Football Faces Central Florida

Sept. 14, 1998

Purdue Boilermakers (1-1)
vs. Central Florida Golden Knights (2-0)
Ross-Ade Stadium (67,332) - West Lafayette, Indiana
September 19, 1998 - 11:10 a.m. EST


RADIO: WAZY (96.5 FM) / Purdue Sports Radio Network - Joe McConnell (play-by-play), Pete Quinn (color commentary), Tim Newton (pregame/halftime/postgame)

TELEVISION: ESPN - Dave Barnett (play-by-play), Bill Curry (color commentary), Dave Ryan (sideline)

The Purdue football team, under second-year head coach Joe Tiller, plays host to Central Florida and Heisman Trophy candidate (senior quarterback) Daunte Culpepper in West Lafayette on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Boilermakers are coming off a hard-fought 21-19 victory over Rice in West Lafayette on Sept. 12. Last season the Boilermakers enjoyed a storybook campaign by finishing 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten Conference for a second-place tie (with Ohio State and Penn State). Purdue defeated Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl 33-20 and was ranked No. 15 in the final Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today national polls.

HEAD COACH JOE TILLER: Joe Tiller is in his second season as Purdues head coach with a 10-4 record (.714 winning percentage) and his eighth season as a collegiate head coach with a 49-34-1 record (.589). He is 23-6 in his last 29 games. Tiller was named the Boilermakers 33rd head coach Nov. 22, 1996. He was the head coach at Wyoming from 1991-96 and compiled a 39-30-1 record.

The Cowboys played in the 1993 Copper Bowl and reached the 1996 Western Athletic Conference championship game. In 1997 Tiller was named National Coach-of-the-Year by both Football News and Kickoff magazines, the GTE Region 3 Coach-of-the-Year (Big Ten, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA) by the American Football Coaches Association and the Big Ten Dave McClain Coach-of-the-Year. He also was one of six finalists for the Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach-of-the-Year and a finalist for National Coach-of-the-Year by The Sporting News. Tiller was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Boilermakers from 1983-86.

HISTORY 101 - ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: Purdue and Central Florida have not previously met. The Boilermakers have faced just one school from the Sunshine State, and they are 1-5 against the Miami Hurricanes.

PURDUE VS. CULPEPPER: Two Boilermakers have played against Central Florida quarterback Daunte Culpepper. In 1994 Willie Fells and Lee Johnson played for Palatka (Fla.) High School and defeated Culpepper and Ocala Vanguard High School. The following year Culpepper and Vanguard returned the favor against Fells and Palatka (Johnson had graduated).

A STRONG BREES: Sophomore quarterback Drew Brees has completed 50 of 83 passes (60.2 percent) for 498 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He was named the Purdue Player-of-the-Game by ABC Sports, the Pigskin Classic Most Valuable Player by NACDA and the Big Ten Offensive Player-of-the-Week following his first career start at USC (30 of 52, 248 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions). He was the ESPN Purdue Player-of-the-Game against Rice (20 of 31, 250 yards, two touchdowns passing and one rushing). As a freshman in 1997 Brees completed 19 of 43 passes for 232 yards with one interception and no touchdowns. At Westlake High School, Brees led his teams to a 28-0-1 record as a two-year starter.

1998 CAPTAINS: Purdues captains this season are senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin (left) and senior wide receiver Isaac Jones. In addition, one additional captain will be selected for each game - USC (John Reeves), Rice (Jim Niedrach).

GAME 2 RECAP (PURDUE 21, RICE 19): In a classic matchup of pass vs. rush, Purdue came away with a hard-fought 21-19 victory over Rice before 42,463 fans and an ESPN national television audience at Ross-Ade Stadium on Sept. 12. The Boilermakers amassed 250 yards passing (82 rushing), while the Owls totaled 319 yards on the ground (72 through the air).

Purdue led 14-3 at halftime and 21-10 after three quarters. Then Rice kicked a field goal to make it 21-13 and scored a touchdown (following a Purdue turnover) to make it 21-19. But Rices attempted two-point conversion pass for the tie was knocked down by junior cornerback Michael Hawthorne. Sophomore quarterback Drew Brees completed 20 of 31 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Junior wide receiver Randall Lane caught seven passes for 99 yards and a TD.

