Highlights From Monday's Presser

Coach Carr discussed the Boilermakers' outstanding defense, the 85 scholship limit, injuries, and a number of other subjects.

Opening statement:

“We did some things well in the Illinois game…. some things that we needed to improve on. The most disappointing thing in that game for me was the fact that we had too many penalties. We had two holding penalties offensively that stopped drives. We had a personal foul penalty that continued an Illinois drive. So there are some things from that standpoint that we’ve got to improve as we go into the Purdue game. Purdue is an outstanding football team…a team that I think is extremely well balanced. They have very good special teams and the number one defense in the Big Ten in total defense. They have an outstanding nucleus of veteran players, four of which I think are legitimate All-American candidates on that defense. They have great athleticism and great speed on defense and an offense that has been well balanced. They chose not to run the football against Wisconsin, but going into that game they were a team that had proven they could run the football. And of course Orton is having a great year. They have two outstanding wide receivers…. really three. So we’re going to have to play our best game of the year when Purdue comes in here.”

On why Purdue is so good on defense:

“I think it’s a combination of things. They are very well coached. Craig Terrell and Shaun Phillips are outstanding football players. I think Terrell is an outstanding tackle and a big guy in there that is hard to move. Niko Koutouvides is an All-American candidate. Of course Landon Johnson has been around a while and the safety (Stuart Schweigert) and the two corners can run. They play very well together and when you combine that with the experience they have and the size that they have in the front four, it makes for an outstanding defense.”

On if Purdue’s special teams have improved since last year:

“Well, I think he has only missed two field goals…15/17 I think. Their special teams, I think, are much improved over a year ago. They’re punting the ball well. Wisconsin had a return on them, but they’re still a very good special teams because they’ve committed to putting their starters on special teams. They have improved there significantly and I think the kicker is a big part of it.”

On if he notices a difference in Orton’s play from a year ago:

“Kirsch started against us a year ago and played very well. The thing about Kirsch is his athleticism. My recollection is that Orton came in at the end of the game a year ago and it was very obvious that he has a great arm. I read one article yesterday where he said that he could throw the football 74 yards. That’s far enough! I don’t think he’ll have to throw it any further than that. He’s a guy with great size. What impresses me really is in the Wisconsin game I saw him do something that I did not see him do a year ago. He did a wonderful job of taking the football, and when everybody was covered, running for first downs. I think he is probably more patient and he’s got more experience. He is a guy that knows their offense and where to go with the football and is now creating plays when the passing game breaks down or gets covered.”

On if the effect 85 scholarship limit and how it has added parody:

I can remember I think in the late 80’s when they went from 105 to 95. I can remember a staff meeting where Bo absolutely thought it was going to be the ruination of college football. That would probably have been the mid eighties. I don’t know the year exactly. Then towards the end there, just before he got out, they went from 95 to 85. I think he saw clearly that it was going to change the landscape of college football. It has changed the way you practice. If you look at college football today you see an inordinate amount of true freshman and redshirt freshman or sophomores playing… whereas years ago in our program…if you got to be a starter for two years you had accomplished a lot. Now you get guys that start for four years because the opportunities are there because of the numbers. There is no question that the numbers have changed college football. It has certainly made it a lot more competitive.”

On Gabe Watson and Larry Harrison:

“I think that they are progressing from game to game. Sometimes they take a step forward and sometime they take a step back. I think Larry Harrison played one of his better games on Saturday. It’s just a matter of every week you’re going to get a different deal. For example, one week you’ll be playing against a Minnesota team that is going to rush the football and zone block you and the next week you’re playing Illinois, and now Purdue. So every week it’s a different scheme. That’s where they learn. Down the road it’s going to make them into quality football players, but it’s a process.”

On Jason Avant:

“Avant is a great football player! He’s one of the best football players in this league. Before he leaves here I believe he’ll be one of the best football players in the country. He is a guy that has a great competitive spirit. He is a guy that if he physically could do it…you’d never take him off of the field. He’d play both ways and he’d play every special team. That’s just the kind of guy he is. Tremendous competitor. Tough. There’s nothing he can’t do or won’t do to help this football team. He’s an emotional guy that has a great competitive spirit and will to win. It bothers him if he makes a mistake and it bothers him if he drops a ball that isn’t particularly well thrown. He is always looking to get better. He is a coaches dream…I’ll tell you that.”

On Tim Bracken moving up the depth chart:

“I think that Tim Bracken is much like another kid that did great in there on Saturday, Rondell Biggs. He (Rondell) helped cause an interception with Pat Massey by putting great pressure on the quarterback. He caused a fumble. He has been getting better at practice every week. Timmy Bracken, three of four weeks ago, began to play and look like he did before he was injured over two years ago now. That is something that is gratifying to see because Tim has worked hard. Hopefully he will help us as we go forward here.”

On if David Underwood slipped any to allow Bracken to move past him:

“No. I think Timmy has just played extremely well.”

On if Jacob Stewart or any of the other injured players will be available this week”

“Jacob Stewart will not play this week. He got injured in there running down on a kick. Other than that I don’t have anything to give.”

On if Obi Oluigbo has moved to fullback:

“Yes Obi Oluigbo has made the move to fullback. He played that position in high school and we took a look at the big picture and thought that it would be a positive move.”

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