Football Travels to Intrastate Rival

September 21, 1998

Purdue Boilermakers (2-1)
at #23 (AP) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-1)
Notre Dame Stadium (80,225) - Notre Dame, Indiana
September 26, 1998 - 1:30 p.m. EST

PROJECTED ATTENDANCE: 80,225 (sellout)

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

TELEVISION: NBC - Dick Enberg (play-by-play), Pat Haden (color commentary), Jim Gray (sideline)

A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The Purdue football team, under second-year head coach Joe Tiller, travels to intrastate rival and 23rd-ranked Notre Dame on Saturday, Sept. 26. The Boilermakers are coming off a 35-7 win over Central Florida in West Lafayette on Sept. 19. 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 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 Purdue's head coach with an 11-4 record (.733 winning percentage) and his eighth season as a collegiate head coach with a 50-34-1 record (.594). He is 24-6 in his last 30 games. Tiller won his 50th career game against Central Florida on Sept. 19, 1998. 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 Notre Dame have met 69 times previously with the Fighting Irish holding a 45-22-2 advantage. The teams have met the last 53 seasons consecutively. Only USC has more wins over Notre Dame than Purdue (the Trojans have 25). On Sept. 13, 1997, Purdue snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Irish with a 28-17 win at home. The Boilermakers' last victory at Notre Dame was a 31-20 verdict Sept. 28, 1974.

SHILLELAGH TROPHY: Since 1957 Purdue and Notre Dame have played for the Shillelagh Trophy, and the Fighting Irish hold a 26-15 advantage in that portion of the series. The Shillelagh is a club, which was donated in 1957 by the late Joe McLaughlin, a merchant seaman and a Notre Dame fan who brought it from Ireland. Miniature gold footballs with either a "P" or an "ND" and the score signify both school's wins.

QUICK STARTS ... : Purdue has scored on its first possession in two of three games (at USC and vs. Rice). On the three opening drives, quarterback Drew Brees has completed 7 of 10 passes for 109 yards with one touchdown passing, one touchdown rushing and one interception.

... AND QUICK STRIKES: The Boilermakers' 10 scoring drives this season (nine touchdowns and one field goal) have amassed 29 minutes and 13 seconds. That's an average of 2:55 per scoring drive. Purdue's shortest scoring drive has been 1:25 vs. Central Florida, while its longest has been 5:39 vs. Central Florida.

1998 CAPTAINS: Purdue's 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), Central Florida (Willie Fells and Lee Johnson).

GAME 3 RECAP (PURDUE 35, CENTRAL FLORIDA 7): The Purdue defense held Heisman Trophy candidate Daunte Culpepper and the high-powered Central Florida offense to just a fourth-quarter touchdown, and the Boilermakers rolled to a 35-7 victory before 53,469 fans and an ESPN national television audience at Ross-Ade Stadium on Sept. 19, 1998. Purdue led 7-0 in the second quarter when junior cornerback Michael Hawthorne intercepted a Culpepper pass in the end zone and ran it back 65 yards before flipping it to senior free safety Billy Gustin, who ran 35 yards for a touchdown. Offensively, junior running back J. Crabtree had 18 carries for a season-high 118 yards and redshirt freshman running back Dondre Johnson had nine carries for a season-high 75 yards. Both players scored their first career touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Drew Brees completed 14 of 24 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Senior wide receiver Gabe Cox caught five passes for 46 yards with a touchdown. Hawthorne and senior linebacker Lee Johnson both came up with eight tackles. Senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin had two tackles for losses (both quarterback sacks) and blocked a field goal. Head coach Joe Tiller won his 50th career game.

NEW FACES: The Boilermakers have had 14 players make their first collegiate start this season (nine on offense and five 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).

A STRONG BREES: Sophomore quarterback Drew Brees has completed 64 of 107 passes (59.8 percent) for 721 yards with six touchdowns and three 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 vs. Rice (20 of 31, 250 yards, two touchdowns passing and one rushing).

MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK: In three games sophomore quarterback Drew Brees has completed passes to 11 different players. The breakdown by game - at USC (10), vs. Rice (8) and vs. Central Florida (five). Last season the greatest number of different players to catch passes in a single game was eight on four occasions.

THE OFFENSE LIKES IKE: Senior wide receiver Isaac Jones is the Boilermakers' leading pass catcher with 17 receptions for 190 yards (11.2 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 88 career receptions and needs 22 to move into 10th place on Purdue's career list (Steve Bryant, 1980-81, 110).

