Purdue On Offense:
Anticipated Depth Chart.
Curtis Painter (6-foot-4, 223 pounds) is dangerous player, and he's starting to come into his own. He has a solid arm and he can make all the throws. He can pick apart a defense if you don't get pressure on him. If he's pressured, he has the mobility to get out of the pocket and pick up big chunks of yardage rushing. He runs Tiller's offense very well. The key for the defense is to get into his throwing lanes and get their hands up. His touchdown to interception ratio tells you that he isn't make to force the ball if the play isn't there.
Joey Elliott (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) is more of a traditional quarterback. He's a
solid quarterback, but the Boilermakers will rely on Painter.
Kory Sheets can hit the big play. He's a terrific athlete that does everything well. He does most of his damage to the outside. Last season he didn't look comfortable running between the tackles, but he's shown a willingness to put the shoulder down this season. Sheets is a very good receiver. He already has 14 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Jaycen Taylor had been the No.2 running back for Purdue, but he
was lost for the season last week with a broken arm. Freshman Dan Dierking will
spell Sheets. Dierking is a little light, but he's been solid thus far with a
6.2 yards per carry average.
What makes Painter so good is that he has a very good group of receivers. He has guys that can go deep. He has big receivers and he has receivers that can work underneath.
Dorien Bryant is without question the leader of this unit. He has very soft hands and he makes something happen once he gets the ball. He has superior speed, so he's a threat to go deep, but he'll also go over the middle without fear. Tiller works to get him the ball in a number of ways; at the line of scrimmage, deep passes, he'll come out of the backfield, and even throw the ball.
Greg Orton has good size He catches most everything. He has decent speed, but he isn't going to wear you out deep. He's the Boiler's No.2 guy, although Selwyn Lymon is probably a more dangerous player. Lymon is a big, strong receiver that really uses his body well. Lymon can work underneath, but you definitely have to respect his ability to get deep.
Notre Dame will see plenty of Jake Standeford and
Desmond Tardy. Standeford works the zones underneath. He's a savvy receiver that
catches anything in his area.
If the wide receivers weren't enough to worry about, Painter has a very good group of tight ends that he can work the ball to. The main tight end is Dustin Keller, who is a converted wide receiver. He's been in the program a long time so he understands what he needs to do. Keller is not a strong blocker. He is a very tough match-up and he'll turn linebackers around. Blend this player in with the wide receivers and it is easy to see how Painter averages nearly 300 yards passing per game and has a 68 percent completion percentage.
Kyle Adams and Jerry Wasikowski will also work into the mix. Both are better
blockers than Keller, and both are solid receivers.
This group has done an outstanding job thus far into the 2007
season. Sester, Powell, and Grimes are the returning starters. The unit has not
only given Painter enough time to throw the ball, they have also helped the
Purdue offense average 202 yards on the ground per game.
Purdue On Defense:
Anticipated Depth Chart
Baker and Magee aren't getting into the backfield much this
season, but the they're doing enough to allow the linebackers to clean up behind
them. Both players might be better suited for the outside, but the Boilermakers
need the size inside.
The Purdue linebackers make a ton of plays. They don't have bunch of guys that will run sideline to sideline, but this is an experienced bunch that knows how to find the football. They also have depth.
All the linebackers are sound, but Heygood is the most disruptive. He's athletic. He'll chase the ball around the field and he knows how to play in traffic. Keglar will also chase the ball. He does tend to run around blocks, but that's picky for a guy that makes all the plays that he does. Keglar has started 32 games in his career.
Dan Bick should also be considered another starter. Bick has started 17 ball games for Purdue. He's a very steady player.
Last season this group really struggled because they were young. This is the same unit as Notre Dame saw last season, but they have much more experience. Last weekend against Michigan State Notre Dame wasn't able to take advantage of a young secondary, so I'm not sure this will be a problem for Purdue.
What has been an issue for the Purdue secondary the past several years, is
that they haven't been making a lot of plays on the ball, or causing turnovers. So
far in 2007, this unit is still waiting to nab their first interception. The
other issue for Purdue is that they're aren't very deep here.
Purdue hasn't faced a stiff schedule to date, Toledo, Eastern Illinois, Central Michigan, and Minnesota, but they have dominated every contest. Purdue is a different opponent than those Notre Dame has faced up to this time. Purdue is a balanced ball club, but they can really move the ball through the air. Painter is very good. He has a very talented group of receivers to throw to, and he has an offensive line that not only protects him, but they also open up the running game.
Michigan State handled Notre Dame pretty good last weekend, and I think this team is better than the Spartans.
Purdue 45 - Notre Dame 20
Notre Dame - Purdue Preview
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