WR Taylor Stubblefield (PHOTO CREDIT - Purdue University Sports Information)

2003 Statistics

Coach: Joe Tiller
55-32, 7 years
2003 Record: 9-4
at Wake Forest WON 16-10
at Wisconsin WON 26-23
at Michigan LOST 3-31
IOWA WON 27-14
at Ohio State LOST 13-16
at Indiana WON 24-16
Georgia LOST 27-34

2003 Final Rankings
AP-18, Coaches-19, BCS-14

2004 Outlook

Purdue could challenge for a Big Ten championship. With that stated, Purdue's defense will have to reach 75% of its potential for this to even begin to be a reality. Purdue destiny could also be saddled with another Sun Bowl appearance. This team has a wide range of possible outcomes, and they will sleep in whichever bed they make. The 'P' word, potential, has expectations raised for disappointment to soon follow. In the Big Ten, as much as in any of the conferences, defense will make or break you. Ross-Ade will have opposing offenses excited and their defenses just the opposite.

The Purdue Boilermakers will be doing it all with nine returning offensive starters. Amongst that lot will be their quarterback, running back, tight end, two wide receivers, and four offensive linemen. But amidst the facade of their defense, the Boilermakers will return only three defensive starters. Thus, eliminates their impending call to domination through balance. Speaking of imbalance, '03 led to 79 points for Purdue's opponents in the first and third, yet that increased to 137 points in the second and fourth. But converting 40% of their third-downs, as well as being ranked eighth in turnover margin and converting 80% of their redzone trips, makes us prognosticators tongue-tied and unsure in what to say about this version of the boys from West Lafayette.

In 2004, Purdue's annual scrape against Notre Dame, as well as a pair of brutal contests against Wisconsin and Michigan, will dictate the season's outcome. Their second-to-last tilt, at home against Ohio State, could pull a disappointing campaign out of the crapper. They need to focus on that one-game-at-a-time level to create as much stability as possible in the surely varying nature of this poorly defensed team. Giving up huge plays may occur early, but the greater task has to be these 18-22 year olds goal. If early wins are not attained, then the losses need to be building blocks and not excuses for further failure(s). Character will be the premium dimension needed, not some special football subtlety. Fulfillment needs to be accepted in marginally small doses, or such eventual disappointments will set in early and affect Purdue mindset and outcomes often.

Projected 2004 record: 7-4
QB - 4 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 2.5
WR - 4 DB - 2
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Kyle Orton, 414-251-7, 2885 yds., 15 TD

Rushing: Jerod Void, 235 att., 952 yds., 13 TD

Receiving: Taylor Stubblefield, 86 rec., 835 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Ben Jones, 25-30 FG, 36-37 PAT, 111 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Ben Jones, 25-30 FG, 36-37 PAT, 50 long

Tackles: Bernard Pollard, 55 total, 42 solo, 3.5 TFL

Sacks: Brent Grover, 3.5 sacks

Interceptions: Antwaun Rogers, 1 for 3 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Jerome Brooks, 32 ret., 21.9 avg.

Punt Returns: None


CB Antwaun Rogers (PHOTO CREDIT - Purdue University Sports Information)
OFFENSE: John Standeford-WR, Anthony Chambers-WR, Nick Hardwick-C, Kelly Butler-OT (NFL)
DEFENSE: Shaun Phillips-DE, Craig Terrill-DT, Kevin Nesfield-DE, Landon Johnson-WLB, Niko Koutouvides-MLB, Gilbert Gardner-SLB, Stuart Schweigert-FS, Jacques Reeves-CB, Brent Slaton-P

For the second consecutive campaign, Kyle Orton (senior) will thrust Purdue's darts. Immersed within Purdue's rhythmic offense, Orton has performed akin to an accurate orchestra conductor - to the tune of only seven INTs. Purdue's passing offense is one which favors accuracy. However, despite Orton's confinement within this limited approach, he has never struggled. One should expect similar adjustment from him. With that stated, if Purdue is to ascend onto the national stage, Orton will have to improve. While he has been constant, Orton has never been consistently dominant. In order for Purdue to be considered an elite team, Orton will have to increase both his yards and touchdowns. If he does not, Orton may limit Purdue to merely a Big Ten championship.
If Orton falters, then either Brandon Kirsch (junior) or Kyle Smith (junior) will assume command. During his career, Kirsch has been adequate, but has better feet than Orton to bring an extra dimension if inserted.

