Now I know you, along with Ron Turner, are thinking that I am a complete and utter loon. I can tell you without hesitation that I am 100% sane, I just visited my fourth psychiatrist in the last forty eight hours and they all kicked me out of the offices. So, I know for sure that I am not insane, or they would have at least tried to treat me. So hear me out on this one.
Let's just take a look at Kyle Orton's career at Purdue and the numbers he has amassed.
|2001 Non-Conference Season|
|2001 Big Ten Season|
|2002 Non-Conference Season|
|2002 Big Ten Season|
|2003 Non-Conference Season|
|2003 Big Ten Season|
|Totals - Out of Conference Play|
|Totals - Big Ten Conference Play|
|Career Total Before This Season|
What is the one thing that you quickly look at and see from these numbers? The first thing I see is that Kyle Orton has put up some gaudy statistics in his career at Purdue, and that is not even including his nine touchdowns and zero interceptions this season against Syracuse and Ball State. When you add those numbers in, the trends that pokes it head out of these numbers becomes even more evident. Are you still asking what that trend is that I see that gives me a little glimmer of hope?
It is simple; Kyle Orton has struggled in Big Ten Conference play as Purdue's signal caller. He has thrown half as many touchdown passes in twice the number of games, while throwing just under four times the number of interceptions.
This Illini fans is my glimmer of hope for this afternoon's Big Ten opener! Kyle Orton has a touchdown to interception ratio in Big Ten play of 2:3! I am grasping for straws to find anything that can help me find a win for my football team, anything, and this is it.
All I need to do to lose my glimmer of hope is look at some other numbers that are available to me, mostly relating to the Purdue passing offense this season and the Illini passing defense. They are not pretty; in fact they are downright ugly.
- Purdue has thrown for 702 yards (in two games) and ten touchdowns with zero interceptions.
- Illinois has allowed 771 yards (in three games) and five touchdowns to four interceptions.
- Purdue has rushed for 468 yards and 5.6 yards per carry and five touchdowns.
- Illinois has allowed 481 yards and 4.4 yards per carry and five touchdowns.
So, when you take my glimmer of hope: Kyle Orton's penchant for pissing his pants when the opposing team has the Big Ten logo stitched into their shirts, and the Illini's defenses habits of missing tackles and reads, you could have one interesting football game.
Could all the stars align right for the Illini defense in Champaign and the Illini hand Joe Tiller his first loss in a Big Ten Conference opener in his eight year career at Purdue?
Yes, but I just don't see it happening. Purdue will cover the 20.5, and the Illini will extend that Big Ten Conference losing streak to nine straight games.