirk Olivadotti, QB Rick Trefzger and FB Dartanian Sanders.
Coach Colletto: Jim Colletto completed his 11th year as a collegiate head coach with a 38-80-4 record and was 21-42-3 in six seasons at Purdue. On Nov. 4, Colletto announced that he would step down as Purdue coach at the end of the 1996 season. He was head coach at Cal State Fullerton for five years from 1975-79. Before becoming Purdue's 32nd head coach on Dec. 6, 1990, Colletto served as offensive coordinator at Ohio State for three years.
Alford Named First Team All-Big Ten: Brian Alford was named first team All-Big Ten by the media and coaches. Emmett Zitelli was second team by the media and coaches, and Chike Okeafor was second team by the coaches. Jamel Coleman, Jon Krick and Okeafor were named honorable mention by the media. Rosevelt Colvin, Mark Fischer and Coleman were honorable mention picks by the coaches.
Trefzger No. 6 All-Time Passer: Quarterback Rick Trefzger finished his career No. 6 all-time in passing yards at Purdue with 5,063. Trefzger ended third all-time in pass completion percentage (.578) behind only Jim Everett and Mark Herrmann. For the season, Trefzger completed 96-of-170 (.565) passes for 1,158 yards and eight touchdowns.
Coleman Makes Mark In Secondary: Cornerback Jamel Coleman led the Boilermakers with five interceptions and 20 pass breakups. His 20 PBUs set a school single-season record, breaking Tim Foley's mark of 19 set in 1969. For his career, Coleman is tied for seventh all-time at Purdue with 27 PBUs (seven as a sophomore). The career leader is Steve Jackson (1987-90) with 35. In addition, Coleman is seventh in career interceptions with nine.
Colvin And Hagins Lead Boilers In Tackles For Loss: Defensive end Rosevelt Colvin led the Boilermakers with 18 tackles for loss (for -63 yards) and six sacks (for -33 yards). Colvin's 18 tackles for loss rank tied for sixth on Purdue's all-time single-season list. Senior linebacker Joe Hagins was next on the team with 14 tackles for loss (for a -62 yards).
Alford Top Receiving Threat: Brian Alford finished second in the Big Ten in catches (63) and receiving yards (1,057). His 1,057 yards were the third-most in Purdue history and it marked only the fourth time a Boiler receiver eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. He caught two touchdown passes against Indiana in the season finale to set a Purdue single-season record of 12 TDs (old mark of 11 was set by Steve Bryant and Ashley Bell in 1981 and 1969, respectively). Against Michigan State in game one, he caught a career-high nine passes for 156 yards. Alford tied his career-best with nine catches vs. Penn State. Against Northwestern, Alford caught seven passes for a career-best 186 yards. That effort was the best in 11 years (Rodney Carter 190 vs. Ohio State in 1985) and tied for the fourth best all-time at Purdue behind Bart Burrell (200), Steve Bryant (195) and Carter. For his Purdue career, Alford is second in receiving touchdowns (21) and seventh in receiving yards (1,801).
Brown Paces Defense: Free safety Derrick Brown led the Boilermakers in tackles with 102 (73 solo). He had eight vs. Michigan State, 13 vs. Notre Dame, nine vs. West Virginia, a career-high 16 (13 solo) vs. North Carolina State, eight vs. Minnesota, 11 vs. Penn State, five vs. Ohio State, six vs. Wisconsin, six vs. Michigan, 11 vs. Northwestern and nine vs. Indiana. He led the Boilermakers in tackles in five of 11 games in 1996. He had 15 more tackles than second-leading Chris Koeppen (87). Brown has six career double-figure tackle efforts (four in 1996).
Koeppen Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week After Michigan Upset: Linebacker Chris Koeppen was named Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week after leading the Boilermakers with 10 tackles (eight solo) in Purdue's 9-3 upset win over Michigan. Two of those stops were tackles for loss (for -10 yards) and he also recovered two fumbles, including forcing one. His two recoveries tied a single-game school record held by several players.
Strong Secondary: Purdue's defensive backfield played well in 1996. Derrick Brown led all Purdue defenders with 102 tackles (73 solo). Jamel Coleman paced the team with five interceptions and 20 passes broken up. Brown and senior Derrick Winston had 15 and nine PBUs, respectively. In 1996, Brown, Coleman, Winston and Willie Burroughs started every game.
By Ground Is Better: The Boilermakers are 11-4 (.733) the past three seasons in games they have outrushed their opponents. Purdue was 4-0 in 1994, 4-3 in 1995 and 3-1 in 1996 (only loss to Northwestern).
Big Play Threats: Purdue's offense produced 159 plays (53 rushing, 106 passing) that went for 10 yards or more in 1996. Individually, Rick Trefzger had 55 plays of 10 yards or more (5 rushing, 50 passing). Brian Alford had 48 (1 rushing, 47 receiving), followed by John Reeves with 32 (10 rushing, 32 passing). As a team, the Boilers had 24 plays in 1996 of 25 yards or more (6 rushing, 18 passing). The leaders were Brian Alford (14--all receiving) and John Reeves (10--2 rushing and eight passing).
Consistency: Eleven Boilermakers started every game in 1996 at the same position. Offensively, Brian Nicley (C) and Emmett Zitelli (SG). Defensively, Rosevelt Colvin (LE), John Krick (LT), Craig Williams (RE), Chike Okeafor (SLB), Chris Koeppen (MLB), Derrick Winston (LCB), Willie Burroughs (SS), Derrick Brown (FS) and Jamel Coleman (QCB).
Record 16-Game TV Streak: Purdue's school record streak of being on television 16 straight games ended against Northwestern on Nov. 16. The last seven games of 1995 were on TV and the first nine of 1996 were televised by various networks.
Records Fall Against Badgers In Losing Effort: Despite losing to Wisconsin, the Boilermakers looked good on paper. Purdue set school team records for first downs with 38 (old mark of 34 was set in 1980 against Michigan State) and pass completions with 36 (old mark of 35 was set in 1985 vs. Ohio State--all by Jim Everett). John Reeves was 3-of-6 and Rick Trefzger was 33-of-52.
Biggest Win Since 1984: Purdue's win over No. 9-ranked Michigan was the biggest since the Boilermakers upset No. 2-ranked Ohio State 28-23 in West Lafayette in 1984. It was also Purdue's first win over a top 10-ranked team since defeating the Buckeyes.