RUSH HOUR: Junior running back J. Crabtree and redshirt freshman running back Dondre Johnson both established season highs vs. Central Florida on Sept. 19. Crabtree finished with 118 yards rushing, while Johnson had 75. Both scored their first Purdue touchdowns, as well. Johnson became the first Purdue player to rush for 100 yards since Edwin Watson at Indiana on Nov. 22, 1997.

CRACKLIN' ROSEY: Neil Diamond sang the song, and senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin is making Purdue fans smile. He tops the team with four tackles for loss, three quarterback sacks and two blocked field goals. His two blocks ties the school season record (also held by Kevin Holley in 1986, Steve Jackson in 1989, Kevin Strikland in 1989 and Jarrett Scales in 1990). Colvin has three career blocked field goals to share the school standard with Scales (1987-90). Colvin has 44 career tackles for loss to rank third on the school list.

A HAWTHORNE IN THE OPPOSITIONS' SIDE: Junior cornerback Michael Hawthorne has been the Boilermakers' big-play man on defense this season. He broke up the potential tying two-point conversion attempt vs. Rice on Sept. 12 and intercepted a pass in the end zone and ran it back 65 yards before pitching the ball to senior free safety Billy Gustin (who took it the remaining 35 yards for a touchdown) vs. Central Florida on Sept. 19. Hawthorne also had an interception at USC on Aug. 30. For the season he tops the team with two picks and ranks second with three pass breakups. He also has one forced fumble to share the team lead with three other players.

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 31 tackles, including 18 solos. Fells has finished with double-figure stops in two games (13 at USC and 15 vs. Rice) and has nine double-figure efforts during his career (six in his last eight 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 Purdue's "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 44.4-yard average. He had a career-long 63-yarder at USC on Aug. 30, 1998, and equalled it vs. Central Florida on Sept. 19, 1998. Rogers ranks fifth on Purdue's career punting average list at 39.1 (93 punts for 3,634 yards). Of his 93 career punts, 26 have come to rest inside the 20-yard line (28 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. Purdue's final ranking 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.

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.

DON'T 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).

"QB" SCHOOL: Purdue has the reputation as one of the nation's 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 QB's from any other school.

This Date In Purdue Football History
(September 26)

Sept. 26, 1936 - Seventh-year head coach Noble Kizer and the Boilermakers opened the season with a 47-0 blanking of Ohio before 17,000 fans in Ross-Ade Stadium. Junior halfback Cecil Isbell rushed for four touchdowns, and his brother, Cody, also a junior halfback, threw a 35-yard touchdown pass. The game was played just two weeks after a locker room fire killed two players, Carl Dahlbeck and Tom McGannon.

Sept. 26, 1964 - Sophomore quarterback Bob Griese made his collegiate debut and led the Boilermakers, under ninth-year head coach Jack Mollenkopf, to a 17-0 win over Ohio before a crowd of 45,321 in Ross Ade Stadium. Griese completed 8 of 13 passes for 119 yards, rushed seven times for 20 yards with two 1-yard touchdown runs and kicked a 36-yard field goal.

Sept. 26, 1981 - The Boilermakers, under fifth-year head coach Jim Young, won a thriller over Notre Dame by the score of 15-14 in front of 70,007 fans in Ross-Ade Stadium. Trailing 14-7, sophomore quarterback Scott Campbell found senior flanker Steve Bryant on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds remaining that cut the deficit to 14-13. On a mirror image of the scoring strike, Campbell and Bryant hooked up on a two-point conversion for the victory. Campbell completed 11 of 24 passes for 246 yards with one touchdown, while Bryant caught five passes for 96 yards. Senior tailback Wally Jones scored the Boilermakers' other touchdown on a 1-yard run in the third quarter. Junior defensive end David Frye had 14 tackles.

Sept. 26, 1987 - In a 44-20 loss to Notre Dame, senior kicker Jonathan Briggs nailed a 50-yard field goal (one yard short of the school record) to establish a Ross-Ade Stadium record (since broken by Michigan's Ralf Mojsiejenko at 59 yards in 1983).

Purdue Football Tentative Depth Chart For Notre Dame


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. 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 Da'Shann 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 Da'Shann Austin, Jr., 5-10, 179, Liberty, Mo. 14 Vinny Sutherland, So., 5-10, 188, West Palm Beach, Fla.

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




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