Football Prepares for Badgers

Oct. 5, 1998

Purdue Boilermakers (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten)
at #10/12 Wisconsin Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten)
Camp Randall Stadium (76,129)
Madison, Wisconsin
October 10, 1998 - 7:30 p.m. EST

PROJECTED ATTENDANCE: 76,129 (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: espn2 - Joel Meyers (play-by-play), Todd Christensen (color commentary), Dean Blevins (sideline)

A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The Purdue football team, under second-year head coach Joe Tiller, travels to 10th/12th-ranked Wisconsin on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Boilermakers are coming off a record-setting 56-21 victory over Minnesota in West Lafayette on Oct. 3. Last season the Boilermakers enjoyed a storybook campaign by finishing 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten 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 a 12-5 record (.706 winning percentage) and his eighth season as a collegiate head coach with a 51-35-1 record (.592). He is 25-7 in his last 32 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 Wisconsin have met 69 times previously with the Badgers holding a 34-27-8 advantage. Purdue has won two of the last three meetings (38-27 in West Lafayette on Nov. 4, 1995, and 45-20 in West Lafayette on Oct. 18, 1997). The teams tied 27-27 in Madison on Oct. 15, 1994. The Boilermakers have won five of the last nine meetings with one tie, dating to the 1987 season. Purdue's last victory in Madison was a 9-6 verdict Oct. 29, 1988.

QUICK STARTS ... : Purdue has scored on its first possession in four of five games (at USC, vs. Rice, at Notre Dame and vs. Minnesota). On the five opening drives, quarterback Drew Brees has completed 14 of 18 passes (77.8 percent) for 258 yards with two touchdowns passing, one touchdown rushing and one interception.

... AND QUICK STRIKES: The Boilermakers' 24 scoring drives this season (20 touchdowns and four field goals) have amassed 74 minutes and 58 seconds. That's an average of 3:12 per scoring drive. Purdue's shortest scoring drive has been 34 seconds vs. Minnesota, while its longest has been 5:39 vs. Central Florida.

FIRST QUARTER DOMINATION: This season the Boilermakers have outscored their opponents by a 56-7 margin in the first quarter. A year ago they held a 107-48 advantage in the first 15 minutes. All told, in 17 games under head coach Joe Tiller, Purdue has outscored the opposition 163-55 in the opening stanza.

PURDUE AT NIGHT: The Boilermakers have an 8-12 record in games played at night. They were 2-1 in 1997, losing at Toledo (22-36), winning at Minnesota (59-43) and defeating Oklahoma State (33-20) in the Alamo Bowl.

1998 CAPTAINS: Purdue's captains this season are senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin and senior wide receiver Isaac Jones. In addition, one or more additional captains are selected for each game - USC (John Reeves), Rice (Jim Niedrach), Central Florida (Willie Fells and Lee Johnson), Notre Dame (Henry Bell and Chukky Okobi) and Minnesota (David Cohen).

GAME 5 RECAP (PURDUE 56, MINNESOTA 21): It was a record-setting day for the Purdue football team as the Boilermakers rolled to a 56-21 victory over Minnesota before 56,809 fans at Ross-Ade Stadium on Oct. 3.

Purdue established school standards for yards passing (604) and total offense (692), breaking the previous marks of 516 (vs. Ohio State on Oct. 31, 1981) and 616 (at Illinois on Oct. 18, 1980), respectively. Sophomore quarterback Drew Brees set school marks for yards passing (522), total offense (524) and touchdown passes (6) in just three quarters. Three players reached the 100-yard mark in receiving yards for the first time in school history (junior Randall Lane 6 for 137, senior Gabe Cox 6 for 133 and junior Cliff Jackson 4 for 101). A total of 10 different players caught passes for the second time in five games this season. Cox and Chris Daniels both caught two touchdown passes, while Lane and sophomore Vinny Sutherland had one apiece.

Defensively, redshirt freshman linebacker Jason Loerzel topped the team with 12 tackles in his first collegiate start, while senior end Rosevelt Colvin came up with two tackles for loss (both sacks), one pass breakup and one forced fumble. Jackson returned four kickoffs for 148 yards, including one for 64 yards (Purdue's longest since Lee Johnson had a 99-yarder vs. Ball State on Sept. 30, 1995).

YARDS, YARDS AND MORE YARDS: Purdue's 692 yards of total offense (604 passing and 88 rushing) vs. Minnesota ranks third in the Big Ten in conference games (behind 713 by Iowa vs. Northwestern on Oct. 8, 1983, and 698 by Michigan State at Purdue on Oct. 30, 1971) and ranks ninth in all games involving Big Ten teams (the record is 742 by Minnesota vs. Ohio on Sept. 11, 1982).

NEW FACES: The Boilermakers have had 16 players make their first collegiate start this season (nine on offense and seven 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 119 of 179 passes (66.5 percent) for 1,504 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. If the season ended today, he would establish a school season record for completion percentage (the current standard is .648, 242 of 368, by Mark Herrmann in 1980). Brees is tied for 10th on the school season touchdowns list (with Herrmann in 1978 and Scott Campbell in 1982), and he ranks 17th on the career passing yards list with 1,736 in 12 games.

