ShareThis Page
Home

Notebook: Purdue making a variety of statements

| Thursday, Sept. 25, 2003

You could say Purdue made a statement about its talent Saturday with its 59-7 demolition of Arizona.

The Boilermakers made a fashion statement, too.

The players went beserk when they walked into the locker room and saw black jerseys hanging in their stalls. Gone were the ugly gold tops they had worn since last season, when the finished a pedestrian 7-6.

The loudspeakers at Ross-Ade Stadium blared the AC/DC classic "Back in Black" as the players ran onto the field.

"When you wear black, it brings a swagger to you,'' linebacker Niko Koutouvides said. "You feel good, you look good and you play good.''

By halftime, the rout was on. The Boilers had piled up 283 yards of offense and were up by 24 points.

"You won't see us in gold again,'' coach Joe Tiller said.

TAKE THAT!

Northwestern didn't exactly see the humor in Duke's decision to call a timeout with five seconds remaining and trailing by 18 points. Duke had the ball on the 8-yard line and apparently wanted to score a feel-good touchdown.

Northwestern's coaching staff countered by calling an all-out blitz, which resulted in a quarterback sack by linebacker Nick Roach. It was the Wildcats' sixth sack of the game, matching their total from all of last season.

COMEBACK KID

The Big East's defensive player of the week is also a comeback player of the year candidate. Michael Crawford of Virginia Tech made 18 tackles in the 35-19 rout of Texas A&M.

Nine months ago, he was suffering from swollen lymph nodes. Though cancer was finally ruled out after a battery of tests, he endured a health scare that he thought might end his career.

"It's a miracle,'' Crawford said of playing this year. "It makes you want to drop a tear.''

KICKING A GUY WHEN HE'S DOWN

When Washington kicker Drew Dunning got home from the Notre Dame game, in which he missed a short field goal in overtime, he found his apartment door had been kicked, dented and scratched. Later, he was heckled on campus and saw posters that bore nasty comments.

"I saw a lot of hatred and I don't understand that," he said. "If someone messes up, I sure as heck won't remind them that they messed up. What's the point in that• What does that help?"

And it's not like Dunning is having a lousy year. He's been the Pac-10 special teams player of the week twice in the past four weeks, and is 13 for 14 in field goals this season.

NO CHIP SHOT

Until the final play of the game, Missouri kicker Mike Matheny had been having a terrible day against Middle Tennessee State.

Matheny, a walk-on, had two extra-point kicks blocked and took penalties for sending two kickoffs out of bounds. Yet, he won the game in overtime 41-40 by making a longer-than-usual PAT kick.

Matheny's kick became more challenging when receiver Thomson Omboga was hit with a 15-yard excessive-celebration penalty for posing for the cameras after Mizzou scored the game-tying touchdown. So, Matheny was staring at a 36-yard attempt -- but he did not mind.

"I was actually relieved that we got the penalty, I really was," Matheny said. "I'm better at long distances. It's just one of those things. The way I focus, it's easier to handle farther away."

STATS, STREAKS AND SLUMPS

  • Wisconsin was second in the Big Ten in kickoff coverage last season, but it's struggling this year. So far, the Badgers have allowed 246 yards on six returns, including a 97-yard touchdown by North Carolina's Michael Waddell on the opening kickoff. "I'm just sick about how we cover kicks," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said.

  • T.A. McLendon of North Carolina State could be among the better tailbacks in the ACC -- if he'd stay healthy. On Saturday, he tore off a 67-yard run and in the process strained his hamstring. In 16 career games, McClendon has endured a broken hand, two bad shoulders, a groin injury, a bum knee and now a sore hammy.

  • Oklahoma's Antonio Perkins had been averaging a mere 6.2 yards on punt returns until last week's game against UCLA. He ran back three punts for touchdowns of 74, 84 and 65 yards. Perkins, a junior, has six career punt returns for TDs, one shy of tying the NCAA record.

  • In just his third career start, Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons threw for 586 yards against N.C. State. Symons broke Kliff Kingsbury's team record.

    SAY WHAT?

    "This is a rare deal, so write down the date. You're in the presence of a guy whose offense produced 681 yards of total offense, that only produces 21 points. You won't see that for the rest of your life.'' -- Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, after the 49-21 loss against N.C. State.

  • TribLIVE commenting policy

    You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

    We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

    While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

    We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

    We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

    We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

    We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

    We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

    click me