November 9, 1998
Purdue Boilermakers (6-4, 4-2 Big Ten)
at Michigan State Spartans (5-4, 3-2 Big Ten)
Spartan Stadium (72,027) - East Lansing, Michigan
November 14, 1998 - 12:10 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: Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play), Randy Wright (color commentary), Jim Barbar (sideline)
A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The Purdue football team, under second-year head coach Joe Tiller, travels to Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 14. The Boilermakers are coming off a 56-21 victory at Northwestern on Nov. 7. It was their third consecutive win, and in the three victories they have outscored the opposition by a whopping 134-44 margin. 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 15-7 record (.682 winning percentage) and his eighth season as a collegiate head coach with a 54-37-1 record (.592). He is 28-9 in his last 37 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 Michigan State have met 52 times previously with the Spartans holding a 27-22-3 advantage. The teams last met Nov. 8, 1997, with Purdue winning 22-21 (overcoming an 11-point deficit with 2:13 remaining in the game) in West Lafayette. Michigan State's last victory was a 53-14 verdict Aug. 31, 1996, in East Lansing. The teams tied 35-all Sept. 23, 1995, in West Lafayette. Michigan State holds a 16-9 advantage in games played in East Lansing.
BREES NAMED BIG TEN OFFENSIVE PLAYER-OF-THE-WEEK ... AGAIN: Sophomore quarterback Drew Brees was named the Big Ten Offensive Player-of-the-Week for the week ending Nov. 8. He set the Big Ten season passing touchdowns record with 30 in the Boilermakers, 56-21 win at Northwestern. It is the third weekly honor for Brees (also for the weeks ending Aug. 30 and Oct. 4). He is the first Purdue player ever to be recognized three times in one season. The last player from any school to be a three-time recipient was Penn State running back Curtis Enis during the 1997 season. Five others have been three-time winners, and three players have earned the honor four times (Anthony Thompson of Indiana in 1989, Desmond Howard of Michigan in 1991 and Tim Dwight of Iowa in 1997).
QUICK STARTS ... : Purdue has scored on its first possession in seven of 10 games (at USC, vs. Rice, at Notre Dame, vs. Minnesota, vs. Illinois, vs.Iowa and at Northwestern). On the 10 opening drives, quarterback Drew Brees has completed 34 of 44 passes (77.3 percent) for 446 yards with five touchdowns passing, one touchdown rushing and one interception.
... AND QUICK STRIKES: The Boilermakers' 51 scoring drives this season (41 touchdowns and 10 field goals) have amassed 145 minutes and 53 seconds. That's an average of 2:52 per scoring drive. Purdue's shortest scoring drive has been seven seconds vs. Iowa, while its longest has been 6:52 vs. Iowa.
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), Minnesota (David Cohen), Wisconsin (Drew Brees), Penn State (Randall Lane), Illinois (Brees and Reeves), Iowa (Matt Light and David Nugent) and Michigan State (Bell and Billy Gustin).
GAME 10 RECAP (PURDUE 56, NORTHWESTERN 21): Another day, more records for Drew Brees. The sophomore quarterback completed 24 of 42 passes for 338 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions as the Boilermakers cruised to a 56-21 win over Northwestern before 39,575 fans at Ryan Field in Evanston on Nov. 7. Brees tied his own school record for touchdowns in a game and set the Big Ten record for touchdowns in a season with 30 (breaking the mark of 29 by Bobby Hoying of Ohio State in 1995). Brees also set the Purdue record for completions in a season, surpassing Jim Everett's total of 285 in 1985. Redshirt freshman tight end Tim Stratton caught two touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Gabe Cox, junior wide receiver Chris Daniels, junior wide receiver Randall Lane and freshman wide receiver A.T. Simpson caught one apiece. Cox and sophomore wide receiver Vinny Sutherland both caught five passes. Senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin had a 23-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to go with his first career interception and two tackles for loss, including one sack. Junior strong safety Adrian Beasley and junior cornerback Lamar Conard topped the defense with seven tackles apiece, and senior Todd Stelma recorded a blocked punt.
A STRONG BREES: Sophomore quarterback Drew Brees has completed 290 of 436 passes (66.5 percent) for 3,320 yards with a Big Ten-record 30 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He holds the school completions record and is second in attempts (behind Jim Everett with 450 in 1985). If the season ended today, Brees would establish a school season record for completion percentage (the current standard is .658, 242 of 368, by Mark Herrmann in 1980). Brees ranks second on the school season passing yards list and sixth on the Big Ten list. On other Big Ten lists he ranks third in completions and sixth in attempts. Brees leads the Big Ten in passing efficiency at 153.2 in conference 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. Brees tied his school record with six touchdown passes at Northwestern on Nov. 7, 1998.
NO SIGNS OF LETTING UP: 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 15 different players (including quarterback Drew Brees on a batted attempt) 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), at Penn State (eight), vs. Illinois (10), vs. Iowa (eight) and at Michigan State (eight).
THE OFFENSE LIKES IKE: Senior wide receiver Isaac Jones ranks eighth on Purdue's career receptions list with 134. Next up are Jim Beirne (1965-67) and Calvin Williams (1986-89) with 138 receptions apiece. Jones ranks ninth with 1,566 receiving yards. Next up is Beirne with 1,795 yards.
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 third in the nation among players at his position with 26 receptions, tied for third with five touchdowns and fifth with 272 receiving yards. Louisville junior Ibn Green leads all three categories with 39 catches for 664 yards and nine touchdowns.
CRACKLIN' ROSEY: Neil Diamond sang the song, and senior defensive end Rosevelt Colvin is making Purdue fans smile. He tops the team with 13 tackles for loss, 10 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 53 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 90 tackles. Fells has finished with double-figure stops in five games (13 at USC, 15 vs. Rice, 10 at Notre Dame, 11 at Wisconsin and 13 vs. Iowa) and has 12 double-figure efforts during his career (nine in his last 15 games, dating to 1997). He was named the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player-of-the-Week for the week ending Nov. 1, 1998.
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 41.7-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 is tied for third on Purdue's career punting average list at 39.2 (112 punts for 4,389 yards). Of his 112 career punts, 33 have come to rest inside the 20-yard line (29 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.
"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), 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 10,000passes 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 November 14 In Purdue Football History
Nov. 14, 1891 - The Boilermakers continued to be the state,s premier team with a 60-0 rout of Indiana in West Lafayette. Earlier Purdue, under first-year head coach Knowlton "Snake" Ames had shutout Wabash (44-0) and DePauw (30-0) and would go on to whitewash Butler (58-0) to end the season 4-0 while outscoring its oppoenents 192-0.
Nov. 13, 1931 - Sophomore halfback/fullback Fred Hecker, senior halfback James Purvis and senior fullback Alex Yunevich each scored touchdowns to lead the Boilermakers to a 22-0 win over Iowa before a Homecoming crowd of 18,000 at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Nov. 14, 1959 - Senior cornerback Ross Fichtner intercepted three passes for a school-record 105 yards, including one for a 66-yard touchdown, as Purdue defeated Minnesota 29-23 in front of 34,655 fans at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Nov. 14, 1970 - Senior halfback Stan Brown had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchown, but Purdue lost 10-7 to Ohio State before 68,157 fans in Ross-Ade Stadium.