Junior running back J. Crabtree rushed 15 times for 60 yards. Junior linebacker Willie Fells topped the team with 15 tackles, while senior linebacker John Reeves had 12 stops. Senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin had two tackles for loss, including a quarterback sack, and blocked a field goal attempt.

QUICK STRIKE: The Boilermakers six scoring drives this season (five touchdowns and one field goal) have amassed 18 minutes and 16 seconds. Thats an average of 3:03 per scoring drive. Purdues shortest scoring drive has been 2:22 vs. Rice, while its longest has been 4:40 at USC.

NEW FACES: The Boilermakers have had 12 players make their first collegiate start this season (eight on offense and four on defense), plus freshman kicker Travis Dorsch. In addition, senior defensive end Chike Okeafor has made his first start since the 1996 season (he did not play in 1997).

MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK: In two games sophomore quarterback Drew Brees has completed passes to 11 different players. A total of 10 different players caught passes in the USC game alone. Last season the greatest number of different players to catch passes in a single game was eight on four occasions (vs. Wisconsin, vs. Penn State, at Indiana and vs. Oklahoma State).

THE OFFENSE LIKES IKE: Senior wide receiver Isaac Jones is the Boilermakers leading pass catcher with 15 receptions for 177 yards (11.8 average). He equalled his career high of 10 catches for a career-best 119 yards at USC on Aug. 30, 1998. He also caught 10 passes for 106 yards against vs. Penn State on Nov. 15, 1997. Jones has 86 career receptions and needs 24 to move into 10th place on Purdues career list (Steve Bryant, 1980-81, 110).

THE BALL STOPS HERE: Junior linebacker Willie Fells was the Boilermakers leading tackler last season with 131 stops (third in the Big Ten) en route to being named honorable mention all-conference. He has picked up right where he left off this year, topping the team with 28 tackles, including 17 solos. Fells has finished with double-figure stops in both games (13 at USC and 15 vs. Rice) and has nine double-figure efforts during his career (six in his last seven games, dating to 1997). His career high is 20 tackles (15 solos) at Iowa on Nov. 1, 1997.

FROM "POOCH" TO "POP": In 1997 Danny Rogers was Purdues "pooch punter" who specialized in directional punting deep inside opponents territory (six of his 23 punts were downed inside the 20-yard line). This season the junior is handling all the punting chores, and he has a 45.3-yard average. He had a career-long 63-yarder at USC on Aug. 30, 1998. Rogers ranks fifth on Purdues career punting average list at 38.9 (89 punts for 3,465 yards). Of his 89 career punts, 24 have come to rest inside the 20-yard line (27 percent).

A LOOK BACK AT A GREAT SEASON: In 1997 Purdue posted its first on-the-field winning season since the 1984 Boilermakers finished with a 7-5 record. (The 1994 team was awarded a forfeit victory over Michigan State to improve its record to 5-4-2.) Also last season the Boilermakers earned their first bowl berth since 1984 (Peach Bowl, 27-24 loss to Virginia) and were nationally ranked for the first time since 1984. Purdues finalranking of No. 15 was its highest since 1979 (10th).

UPSIDE DOWN, TURNAROUND: The Boilermakers 9-3 record a year ago (after going 3-8 in 1996) marked the second-best turnaround in the nation behind only Western Michigan (2-9 to 8-3) and coach Gary Darnell. Additionally, it was the second-greatest turnaround in school history behind the 1943 team that went 9-0 under coach Elmer Burnham (right) one year after the 1942 squad finished 1-8 under Burnham.

TROPHY TRIUMVIRATE: In 1997 the Boilermakers claimed victories in all of their traveling trophy games for the first time since the 1985 season. They defeated Notre Dame 28-17 for the Shillelagh, Illinois 48-3 for the Cannon and Indiana 56-7 for the Old Oaken Bucket. Purdue outscored its three rivals by a combined score of 132-27.

HIGH-OCTANE OFFENSE: Scribes and broadcasters were sent scrambling to their dictionaries and thesauruses to come up with words to describe the Purdue offense last season. When all the numbers were finally calculated the Boilermakers set school records with 396 points (33.0 per game) and 5,510 total yards (459.2 per game). The previous standards were 354 points in 10 games in 1969 (35.4 per game) and 5,269 total yards in 12 games in 1980 (439.1 per game). Purdue paced the Big Ten in passing yards (285.2 per game) and total offense and ranked seventh in the nation in total offense, 13th in passing and 22nd in scoring.