Running Back
Within Purdue's aerial shimmer, a premium has always been placed upon rushing efficiency. Thus, running back Jerod Void (junior) will once again assume a starring role. While Void is merely one of three rushing participants, he is parallel to one of Orton's limb. If he cannot excoriate Orton's passing burden, then Purdue will falter. Void will again have to capitalize upon his red zone carries. Void accounted for 62% of Purdue's red zone rushing touchdowns and 45% of their overall red zone tallies in '03. Following one solid season, sophomore speedster Jerome Brooks has inserted himself as a genuine replacement. He is a great compliment to his other two backfield mates. Despite his demotion onto the third tier, bulky junior Brandon Jones also contributed. Jones will have to expand upon his leadership role, for his leading may prove to be more valuable than his totality of yards in this rotating, three-back look.
But we will see fresh legs deep into the fourth, regardless. The Boilermakers ran over 550 times in '03, so this dimension's durability and attrition will tell whether the Purdue defense will get some long breaks in the ladder part of a few games.

Wide Receiver
Without deliberation, the fundamental leader of Purdue's wide receivers is senior Taylor Stubblefield (86 receptions!). While Stubblefield has been amongst the Big Ten's best, he will need to inflate his efforts. Additionally, Stubblefield will also need to serve as a defining leader in the absence of other veteran snarlers. The lone defection that could most affect Purdue is that of leading receiver John Standeford. Purdue's offense is based upon creative distribution. In his void, the combination of Kyle Ingraham (sophomore) and Kevin Noel (senior) will suffice. Entrenched within the third receiving post will be junior Ray Williams. Williams will have to incorporate himself into the shadow which was previously held by Stubblefield. This dictates that he will have to be a field-stretcher to distract safeties and keep them deep. Then Stubblefield will have to sometimes be single-covered, equaling the needed atmosphere for even more underneath success(es). There is even more depth, but mostly unproven in real-game scenarios.

Tight End
Despite their enrollment at Purdue, the existence of tight ends has always been honorary. Thus, the returning three deep trifecta of Charles Davis (junior), Jeff Bennett (junior), and Garret Bushong (sophomore) should again produce sound in lieu of fury. In short, an outstanding season for them would be to top their 2003 totals of 12 catches and 104 yards.

Offensive Line
Along their front mass, the Boilermakers will possibly return four starters. Senior Danny May will assume the vacated middle slot. He has the potential to perform within a glimpse of departed center Hardwick's level, meaning he will serve as a solid anchor for Orton's protective detail. Flanking the newly minted May will be the tandem of guards that are amongst the smallest in the Big Ten, but they should be able to perform consistently. Chief amongst their responsibilities will be creating the lanes from which Orton will fire. This may prove more of a challenge than pulling and stunting pose, two things at which they excel. The meat-and-potato monsters of the Big Ten will assure this. While each lineman is vitally important, their announced leader has to be senior tackle Kelly Butler. In order for both Void to improve and Orton to fire, Butler will have to play equal to his mammoth status. Transversally, other tackle Otto will have play more solidly, as he will be blocking along Orton's blind side. This crew yielded 33 sacks via opponents, so his work is cut out here. The unit produced a stellar five yard per carry average for the entire campaign, so much is expected from the big men up front.

With nine returnees clad in black and gold, Purdue stands poised upon the championship precipice. Entrenched within that nine is a brilliant offensive line, which will allow the Boilermakers offense to function exponentially. It should also allow Purdue's trio of running backs to garner a minimum of 1800yards. If that threshold can be broached, then it should effectively negate opponents' pass rush. If you see this squad reach 500 pass attempts, then you'll know defenses had success and much is wrong in Indiana.


