2004 Purdue Boilermakers Football Season Preview

<b>Head Coach:</b> Joe Tiller (55-32 at <A HREF=http://purdue.TheInsiders.com>Purdue</A>, .632 winning percentage)<br><br><b>Last Season's Record:</b> 9-4 (6-2, T-2nd place in Big Ten, AP No. 18, ESPN/USA Today No. 19)<br><br><b>Last Bowl Appearance:</b> Capital One Bowl (3-27 loss to Georgia)<br><br><b>Key matchup(s):</b> Sept. 5 Syracuse, Legends Weekend (ABC); Sept. 25 @Illinois (ESPN or ESPN Plus); Oct. 2 @Notre Dame (NBC); Oct 23, Michigan; Nov. 13, Ohio State; Nov. 20, Indiana.

Star Power: Kyle Orton, QB, Sr., 6-4, 220; Jerod Void, RB, Jr., 6-2, 212; Taylor Stubblefield, WR, Sr., 6-1, 172; Ben Jones, K, Jr., 6-0, 215; Bernard Pollard, SS, So., 6-2, 219; Brent Grover, DT, Jr., 6-4, 287; Antwaun Rogers, CB, Sr., 6-2, 172; Jerome Brooks, RB, So., 5-11, 179.

Notable Additions: Ryan Baker, TE, Bishop Chatard, 6-6, 225; Jeremy Coley, DL, Mesabi Range Community,6-5, 250; Dorien Bryant, WR, Fork Union Military Academy, 5-11, 175; Bruce Gordon, WR, Dodge City Community College, 5-11, 190; Desmond Tardy, WR, Warren Central, 6-1, 180.

Notable Subtractions: Shaun Phillips, DE, 4th Rd., San Diego Chargers (98th); Niko Koutouvides, LB, 4th Rd., Seattle Seahawks (116th); Kelly Butler, OT, 6th Rd., Detroit Lions (172nd); Craig Terrill, DT, 6th Rd., Seattle Seahawks (189th); Jacques Reeves, CB, 7th Rd., Dallas Cowboys (223rd); Nick Hardwick, C, 3rd Rd., San Diego Chargers (66th); Stuart Schweigert, FS, 3rd Rd., Oakland Raiders (67th); Gilbert Gardner, LB, 3rd Rd., Indianapolis Colts (69th); Landon Johnson, LB, 3rd Rd., Cincinnati Bengals (96th).

Notable Returnees: Mike Otto, LT, So., 6-5, 309; Matt Turner, LG/C, Jr., 6-3, 288; Tyler Moore, RG, Sr., 6-7, 282; Charles Davis, TE, Jr., 6-6, 263; Ray Williams, WR, Jr., 6-2, 192.

09/11/04Ball State
10/02/04@Notre Dame
10/09/04@Penn State
11/13/04Ohio State
Offensive Overview: The Boilermakers will be entering the 2004 season with experience and depth on the offense. With eight returning starters including senior quarterback, Kyle Orton who has thrown for 6,247 yards and 32 touchdowns, completing 58.1 percent of his passes. Taylor Stubblefield will be replacing John Standeford, the Big Ten's all-time leading receiver. Starting in the Boilermakers' backfield will be Jerod Void, who averaged 4.1 yards per carry last season. With the loss of Kelly Butler to the NFL and Nick Hardwick who graduated, there are a few holes on the line. Tiller will be looking to Tyler Moore, Matt Turner and Mike Otto for there experience and talent on the line. The Boilermakers' offense has all of the potential and experience to be the strongest in the Big Ten.

Defensive Overview: The Boilermakers' defense will be the key ingredient for their success this season. Tiller will be replacing eight defensive starters, including Shaun Phillips, Purdue's all-time sack leader. Replacing Phillips will be Ray Edwards, who has the skills to fill his shoes. The Boilermakers' strongest defensive lineman, Anthony Spencer has been on and off due to injuries throughout his career, but the Boilermakers' need him to remain healthy for the season. The biggest hit to the Boilermakers' defense this season is in the Linebacker position, with the loss of two starters to the NFL. Antwaun Rogers will be the only returning senior starter on the defense and will give the Boilermakers' some experience in the secondary. It will be a growing year for the Boilermakers' defense but if they can post some decent numbers the Boilermakers will be in a good position to compete in the Big Ten.

Special Teams Overview: Ben Jones returns as the placekicker in 2004. Jones converted 25 of 30 field goal attempts in the 2003 season, including all nine of his attempts from 40-to-49 yards. The punting responsibilities will be placed on Dave Brytus, a true freshmen. Purdue will look to Jerome Brooks as the kick returner, averaging 21.9 yards per return during the 2003 season.

The Boilermakers make it to their eighth straight bowl appearance if... while relying on an offense with all the talent and experience to have a stand-out season, their defense can put up some decent numbers and remain consistent.

TheInsiders.com 2004 College Football Preview
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