The 2007 Motor City Bowl is the 15th bowl for the Purdue Boilermakers in the program's 120 years, and the 10th in 11 seasons under head coach Joe Tiller. With the 51-48 win, Purdue is now 8-7 all-time in bowl games and 4-6 during the Tiller era.
The matchup between Purdue and Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl means the Boilermakers and Chippewas will meet on the gridiron three times in 364 days. Purdue defeated CMU in the 2007 regular season on Sept. 15 and will follow the Motor City Bowl with a 2008 regular-season matchup with the Chippewas on Sept. 13.
Purdue has scored 40 points or more in 33 games during the Joe Tiller era and is 33-0 in those games.
The Boilermakers amassed 587 yards of total offense, the 39th time under Joe Tiller that Purdue went over the 500-yard plateau. Purdue is now 31-8 in those games.
Kory Sheets' touchdown run with 6:19 remaining in the first quarter snapped a six-bowl opening quarter scoreless streak. Purdue's last first quarter score in a bowl game was a 21-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Vinny Sutherland in the 2000 Outback Bowl vs. Georgia. The Boilermakers scored 19 points in that first quarter.
The one-play scoring drive of Curtis Painter to Greg Orton for 29 yards in the first quarter was the fourth one-play scoring drive by the Boilermakers in 2007. The Boilermakers added a fifth one-play scoring drive in the same quarter with a 62-yard pass from Painter to Dustin Keller.
Curtis Painter threw for 339 yards in the first half, the most yards thrown for by the Purdue quarterback in a half this season. Painter ended the game with 546 passing yards, giving him six 300-yard passing performances in 2007 and 10 for his career. The 10 career 300-yard outings are tied for second-most in Purdue history (with Jim Everett, 1981-85), behind only Drew Brees (1997-2000) with 16. The effort by Painter was also a career high for passing yards and his third career 400-yard game.
Dustin Keller (150 yards), Greg Orton (136) and Jake Standeford (112) each eclipsed the 100-yard mark receiving in the Motor City Bowl, marking the first time the Boilermakers had a 100-yard trio since Kyle Ingraham (209 yards), Taylor Stubblefield (138) and Dorien Bryant (131) accomplished the feat vs. Indiana on Nov. 20, 2004. It is just the fourth time in Purdue football history that three receivers surpassed the 100-yard mark. The performance marks the first time the feat was accomplished by a Purdue team in a bowl game.
Purdue's 21 first-quarter points set a Motor City Bowl record for points in the opening 15 minutes, formerly 17 by Connecticut vs. Toledo in 2004. The 21-point quarter tied the Boilermaker scoring record for a bowl quarter, first done vs. Georgia Tech in the 1978 Peach Bowl.
The Boilermakers equalled the most points scored in a single half of a bowl game, putting 34 points on the Ford Field scoreboard. Purdue scored 34 against the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech in the first half of the 1978 Peach Bowl.
Curtis Painter's game total of 546 yards passing is a Purdue bowl record. The old record of 419 was set by Kyle Orton in the 2001 Sun Bowl vs. Washington State. His total through the air also established a Motor City Bowl, which had been 455 by Luke Getsy of Akron in the 2005 contest vs. Memphis.
Dustin Keller caught 7 passes for 150 yards, moving into second on the season receiving yards record list for a Purdue tight end with (881). The Boilermaker record is 959 yards by Dave Young in 1980. Keller's 2006 season total of 771 yards receiving ranks third among Boilermaker tight ends.
Curtis Painter's game total of 546 yards passing is a Purdue single game passing yard record surpassing the previous mark of 522 yards by both Kyle Orton (2004) and Drew Brees (1998).
Curtis Painter tossed three scoring strikes, upping his 2007 season total to 29. The 29 touchdown passes ranks third on the Purdue season record list behind only 39 by Drew Brees in 1998 and 31 by Kyle Orton in 2004.
Chris Summers' extra point in the first quarter was the 51st attempted extra point of the season, setting a team and individual season record. Summers scored (15) points in the Motor City Bowl, giving him (110) for the 2007 season and moving him into third on the Purdue season points record list. Summers' connected on his 16th and 17th and 18th field goals of the season, fourth-most in a Boilermaker season.
Bryant's 16-yard kickoff return in the early stages of the third quarter gave the all-purpose receiver/returner over 1,000 kickoff return yards for the 2007 season.
Career Notes and Milestones
Kory Sheets' two touchdown runs on the day were the 36th and 37th overall touchdowns of his career, tying Leroy Keyes (19666-68) for second on the Purdue career list. The scores were the 31st and 32nd rushing touchdowns of his career, moving him into third place on that list. The scores give Sheets 222 career points, advancing him into a tie for fourth on the career scoring list with Keyes.
Dorien Bryant concluded his career at Purdue ranked fourth in the history of the Big Ten Conference with (6,219) all-purpose yards. Bryant ranked behind Wisconsin's Ron Dayne (7,429 yards), Ohio State's Archie Griffin (6,559) and Indiana's Anthony Thompson (6,446).
Dorien Bryant's 35-yard punt return in the first quarter was the longest of his career. His previous career high was 24 yards vs. Eastern Illinois on Sept. 8, 2007.