QB Kyle Orton (PHOTO CREDIT - Purdue University Sports Information)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Kyle Orton-Sr (6-4, 220) Brandon Kirsch-Jr (6-3, 203)
RB Jerod Void-Jr (6-2, 212) Brandon Jones-Jr (5-11, 226)
WR Kyle Ingraham-So (6-9, 224) Jameson Evans-Jr (6-3, 217)
WR Taylor Stubblefield-Sr (6-1, 172) Andre Chattams-So (6-0, 200)
WR Kevin Noel-Jr (6-3, 202) Ray Williams-Jr (6-2, 192)
TE Charles Davis-Jr (6-6, 263) Garret Bushong-So (6-5, 235)
OT Mike Otto-So (6-5, 309) Brian Wang-Jr (6-7, 291)
OG Matt Turner-Jr (6-3, 288) Danny May-Sr (6-2, 325)
C Robbie Powell-Fr (6-5, 277) Matt Turner-Jr (6-3, 288)
OG Tyler Moore-Sr (6-7, 282) Uche Nwaneri-So (6-3, 310)
OT David Owen-Sr (6-6, 294) Ryan Noblet-Fr (6-6, 291)
K Ben Jones-Jr (6-1, 210) Casey Welch-So (5-9, 163)
Jerod Void....JAH-rod
Kyle Ingraham....ING-rum
Brandon Kirsch....KEERSCH
Garret Bushong....BUH-shon
Uche Nwaneri....OOH-chee wah-NAR-ee



Defensive Line
Purdue has promoted sophomore Anthony Spencer to starter. Flanking Spencer during 2003 will be fellow sophomore Ray Edwards. While Spencer will be spotlighted, Edwards is clearly the more versatile of the pair. The team may not again produce 41 sacks, so '04 will start slow but should quickly pick up speed for this area.
Within the interior of Purdue's front-four, junior Brandon Villarreal is a guy who has risen to big occasions. Simultaneously, Brent Grover (junior) will reassume command of his inside starting post. Both should be able to sufficiently fulfill their roles. With that stated, both will have to get used to being on the field for most plays. Some may be surprised to see this group lead the front-seven again to a Top 10 rushing-defense ranking, so we expect them to land in the Top 30 more realistically - but that still would say much about what we expect, huh.

Purdue will have to replace three of their four leading tacklers and those 276 tackles this position produced. Essential within this litany of replacement will be senior Jon Goldsberry - who also has been a goal-line FB (TD in '02). George Hall will able to aptly replace his departed predecessor. Within one year, Purdue also feels that Hall could be their unquestioned defensive leader. Within the linebacking final third, junior Bobby Iwuchukwu (14 tackles in 2003) will fill the easiest hole to patch. While Iwuchukwu will have to play at an exemplary level, he will also be aided by his two associates. Therefore, he will have the season's early stages to develop.

Defensive Back
Without question, this will be the weakest area of Purdue's defense. In short, junior Brian Hickman may be the bright beacon. This department costs Purdue several victories. Mirroring Hickman will be senior Antwaun Rogers. While Rogers will consistently garner top assignments, he will also have to be able to account for Hickman. Since he cannot consistently perform to a shutdown level, he will severely compromise his fellow Boilermakers. Kyle Smith (junior) has been a big question mark in figuring out Purdue so far. This former-QB and walk-on has shown little in his brief efforts, but has size and expectations that keep most hoping. Look at his production as a measuring stick for the entire defenses' outcome(s).
Meanwhile, sophomore Bernard Pollard will resurrect his starting role at strong safety. As the cornerstone of Purdue's secondary, Pollard will have to become the ball-hawk that has yet to be seen.

While Purdue will face and overcome a volume of defensive troubles, they may not be able to overcome their secondary. With that stated, Purdue will develop past any early embarrassment to be marginally respectable, yet inconsistent. Once improvements insue, their defensive presence can positively impact the game's outcome. Until then…well, you can imaginatively fill in the finish of this thought. Just don't expect them to rank 13th for total defense until 2005.


