October 20, 1998
Purdue Boilermakers (3-4, 1-2 Big Ten)
vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-5, 1-3 Big Ten)
Ross-Ade Stadium (67,332) - West Lafayette, Indiana -
October 24, 1998 - 1 p.m. EST - Homecoming
PROJECTED ATTENDANCE: 55,000
RADIO: WAZY (96.5 FM) / Purdue Sports Radio Network - Joe McConnell (play-by-play), Pete Quinn (color commentary), Tim Newton
A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The Purdue football team, under
second-year head coach Joe Tiller, plays host to Illinois on Saturday
Oct. 24 as part of Homecoming festivties. The Boilermakers are coming
off a 31-13 loss at No. 12 Penn State on Oct. 17. 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
IOWA GAME TIME SET: Purdue's home game against Iowa on Oct. 31 will kickoff at 1 p.m. EST. There will be no live television.
HEAD COACH JOE TILLER: Joe Tiller is in his second season as Purdue's
head coach with a 12-7 record (.632 winning percentage) and his
eighth season as a collegiate head coach with a 51-37-1 record
(.579). He is 25-9 in his last 34 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 Illinois have met 77
times previously with the Fighting Illini holding a 39-32-6
advantage. Purdue has won the last two meetings, 22-16 in
Urbana-Champaign on Oct. 1, 1994, and 48-3 in Urbana-Champaign on
Oct. 25, 1997. The two teams last met in West Lafayette on Oct. 2,
1993, with Illinois recording a 28-10 victory. The Boilermakers' last
win over the Illini at home was a 9-3 verdict Oct. 10, 1987. Illinois
holds a 19-15-4 advanatge in games played in West Lafayette.
CANNON TROPHY: Since 1943 Purdue and Illinois have played for the
Cannon Trophy, and that portion of the all-time series is tied
24-24-2. The cannon first was presented as a trophy by Illinois
alumnus Quincy A. Hall after he confiscated it from a group of Purdue
students who took it to Illinois in 1905 in anticipation of
celebrating a victory by the Boilermakers. More information on the
Cannon Trophy can be found on page 14 of the 1998 Purdue Football
QUICK STRIKES: The Boilermakers' 32 scoring drives this season (23
touchdowns and nine field goals) have amassed 96 minutes and 14
seconds. That's an average of 3:00 per scoring drive. Purdue's
shortest scoring drive has been 34 seconds vs. Minnesota, while its
longest has been 5:39 vs. Central Florida.
HOMECOMING: The Boilermakers own a 40-31-4 record in Homecoming
games. They won last season's game over Wisconsin 45-20 on Oct. 18,
1997. Purdue has played Illinois for Homecoming on 15 occasions
(second-most behind Wisconsin with 19) with a 7-7-1 record.
1998 CAPTAINS: Purdue's captains this season are senior defensive
end Rosevelt Colvin and senior wide receiver Isaac Jones. In
addition, oneor 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),
Minnesota (David Cohen), Wisconsin (Drew Brees) and Penn State
GAME 7 RECAP (PENN STATE 31, PURDUE 13): It was Homecoming at Penn
State, and the 12th-ranked Nittany Lions celebrated with a 31-13 win
over Purdue in front of 97,034 fans and an ABC national television
audience at Beaver Stadium on Nov. 17. The Boilermakers led 3-0 on a
32-yard field goal by freshman kicker Travis Dorsch, but Penn State
answered with a pair of touchdowns for a 14-3 halftime advantage.
Midway through the third quarter Purdue trimmed the deficit to 21-13,
but the Boilermakers would get no closer. Sophomore quarterback Drew
Brees completed 39 of 58 passes for 361 yards with one touchdown and
one interception. It was the most completions ever against Penn
State. Senior wide receiver Isaac Jones tied his career high with 10
receptions for 89 yards, while junior wide receiver Chris Daniels had
seven catches for 72 yards and senior wide receiver Gabe Cox added
six catches for 71 yards with a touchdown. Senior defensive end Chike
Okeafor led the way with 10 tackles, including eight solos, and
junior strong safety Adrian Beasley and senior free safety Billy
Gustin had their first interceptions of the season. The Boilermakers
blocked two Penn State field goal attempts (by senior Henry Bell and
freshman Matt Mitrione). Dorsch added a 40-yard field goal.
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 213 of
320 passes (66.6 percent) for 2,359 yards with 17 touchdowns and 10
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 ranks eighth on
the school season touchdowns list, 10th on the season passing yards
list and 15th on the career passing yards list with 2,591 in 14
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,
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). 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), at Wisconsin (10) and at Penn State (eight).
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 ranks ninth
on Purdue's career receptions list with 114. Next up is Cliff Benson
(1980-83) with 117. Jones ranks 13th with 1,350 receiving yards.
Next up is Ernest Calloway (1990-92) with 1,379.
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. It was the third-most in school history and tied for seventh
in Big Ten history.
STRATTON AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Redshirt freshman tight end Tim
Stratton is tied for fourth in the nation among players at his
position with 16 receptions. He ranks ninth with 151 receiving yards.
Louisville junior Ibn Green leads the way in both categories with 25
catches for 461 yards.
CRACKLIN' ROSEY: Neil Diamond sang the song, and senior defensive end
Rosevelt Colvin is making Purdue fans smile. He tops the team with 11
tackles for loss, nine 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 66 tackles,
including 44 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 12 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 42.1-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
(106 punts for 4,148 yards). Of his 106 career punts, 30 have come to
rest inside the 20-yard line (28 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 9 of 11 on field goal
attempts (81.8 percent), including 6 of 7 from 40-plus yards. He has
made his last eight attempts.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The combined record of the Boilermakers' first
seven opponents currently stands at 31-12 (.721 winning percentage).
The breakdown by foe: USC (5-2), Rice (2-4), Central Florida (5-1),
Notre Dame (4-1), Minnesota (3-3), Wisconsin (7-0) and Penn State
"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
This Date In Purdue Football History
Oct. 24, 1953 - The Boilermakers, under seventh-year head coach
Stuart Holcomb, upset No. 2-ranked Michigan State 6-0 before a crowd
of 35,000 at Ross-Ade Stadium. It was one of only two wins by Purdue
during the 1953 season and snapped a 28-game winning streak for the
Spartans. Senior fullback Dan Pobojewski (age 24) scored the only
touchdown. Ironically, Pobojewski transferred to Purdue from Michigan
State because he could not make the Spartans' roster. The
Boilermakers had five interceptions.
Oct. 24, 1981 - Sophomore quarterback Scott Campbell completed 17 of
23 passes for 237 yards with four touchdowns and on interceptions to
pace Purdue to a 27-26 win over Michigan State in front of 69,877
fans at Ross-Ade Stadium. Senior flanker Steve Bryant had eight
catches for 120 yards with three touchdowns. Defensively, sophomore
linebacker Brock Spack totaled 17 tackles, including eight solo
Oct. 24, 1992 - Purdue upset 10th-ranked Iowa 27-16 before 70,397
spectators in Iowa City. Junior running back Arlee Conners rushed for
107 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown, while senior running back
Earl Coleman and sophomore running back Galen Morrow also had scored
touchdowns via the ground. Senior kicker Joe O'Leary was good on
field goals from 25 and 40 yards.