WR Dorien Bryant (PHOTO CREDIT - Purdue University Sports Information)

2006 Statistics

Coach: Joe Tiller
75-49, 10 years
2006 Record: 8-6
at Notre Dame LOST 21-35
at Iowa LOST 17-47
at Northwestern WON 31-10
at Michigan State WON 17-15
at Illinois WON 42-31
at Hawai'i LOST 35-42
Maryland LOST 7-24

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

Head coach Joe Tiller has delivered some great campaigns (2000 Big Ten title), has ranked his offense in the top 25 eight times and has had only one losing season (2005) in his 10 seasons here. But what remains the problem isn’t on the offense led by the conference’s top quarterback (statistically) in Curtis Painter. The past two years have seen an avalanche of points scored by opponents (309 in 2005, 378 in ‘06), the most allowed in any two of Tiller’s seasons. Even during the two other six-loss seasons (2001, ’02) under the Toledo native, they never allowed more than 300 points. DC Brock Spack has the talent to make a strong starting 11, but depth issues at MLB, along with no major changes in his coaching staff and no new schemes, all means experience alone has to equal a better result. It should…additionally, surprising to many, it also really helps that they are forced to practice all the time against their great offense. Still, the D’s effort will be nothing close to what is needed so Purdue can have a chance at the Big Ten crown. The offense will definitely be able to carry the Boilermakers to another record above .500, but second-tier bowls are getting old in West Lafayette. An opening game at Toledo isn’t the gimme it once may have seemed, and the sequence of games that starts at home with Notre Dame, ends in Ross-Ade with Iowa, and has Ohio State and (at) Michigan inbetween will surely define this team’s 2007 season. When all is said and done, a whiskey and a beer won’t be nearly enough to quell the echoes of coulda-woulda-shoulda that will reverberate until September 2008.

Projected 2007 record: 7-5
QB - 4 DL - 3
RB - 3.5 LB - 2.5
WR - 4 DB - 3
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Curtis Painter, 315-530-19, 3985 yds., 22 TD

Rushing: Kory Sheets, 158 att., 780 yds., 11 TD

Receiving: Dorien Bryant, 87 rec., 1068 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Kory Sheets, 13 TD, 78 pts.

Punting: Jared Armstrong, 50 punts, 43.1 avg.

Kicking: Chris Summers, 8-20 FG, 46-47 PAT, 70 pts.

Tackles: Dan Bick, 95 tot., 59 solo

Sacks: Cliff Avril, Ryan Baker - 6 each

Interceptions: Justin Scott, 3 for 31 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Dorien Bryant, 25 ret., 19.6 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Royce Adams, 22 ret., 6.4 avg., 0 TD


QB Curtis Painter (PHOTO CREDIT - Purdue University Sports Information)
OFFENSE: Mike Otto-OT, Uche Nwaneri-OG
DEFENSE: Anthony Spencer-DE, Al Royal-SLB, George Hall-MLB

Senior quarterback Curtis Painter led both the Big Ten’s top passing and total offense in 2006 (6th and 13th nationally, respectively)…it wasn’t Troy Smith or Chad Henne. This 6’4 Vincennes native can also motor it for the needed yardage – his 42 yard run against Illinois was the team’s longest from scrimmage last season. Painter’s decision making has improved over the offseason, something about which coaches are really excited as he was playing almost mistake free ball by the end of spring. This offense should be clicking right away with all of its major components for production returning. The running backs are a pair of slashers who, though physical when needed, just fly by defenders in the open field. Kory Sheets, as well as fellow junior Jaycen Taylor, are vital cogs in the passing game as well. Taylor lost only three total yards on 113 carries, but former Freshman All-American Sheets garners more carries since he is a bit bigger between the tackles in the one-back sets. Look for all-conference receiver Dorian Bryant to keep getting a handoff or two per game with optimal results (six career rushing TDs). Bryant is a ‘go to’ type receiver, available for all occasions. But foes cannot afford to double-team him with 6’4 Greg Orton also found so often mismatched underneath. Selwyn Lymon uses his 6’4 frame as a field stretcher, winning deep balls one-on-one before safeties can get in position to help. 6’4 TE Dustin Keller is another deep threat over the middle that distracts safeties, or else. Solid blocking counterpart Kyle Adams is often on the field simultaneously in their two-TE sets, with soft hands as well. Incorporating fullback Frank Halliburton into the attack has been a work-in-progress, so we don’t expect to see much of that wrinkle. The right side of the line returns both starters - all-conference guard Jordan Grimes and center Robbie Powell bolster the Boilermaker’s inside presence for what was the nation’s 76th-ranked running game, one that often has no lead blocker employed. Jon Patton and Garret Miller both had offseason shoulder surgery, keeping the two juniors out of spring drills and also keeping the development of the left side unknown until they are back. Miller should challenge Dan Zaleski for the left tackle start, while 6’7 Eric Hedstrom has to hold off Patton at left guard. The running game, only used 42.5% of the time, has to be given more of a chance to “carry” the offense so that the game-clock doesn’t work against their defense (Purdue’s time-of-possession was only 27:39 per game). If more balance can be found, this offense will be potent enough to easily win games when the D struggles.