K Ben Jones (PHOTO CREDIT - Purdue University Sports Information)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Anthony Spencer-So (6-3, 262) Nick Cavallo-So (6-3, 254)
DT Brandon Villarreal-Jr (6-2, 289) Jamaal Jones-Fr (6-4, 286)
DT Brent Grover-Jr (6-4, 287) Dan McGowen-So (6-0, 280)
DE Ray Edwards-So (6-6, 260) Gene Bright-Fr (6-4, 237)
SLB Bobby Iwuchukwu-Jr (6-2, 236) Drew Rucks-So (6-2, 217)
MLB George Hall-So (6-2, 246) Jon Goldsberry-Sr (6-3, 241)
WLB Stanford Keglar-Fr (6-2, 229) Al Royal-So (6-0, 232)
CB Antwaun Rogers-Sr (6-2, 172) Paul Dubler-Jr (6-1, 176)
CB Brian Hickman-Jr (6-0, 178) Sean Petty-Jr (5-11, 180)
SS Bernard Pollard-So (6-2, 219) Paul Long-Fr (6-2, 185)
FS Kyle Smith-Jr (6-4, 217) Grant Walker-Fr (6-2, 189)
P Aaron Levin-Sr (5-11, 206) ..
Brandon Villarreal....vill-uh-ree-AL
Bobby Iwuchukwu....e-WITCH-uh-koo
Aaron Levin....luh-VIN
Nick Cavallo....cah-VAH-lo




Junior Ben Jones converted 23-of-28 FGAs, including 10-of-11 from outside the 40. While these statistics are commendable, several concerns have arisen concerning Jones ability to boot under pressure. If true, Jones will again be at the heart of several crushing defeats. Meanwhile, senior Aaron Levin is poised to make the punting chores a positive outcome. The defenses' lack of depth will impact the Purdue coverage game. Field position battles can be eventually won with a run-oriented, grinding approach, so these guys should make stopping any big returns for scores their first priority.


QB Kyle Orton was smooth this spring and enters the 2004 season as the Big Ten's top aerial arsonist... WR Kyle Ingraham (nicknamed "Stork") was voted the most improved player this offseason. He was second among receivers in the spring in receptions and yardage. He's sure to give Orton and his Boiler offense a reliable deep threat. The leading man this spring was veteran WR Taylor Stubblefield, who is on pace to set the NCAA record for career receptions. Arriving in the fall is the speedy Dorien Bryant. We were high on Bryant when he originally signed with Boston College (last season), but grades forced him to attend the talent-laden Fork Union Military Academy (VA) and to then/now enroll at Purdue. He'll likely see some time returning kicks, too... Spring practice delivered two quality backs with Jerod Void and Jerome Brooks, both averaged over five yards a clip.

The defensive line seemed to make the biggest strides this spring, with DE Anthony Spencer and backup DT Jamaal Jones getting quality nods. We're anxious to see what JUCO transfer Jeremy Coley does at DE. Likely to start right away, Coley was a JUCO all-American, averaging 115 tackles and 14 sacks per in his two years at Mesabi Range Tech. Watch out for this guy!! ... The LB question was shored up a bit, as the two new outside guys, Bobby Iwuchukwu and Stanford Keglar were second and third in the team in tackles this spring. At the top was returning SS Bernard Pollard... New FS Kyle Smith (a converted QB) had some ups and downs all throughout spring, but leveled out by its culmination, improving his cover skills and giving the Boilers another solid tackler back there... The last time Purdue recruited a multi-purpose kicker (Travis Dorsch), they found an eventual All-American. They hope the same comes about with incoming freshman, David Brytus. Brytus will likely handle the punting chores right away, and eventually work his way into placekicking.

WR Bruce Gordon (jr) (5-11, 195)
DE Jeremy Coley (jr) (6-5, 250)
WR/KR Dorien Bryant (5-10, 175)
P/K David Brytus (fr) (6-4, 235)