HURRICANE DREW: Drew Brees set school records for yards passing (522), total offense (524) and touchdown passes (6) in just three quarters during the Boilermakers' 59-21 win over Minnesota on Oct. 3. The previous marks were 516 yards passing by Scott Campbell (vs. Ohio State on Oct. 31, 1981); 482 yards total offense by Jim Everett (at Ohio State on Oct. 19, 1985) and five touchdowns by Mike Phipps (vs. Stanford on Oct. 4, 1969), Mark Herrmann (vs. Iowa on Oct. 22, 1977) and Billy Dicken (at Minnesota on Oct. 11, 1997).

Brees' passing yardage total was the third-highest in Big Ten history (behind 621 by Dave Wilson of Illinois at Ohio State on Nov. 8, 1980, and 558 by Chuck Hartlieb of Iowa at Indiana on Oct. 29, 1988),as was his total offense yardage (behind 585 by Wilson in the above game and 536 by Tim Schade of Minnesota at Penn State on Sept. 4, 1993).

The Big Ten record for touchdown passes is seven by Hartlieb at Northwestern on Nov. 7, 1987. Three other players have thrown for six in conference games. Brees' passing efficiency rating for the game of 262.91 ranks fifth in Big Ten games, while his completion percentage of .861 (31 of 36) was just short of the school record of .864 (19 of 22) by Bob Griese vs. Notre Dame on Sept. 25, 1965.

MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK: A total of 13 different players have caught passes this season for Purdue. The breakdown by game - at USC (10), vs. Rice (8), vs. Central Florida (five), at Notre Dame (seven) and vs. Minnesota (10). Last season the greatest number of different players to catch passes in a game was eight.

THE OFFENSE LIKES IKE: Senior wide receiver Isaac Jones is the Boilermakers' leading pass catcher with 26 receptions for 330 yards (12.7 average). He equalled his career high of 10 catches for a career-best 119 yards at USC. Jones has 97 career receptions and needs 13 to move into 10th place on Purdue's career list (Steve Bryant, 1980-81, 110).

CRACKLIN' ROSEY: Neil Diamond sang the song, and senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin is making Purdue fans smile. He tops the team with seven tackles for loss, four 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 47 career tackles for loss to rank third on the school list.

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 50 tackles, including 30 solos. Fells has finished with double-figure stops in three games (13 at USC, 15 vs. Rice and 10 at Notre Dame) and has 10 double-figure efforts during his career (seven in his last 10 games, dating to 1997). He has three tackles for loss this season, including one quarterback sack, and one pass breakup. 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 41.3-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 38.7 (98 punts for 3,797 yards). Of his 98 career punts, 29 have come to rest inside the 20-yard line (30 percent).

THREE FOR TRAVIS: Freshman kicker Travis Dorsch converted three field goals at Notre Dame on Sept. 26, 1998 (from 37, 40 and a career-high 47 yards). It marked the first time a Purdue kicker made good on three field goals since Brad Bobich vs. Penn State on Oct. 14, 1995 (from 37, 21 and 22 yards).

Dorsch's 47-yard effort was the longest by a Purdue kicker since Larry Sullivan tied the school record with a 51-yarder at Minnesota on Oct. 7, 1989, and it is sixth-longest in school history (behind two from 51, one from 50 and two from 49). For the season Dorsch is 4 of 6 on field goal attempts (66.7 percent) and 21 of 21 on PAT's.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The combined record of the Boilermakers' first seven opponents currently stands at 23-8 (.742 winning percentage). The breakdown by foe: USC (4-1), Rice (1-3), Central Florida (4-1), Notre Dame (3-1), Minnesota (3-1), Wisconsin (5-0) and Penn State (3-1).

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.

"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

Oct. 10, 1931 - Senior halfback James Purvis scored the only touchdown in a 7-0 victory over Illinois before a gathering of 20,000 spectators in Ross-Ade Stadium. It was the third consecutive shutout for the Boilermakers under second-year head coach Noble Kizer. Purdue would go on to record five shutouts for the season while surrendering just 39 points in 10 games (9-1 record).

Oct. 10, 1959 - The Boilermakers defeated Wisconsin 21-0 before 41,542 fans in Ross-Ade Stadium. Junior quarterback Bernie Allen completed 7 of 9 passes for 92 yards with three touchdowns. Allen went on to play major league baseball from 1962-73 with the Minnesota Twins, Washington Senators, New York Yankees and Montreal Expos.

Oct. 10, 1981 - Sophomore quarterback Scott Campbell completed 19 of >29 passes for 290 yards with three touchdowns and also ran for a 20-yard touchdown en route to a 44-20 win over Illinois on Homecoming in front of 69,846 fans in Ross-Ade Stadium. Defensively, sophomore linebacker Brock Spack had 17 tackles. Sophomore walkon kicker Tim Clark, who had all the toes from his right foot severed when he was 18 months old, converted three field goals (21, 25 and 43 yards) and five PAT's.

Oct. 10, 1987 - First-year head coach Fred Akers and the Boilermakers edged Illinois 9-3 before a crowd of 59,483 in Ross-Ade Stadium. Senior fullback James Murdock had 33 rushes for 131 yards, while junior free safety Marc Foster recorded 12 tackles and three fumble recoveries.




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