Purdue's RB Sounds Off On QB

The Gophers' next opponent would appear to have some conflict between their own players after RB Kory Sheets sounded off on QB Curtis Painter.

As the final few minutes of the fourth quarter ticked away at Northwestern on Saturday, Kory Sheets sat alone on Purdue's bench, a towel draped over his head as he reviewed a season that has gone horribly wrong.

He might be scaling most of Purdue's records for running backs, but none of that matters when you've lost four straight and now welcome a 6-1 Minnesota team into Ross-Ade Stadium. Sheets is sick of losing. And he's had enough. He's tired of watching Curtis Painter fumble around on the field, and now he's going after the quarterback.

"If they don't have consistency at quarterback, and I'm being real consistent, I think they have to start looking at me for some answers and giving me the ball and let me carry the team," Sheets told the Lafayette Journal & Courer. "Instead of keep putting it in Painter's hands."

Asked if he thought Painter could lead Purdue to wins, Sheets told the paper "no comment."

As if Joe Tiller didn't have enough problems this year, now he has to play fireman between his quarterback and running back. Sheets has rushed for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns, so it's easy to see why he's frustrated. But publicly going after the quarterback doesn't make the coach — or the quarterback — very happy.

"If they want to ask more of me, they just have to put the ball in my hands a little bit more, and they're going to get a lot more out of me," Sheets said. "They put the ball in my hands, I feel we'll be a lot more successful."

Sheets is the school record holder for career touchdowns (46) and rushing touchdowns (41).

NOTES

  • QB Joey Elliott separated his shoulder in the loss to Northwestern and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season. On Monday, Joe Tiller was expecting Elliott to need surgery to repair the shoulder, in which case he'd be lost for the season.

  • WR Joe Whitest has lost his role as team captain after he was suspended for a game due to conduct detrimental to the team. Whitest was reinstated after sitting out the Ohio State game, but he has lost his captaincy. The Boilermakers will rotate his vacated position among other players the rest of the season.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB Kory Sheets — He is calling out the quarterback, so now he needs to deliver. Sheets asked for the ball more, and given what else has gone on offensively, he should probably have his request granted.

    QB Curtis Painter — His confidence must be in shambles given the events of last week. Painter must pull it together if Purdue has any chance of salvaging the rest of the season. His backup now is redshirt freshman Justin Siller, who has never thrown a collegiate pass.

    CB Brandon King — Gophers WR Eric Decker leads the conference in receptions with 59, and he also has 782 yards and five touchdowns. That makes him the responsibility of King, Purdue's top corner.

    SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: Joe Tiller tried making a change at quarterback against Northwestern, but backup Joey Elliott separated his throwing shoulder, forcing Tiller to revert back to the ineffective Curtis Painter. The Boilermakers are struggling to score points and they're giving the ball away, as proven by the 15 turnovers. That's not a good sign when facing Minnesota, which is second in the Big Ten with 20 takeaways.

    SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: After playing well in consecutive games against Ohio State and Penn State, the Boilers' defense was ripped for 450 yards and 48 points against Northwestern. Purdue is allowing more than 185 yards per game on the ground, which is the worst in the Big Ten and 99th in the nation.

    THIS WEEK'S GAME: Minnesota at Purdue, Oct. 25 — Just what the struggling Boilermakers need, another one-loss Big Ten team coming to Ross-Ade. The offense is in shambles and the defense can't stop anybody. It's not a good mixture when facing a Gophers team that is coming off a huge win at Illinois, had two weeks to prepare and has forced 20 turnovers this season.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "In my eyes, I need some help. I can't do it all by myself. Everybody's coming to me, ‘Sheets, get the offense going.' I do something good and then something bad happens. I need some help." — RB Kory Sheets, on the frustrations on offense



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