DRIVING MISS DAISY MR. TILLER: With apologies to Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, the Boilermakers had six scoring drives of 90-plus yards and 14 scoring drives of 80-plus yards last season.

GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Purdue outscored its opponents by a 107-48 margin during the first quarter a year ago. The Boilermakers most-productive quarter was the second (112).

DONT FORGET THE DEFENSE: With all the hype about the Boilermakers offense last season, it was easy to overlook a rather stingy defense. Purdue surrendered just 22.3 points per game to rank 46th in the nation. The last time the Boilermakers allowed fewer than 22 points was during the 1981 season (21.9).

PURDUE TAKETH AWAY: The Boilermakers led the Big Ten and ranked ninth nationally with a school-record +14 turnover margin last season. The previous standard was +11 in 1959. The Boilermakers finished with 12 fumble recoveries and 23 interceptions (second-highest total in school history behind the 27 in 1969). Purdue lost the turnover battle in only two games (2-1 at Toledo and 3-1 vs. Penn State).

TAKE HOME A SACK: The 1997 Boilermakers amassed 35 quarterback sacks (for -223 yards). The school record is 38 sacks by the 1989 squad. Junior right end Rosevelt Colvin led the way with 12.5 sacks (for -77 yards) to rank fourth in the Big Ten.

"QB" SCHOOL: Purdue has the reputation as one of the nations premier quarterback schools. Previous signal-callers include Len Dawson (1954-56), Bob Griese (1964-66 - pictured at left), Mike Phipps (1967-69), Gary Danielson (1970-72), Mark Herrmann (1977-80), Scott Campbell (1980-83) and Jim Everett (1982-85). Dawson led the Kansas City Chiefs to a victory in Super Bowl IV and Griese won two Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins (VII and VIII). According to research by Sports Illustrated, Purdue ranks fifth all-time among schools whose QB alums have thrown more than 10,000 passes in the NFL. The list includes Brigham Young (81.6 rating), Miami (77.3), Washington (76.9), Oregon (75.1) and Purdue (74.5). In addition, Purdue quarterbacks have thrown more NFL touchdown passes than QBs from any other school.

This Date In Purdue Football History (September 19)

Sept. 19, 1970 - The Bob DeMoss era of Purdue football opened with a 15-0 victory over Texas Christian before a crowd of 65,808 in Ross-Ade Stadium. It was the Boilermakers first shutout since a 9-0 blanking of Michigan State in East Lansing on Nov. 16, 1968. Sophomore middle guard Greg Bingham was named Midwestern Lineman-of-the-Week after recording 14 tackles, including five for losses. Junior running back Scott Clayton rushed 19 times for 86 yards with two touchdowns.

Sept. 19, 1987 - The Boilermakers, under first-year head coach Fred Akers, tied Louisville 22-22 in their second game of the season in front of 63,125 fans in Ross-Ade Stadium. Louisville tied the game with 8:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, and neither team scored again. Senior fullback James Murdock had 25 carries for 126 yards to go with five receptions for 31 yards. Senior quarterback Doug Downy completed 21 of 39 passes for 189 yards with two touchdowns. Purdues defense limited the Cardinals to 31 yards rushing on 20 carries.

Sept. 19, 1992 - Second-year head coach Jim Colletto and the Boilermakers dropped a 33-29 decision to Toledo in Ross-Ade Stadium one week after upsetting No. 17 California 41-14. Freshman fullback Mike Alstott scored his first career touchdown on a 6-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Matt Pike with 8:32 remaining in the third quarter.

Purdue Football Tentative Depth Chart For Central Florida


WR: 6 Isaac Jones, Sr., 6-0, 192, Wallingford, Pa. 14 Vinny Sutherland, So., 5-10, 188, West Palm Beach, Fla.

WR: 8 Gabe Cox, Sr., 5-10, 190, Tucson, Ariz. 20 Chris Daniels, Jr., 6-3, 202, Clearwater, Fla.

TE: 81 Chris Randolph, R-Fr., 6-5, 252, Memphis, Tenn. 89 Tim Stratton, R-Fr., 6-4, 234, Oak Brook, Ill.

LT: 78 Matt Light, So., 6-4, 283, Greenville, Ohio 55 Ian Allen, So., 6-4, 279, Fairburn, Ga.

