Indiana Daily Student

Purdue has high hopes

Before the season began and Purdue disposed of Central Michigan last Saturday by a 48-0 count, Boilermaker coach Joe Tiller outlined the central key to any success Purdue will have this year. Not surprisingly, it involves quarterback Drew Brees.\n"As Drew Brees goes, so will Purdue," Tiller said.\nThe senior quarterback, a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, has embraced Tiller's offensive scheme from the time he began his sophomore season as the starting quarterback. To this day, Tiller has never seen a quarterback catch on to his system the way Brees has.\n"This year is the 14th that I\'ve been involved running this one-back spread offense, and I think it\'s pretty safe to say that (Brees) is the most effective guy that we\'ve had the pleasure of being around," Tiller said. \nLast Saturday saw Brees throw for 317 yards and three touchdowns in the rout against the Chippewas. Brees continues to improve, even after he threw for 3,909 yards and 25 touchdowns a season ago.\nWith his numbers continuing to go up, Brees has seen his stock as the nation\'s best player rise. After finishing fourth in the Heisman voting last year, Brees admits that winning the honor is something he thinks about, along with getting a trip to the Rose Bowl.\n"It\'s something I definitely think about," Brees said of the Heisman. "It\'s hard not to, but it isn\'t the only reason I came back. My goal for this season is to win the Big Ten."\nWhat could help Brees get more national respect is an improved defense from a 7-5 team a year ago. Junior Akin Ayodele led the team with 11 sacks last season in his first year in West Lafayette from the defensive end position. Tiller will be looking for more of the same from Ayodele as a linebacker this year.\n"I think the biggest news at Purdue is the switch of Ayodele from defensive end to strong side linebacker," Tiller said. "That was a tough decision for us because Akin last year was a sophomore and was a first-team All-Big Ten player as a defensive end."\nStill, opponents will continue to focus on containing Brees. One thing Tillersaid he thinks Brees needs to work on is his game management as games draw to a close. Last year, Purdue lost four games by seven points or fewer.\n"We still have a lot of things that we can get better at," Tiller said. "Learning how to finish a game is really one of the big keys for us, particularly given the way we played at the Outback Bowl last year, when we had a real opportunity there and let it get away from us."\nDespite the Boilermakers bitter loss to Georgia, Jan. 1, opponents continue to be impressed and afraid of Brees and his physical and mental abilities.\n"He\'s not only gifted athletically, he\'s gifted intellectually," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "He knows where the pressure is coming from. He knows where the coverage is going to be rolled. He makes such great decisions. There\'s nothing he can\'t do."\nWhat might be even scarier for the Big Ten is Tiller has yet to install his entire offensive scheme. When he does, Brees will assume control.\n"We have never gotten to our complete offensive package, but we hope this year that we can get closer to that," Tiller said. "(Brees) is really the kind of guy that you\'ve really just got to give the ballgame to"

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student