OG Jordan Grimes (PHOTO CREDIT - Purdue University Sports Information)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Curtis Painter-Jr (6-4, 223) Joey Elliott-So (6-3, 211)
RB Kory Sheets-Jr (6-0, 196) Jaycen Taylor-Jr (5-10, 186)
WR Selwyn Lymon-Jr (6-4, 215) Jake Standeford-Sr (6-2, 195)
WR Dorien Bryant-Sr (5-10, 175) Desmond Tardy-Jr (6-1, 199)
WR Greg Orton-Jr (6-4, 199) Byron Williams-Sr (6-3, 200)
TE Dustin Keller-Sr (6-4, 240) Kyle Adams-So (6-5, 251)
OT Dan Zaleski-Jr (6-4, 295) Zach Reckman-So (6-6, 295)
OG Eric Hedstrom-So (6-7, 303) Justin Pierce-Fr (6-4, 332)
C Robbie Powell-Sr (6-5, 307) Cory Benton-Jr (6-3, 275)
OG Jordan Grimes-Sr (6-3, 325) Zach Smith-Jr (6-4, 293)
OT Sean Sester-Jr (6-8, 325) Ryan Prater-Fr (6-5, 286)
K Chris Summers-So (6-1, 174) Tim Dougherty-Fr (5-10, 180)



This is where the most help is needed after such an all-around poor showing here has many still skeptical of Purdue’s chances. Cliff Avril is a formidable rush end who needs to work on his overpursuit so as not to be out of position on delayed handoffs. Seniors Mike McDonald and Eugene Bright are vying to replace superman Spencer, so maybe less big plays can actually mean better overall run stopping. Alex Magee has the athleticism to play inside or out, but he starts at tackle with classmates Ryan Baker and Jermaine Guynn headlining a liberal rotation that will help the improvement efforts up front. Seniors Dan Bick and Stanford Keglar look solid at the outside linebacking slots. But it is finding a new MIKE that still needs to happen; senior ex-RB Anthony Heygood has impressed enough to sit atop the two-deep…for now. The secondary ranked 104th when it had two true freshmen starting, so we expect 6-foot speedy corner Royce Adams and Big Ten All-Freshman free safety Brandon Erwin to be a year wiser and therefore that much better. Senior safety Justin Scott and classmate Terrell Vinson bring leadership, but they need to oversee larger improvements if Purdue is to again challenge for the conference title. Depth at corner/nickel with Brandon King and Aaron Lane is promising. The only dilemma we see is that 11th-year coordinator Brock Spack is hoping his 114th-ranked (total) defense will magically become better with basically no revamping of the schemes. Sure, experience should herald some improvements, but Spack needs to look within if this much talent can’t reach its potential each and every play.


LB Dan Bick (PHOTO CREDIT - Purdue University Sports Information)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Cliff Avril-Sr (6-3, 247) Keyon Brown-So (6-3, 241)
DT Ryan Baker-Jr (6-5, 288) Jermaine Guynn-Jr (6-1, 288)
DT Alex Magee-Jr (6-5, 295) Mike Neal-So (6-4, 293)
DE Mike McDonald-Sr (6-2, 250) Eugene Bright-Sr (6-4, 254)
SLB Stanford Keglar-Sr (6-2, 247) Mike Durrett-Sr (6-0, 225)
MLB Anthony Heygood-Jr (6-2, 230) John Humphrey-Fr (6-1, 223)
WLB Dan Bick-Sr (6-1, 225) Josh Ferguson-Sr (6-3, 242)
CB Royce Adams-So (6-0, 183) David Pender-So (6-1, 172)
CB Terrell Vinson-Sr (5-9, 174) Aaron Lane-Sr (5-8, 174)
SS Justin Scott-Sr (6-0, 209) Brandon King-So (5-11, 192)
FS Brandon Erwin-So (6-2, 188) Paul Long-Sr (6-2, 194)
P Jared Armstrong-Sr (6-3, 234) Chris Summers-So (6-1, 174)




RS freshman Tim Dougherty needs to harangue the kicking duties from sporadic sophomore Chris Summers. Punter Jared Armstrong gives the Boilermakers a chance to win field position battles every time. If Royce Adams can only muster a little more than six yards per punt return, another of the team’s many speedsters needs to be given a chance to supply something more than last year’s longest PR of 22 yards. Look for Kory Sheets to take one all the way this year on a kick return.