Football Team Travels to Penn State

October 12, 1998

Purdue Boilermakers (3-3, 1-1 Big Ten)
at #11/12 Penn State Nittany Lions (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten)
Beaver Stadium (93,967) - State College, Pennsylvania
October 17, 1998 - 2:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. EDT

PROJECTED ATTENDANCE: 93,967 (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: ABC - Keith Jackson (play-by-play), Bob Griese (color commentary), Lynn Swann (sideline)

ILLINOIS GAME TIME SET: Purdue's Homecoming game against Illinois on Oct. 24 will begin at 1 p.m. EST. There will be no television for the game.

A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The Purdue football team, under second-year head coach Joe Tiller, travels to 11th/12th-ranked Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 17. The Boilermakers are coming off a 31-24 loss at No. 10/12 Wisconsin on Oct. 10. 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 12-6 record (.667 winning percentage) and his eighth season as a collegiate head coach with a 51-36-1 record (.585). He is 25-8 in his last 33 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 Penn State have met five times previously with the Nittany Lions holding a 3-1-1 advantage. Penn State has won the last three meetings (since joining the Big Ten) - 26-23 in West Lafayette on Oct. 14, 1995; 31-14 in State College on Oct. 19, 1996; and 42-17 in West Lafayette on Nov. 15, 1997. Purdue won 28-0 in West Lafayette on Nov. 3, 1951, and the two teams tied 20-20 in State College on Sept. 27, 1952.

QUICK STARTS ... : Purdue has scored on its first possession in four of six games (at USC, vs. Rice, at Notre Dame and vs. Minnesota). On the six opening drives, quarterback Drew Brees has completed 16 of 22 passes (72.7 percent) for 274 yards with two touchdowns passing, one touchdown rushing and one interception.

... AND QUICK STRIKES: The Boilermakers' 29 scoring drives this season (22 touchdowns and seven field goals) have amassed 87 minutes and 42 seconds. That's an average of 3:02 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 59-21 margin in the first quarter. A year ago they held a 107-48 advantage in the first 15 minutes. All told, in 18 games under head coach Joe Tiller, Purdue has outscored the opposition 166-69 in the opening stanza.

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 ChukkyOkobi), Minnesota (David Cohen) and Wisconsin (Drew Brees).

GAME 6 RECAP (WISCONSIN 31, PURDUE 24): Sophomore quarterback Drew Brees continued his record-breaking season, but it wasn't enough as the Boilermakers dropped a 31-24 decision at No. 10/12 Wisconsin before 78,782 Homecoming fans and an espn2 national television audience in Madison on Oct. 10. Brees tied the NCAA Division I record with 55 completions and established the mark with 83 attempts for 494 yards with two touchdowns, but he was intercepted four times (including twice in the Wisconsin end zone). Junior wide receiver Randall Lane set the Big Ten record with 18 receptions for 178 yards, while junior wide receiver Chris Daniels caught 14 passes (third-most in school history and tied for seventh in Big Ten history) for 131 yards with two touchdowns. The Boilermakers trailed 14-3 after one quarter before rallying to tie the score at 17-17 at halftime. Wisconsin built a 31-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Freshman kicker Travis Dorsch nailed three field goals (from 45, 44 and 45 yards) for the second time this season. Senior linebacker Lee Johnson topped the team with 12 tackles (including 10 solos), while senior defensive end had three sacks. Purdue outgained Wisconsin in total offense 570-229.

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 174 of 262 passes (66.4 percent) for 1,998 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine 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 eighth on the school season touchdowns list (with Len Dawson in 1954 and Herrmann in 1979), and he ranks 16th on the career passing yards list with 2,230 in 13 games.

HURRICANE DREW: Drew Brees set school records for yards passing (522), total offense (524) and touchdown passes (6) in just three quarters vs. Minnesota. 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 of 262.91 was 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.