LG: 73 David Cohen, Jr., 6-4, 299, Ballwin, Mo. 75 Aaron Starnes, Jr., 6-3, 289, Shawnee, Kan.

C: 56 Chukky Okobi, So., 6-2, 313, Hamden, Conn. 72 Josh Kirkpatrick, R-Fr., 6-1, 268, Veedersburg, Ind.

RG: 75 Aaron Starnes, Jr., 6-3, 289, Shawnee, Kan. 65 Pete VanderWeele, Sr., 6-5, 304, Fort Wayne, Ind.

RT: 77 Brandon Gorin, So., 6-6, 285, Muncie, Ind. 68 Kelly Kitchel, Fr., 6-6, 280, Walton, Ind.

WR: 84 Randall Lane, Jr., 6-1, 205, Chicago, Ill. 25 Cliff Jackson, Jr., 5-10, 178, Chico, Calif.

QB: 15 Drew Brees, So., 6-1, 212, Austin, Texas 10 David Edgerton, So., 6-2, 213, Liberty, Mo.

RB: 34 J. Crabtree, Jr., 5-9, 201, Wichita, Kan. 24 Dondre Johnson, R-Fr., 6-0, 213, Kokomo, Ind. 2 Chris Clopton, So., 5-7, 159, Lynwood, Ill. 16 Eric Haddad, Sr., 6-1, 235, Westlake, Ohio


LE: 54 Chike Okeafor, Sr., 6-5, 248, West Lafayette, Ind. 87 Rocco Foggio, So., 6-4, 276, Farmington, Mich.

LT: 98 Matt Mitrione, R-Fr., 6-3, 286, Springfield, Ill. 47 Chris Zurba, Sr., 6-3, 261, Streamwood, Ill.

RT: 82 David Nugent, Jr., 6-5, 291, Collierville, Tenn. 90 Derrick Williams, Jr., 6-4, 297, Houston, Texas

RE: 59 Rosevelt Colvin, Sr., 6-3, 248, Indianapolis, Ind. 58 Warren Moore, So., 6-2, 263, Memphis, Tenn.

WLB: 35 Lee Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 230, Palatka, Fla. 23 Willie Burroughs, Sr., 5-11, 225, Punta Gorda, Fla.

MLB: 40 Willie Fells, Jr., 6-1, 225, Palatka, Fla. 88 Jason Loerzel, R-Fr., 6-3, 212, Park Ridge, Ill.

SLB: 4 Mike Rose, Jr., 6-1, 238, Dayton, Ohio 3 John Reeves, Sr., 6-4, 227, Bradenton, Fla.

LCB: 11 Michael Hawthorne, Jr., 6-3, 195, Sarasota, Fla. 27 Henry Bell, Sr., 5-11, 180, Los Angeles, Calif.

FS: 5 Billy Gustin, Sr., 6-2, 196, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 22 Lamar Conard, Jr., 5-10, 200, Elkhart, Ind.

SS: 7 Adrian Beasley, Jr., 6-0, 194, Atlanta, Ga. 37 Todd Stelma, Sr., 5-11, 192, Goshen, Ind.

RCB: 33 DaShann Austin, Jr., 5-10, 179, Liberty, Mo. 22 Lamar Conard, Jr., 5-10, 200, Elkhart, Ind.

Special Teams

Punter: 26 Danny Rogers, Jr., 5-10, 205, Sanibel, Fla. 2 Scott Kurz, R-Fr., 6-1, 187, Bloomington, Ill.

Field Goal, 30 Travis Dorsch, Fr., 6-6, 192, Bozeman, Mont. PAT Kicks: 2 Scott Kurz, R-Fr., 6-1, 187, Bloomington, Ill.

Long Snapper (Punts): 20 Chris Daniels, Jr., 6-3, 202, Clearwater, Fla. Long Snapper (Kicks): 89 Tim Stratton, R-Fr., 6-4, 234, Oak Brook, Ill.

Holder: 26 Danny Rogers, Jr., 5-10, 205, Sanibel, Fla.

Punt Returns: 33 DaShann Austin, Jr., 5-10, 179, Liberty, Mo. 14 Vinny Sutherland, So., 5-10, 188, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Kickoff Returns: 2 Chris Clopton, So., 5-7, 159, Lynwood, Ill. 84 Randall Lane, Jr., 6-1, 205, Chicago, Ill.




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