KIRK FERENTZ'S OPENING STATEMENTS
I hope that everyone got out and voted today, or at least will later today. So there is my public announcement speech there.
Injury wise, we received bad news on Champ. The MRI proved that he does have ACL damage, so he will have surgery on Thrusday. And Aaron Mickens will not play this week. The good news is that there is nothing related to the neck or back; it was a concussion and we will play it safe there. There is a good chance that he will play next week, but he is definitely out of the ballgame this week.
Needless to say, we were pleased with the outcome of last week's ballgame. To play a Big Ten conference game on the road and come out with a win is awfully gratifying.
As I said on Saturday, we anticipated that being a tough ball game, and certainly it was. Illinois was ready to play, and it was a hard fought ballgame.
We got that one behind us, came in Sunday and did our normal deal and our sights turned to Purdue on Monday morning. We will get ready for them today in practice.
Needless to say, they are a tough ballclub. They have had three tough weeks; I think eight points separates them from victories in those three ball games. They have beaten Penn State and Illinois in closely contested ballgames, too. We are the time of year where you have to go in thinking that every game is going to be tough.
When you look at a team like Purdue, that has a quarterback as outstanding as Kyle Orton, an excellent supporting cast; Stubblefield is a great receiver, Void is an excellent back. Throw on top of that their defense, where we thought they would look a little different and they do, because of the seven guys they graduated to the NFL, you look at their statistics, and it doesn't look a lot different. They are not giving up many points, especially since that Illinois ballgame. They are a team that is very strong, their defensive coordinator Brock Spack does a great job, and their players really believe in what he does schematically.
It will be a great challenge for our football team. It should be a great game, and I know that we will have a great environment in Kinnick and we will have to use every minute we have this week to get ready.