MORE BREES: Drew Brees set the NCAA Division I passing attempts record with 83 at Wisconsin. The previous mark was 79 by Matt Vogler of Texas Christian vs. Houston on Nov. 3, 1996. Brees tied the Division I record with 55 completions (also held by Rusty LaRue of Wake Forest vs. Duke on Oct. 28, 1995). The Big Ten standards were 71 attempts and 45 completions by Sandy Schwab of Northwestern vs. Michigan on Oct. 23, 1982. The Purdue records were 60 attempts by Eric Hunter at Iowa on Nov. 17, 1990, and by Billy Dicken vs. Penn State on Nov. 15, 1997, and 35 completions by Jim Everett at Ohio State on Oct. 19, 1985. Brees' 494 yards passing at Wisconsin were the fourth-most in school history and sixth-most in Big Ten history.

MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK: A total of 14 different players have caught passes this season. The breakdown by game - at USC (10), vs. Rice (8), vs. Central Florida (five), at Notre Dame (seven), vs. Minnesota (10) and at Wisconsin (10).

3 x 100: Against Minnesota the Boilermakers had three players finish with 100-plus yards receiving for the first time in school history - Randall Lane (6 for 137, 1 TD); Gabe Cox (6 for 123, 2 TD); and Cliff Jackson (6 for 101).

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).

THE OFFENSE LIKES IKE: Senior wide receiver Isaac Jones needs six catches to move into 10th place on Purdue's career list (Steve Bryant, 1980-81, 110).

FAST LANE AND DANDY DANIELS: Junior wide receiver Randall Lane set a Big Ten record with 18 receptions (for 178 yards) at Wisconsin. The previous mark was 17 (for 208 yards) by Jon Harvey of Northwestern vs. Michigan on Oct. 23, 1982. The Purdue record was 15 (for 190 yards) by Rodney Carter at Ohio State on Oct. 19, 1985. Also at Wisconsin junior wide receiver Chris Daniels caught 14 passes for 131 yards with two touchdowns. It was the third-most in school history and tied for seventh in Big Ten history. Daniels had 13 career receptions prior to the game.

CRACKLIN' ROSEY: Neil Diamond sang the song, and senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin is making Purdue fans smile. He tops the team with 10 tackles for loss, eight 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 Strickland 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 50 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). He tops the team again this season with 61 tackles, including 40 solos. Fells has finished with double-figure stops in four games (13 at USC, 15 vs. Rice, 10 at Notre Dame and 11 at Wisconsin) and has 11 double-figure efforts during his career (eight in his last 11 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 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 38.8 (101 punts for 3,921 yards). Of his 101 career punts, 30 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 (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). Dorsch also made three field goals at Wisconsin (from 45, 44 and 45 yards). The last Purdue kicker to hit three or more field goals from 40-plus yards in a game was Jonathan Briggs (from 47, 49, 44 and 47 yards) at Illinois on Oct. 11, 1986. For the season Dorsch is 7 of 9 on field goal attempts (77.8 percent), including 5 of 6 from 40-plus yards. He has made his last six attempts.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The combined record of the Boilermakers' first seven opponents currently stands at 27-11 (.711 winning percentage). The breakdown by foe: USC (4-2), Rice (1-4), Central Florida (5-1), Notre Dame (4-1), Minnesota (3-2), Wisconsin (6-0) and Penn State (4-1).

"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
(October 17)

Oct. 17, 1964 - The Boilermakers edged Michigan 21-20 in front of 60,424 fans in Ann Arbor. Sophomore quarterback Bob Griese completed 10 of 24 passes for 149 yards and also kicked three PAT's, while junior halfback Randy Minniear rushed 24 times for 84 yards with two touchdowns.

Oct. 17, 1970 - Purdue won its 10th straight game over Iowa with a 24-3 verdict before a crowd of 56,973 in Iowa City. Sophomore halfback Otis Armstrong had 25 carries for 164 yards with one touchdown and also caught three passes for 32 yards. Junior defensive back Arnold Carter returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown.

Oct. 17, 1981 - The Boilermakers shutout Northwestern 35-0 in Evanston. It is the last whitewashing by a Purdue squad. Sophomore quarterback Scott Campbell completed 17 of 25 passes for 203 yards with three touchdowns. Junior tailback Jimmy Smith had 21 rushes for 100 yards with two touchdowns.




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