Painter and Purdue offense a big force to be reckoned with

by Luke Middendorf

Purdue came into Saturday’s game leading the Big Ten in scoring offense at nearly 50 points a game (49.7). Much of that success has come because of seniors Curtis Painter and Dorien Bryant.

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ohio state
what: Football
when: 7 p.m., Saturday
where: H.H.H. Metrodome

Painter went above and beyond his season average and the Big Ten leading 317.3 passing yards per game against the Gophers, putting up a total of 338 yards on the suffering Gophers’ secondary.

Painter also led the Big Ten in pass efficiency coming into the game, completing 68.6 percent of his passes before Big Ten play. Saturday, Painter stayed true to that mark by going 33 of 48 for a 68.7 completion percentage. And rar ely has Painter missed a target this season. In fact, Painter threw his first interception of the year Saturday against Minnesota.

Defining Moment

On a 44-yard Purdue field goal attempt at the end of the second quarter, senior linebacker Mike Sherels blew by Purdue blockers to block the kick. Senior cornerback Jamal Harris flew to the ball and took it down the sideline toward the end zone. But at around the 20-yard line Harris unexplainably tried to switch hands and fumbled the ball, which Purdue recovered. The touchdown would have brought the Gopher deficit to just 17-10 going into halftime.

Quote of the game

“The coaches came up with a good game plan, and we had a good week of practice, that’s something we’ve got to figure out as teammates and as an offense. We had the chances, and I think our starters have to hold that responsibility; that’s my responsibility too. We just can’t do that. Purdue is a good team and we’ve got other good teams like Ohio State coming in too, and we just can’t do that.”
-Adam Weber

Painter’s talented wide receiver target, Bryant, led the Big Ten in all-purpose yards coming into Big Ten play with his receiving and kick-returning ability.

Bryant had a monster day on Saturday to pad his already impressive stats, grabbing 12 balls for a total of 150 yards and two touchdowns.

The speedy 5-foot-10-inch, 175-pound Bryant also returned four kicks for 77 yards on the day.

Simmons Returns

Junior tight end Jack Simmons saw his first action on the field since his foot injury early in the first game against Bowling Green.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound Simmons caught 3 passes for 18 yards in Saturday’s loss to Purdue.

Simmons came into the year with high expectations after stepping in for former Gophers tight end Matt Spaeth in last season’s Bowl Game.

Simmons resumed his duties as first string tight end Saturday.

Player of the Game

Curtis Painter
Purdue No. 12 Senior Quarterback

ï Painter lived up to his high expectations by going 33 of 48 for 338 yards and three touchdowns in Purdue’s Big Ten opening victory.

Weber still running

After much talk about redshirt freshman quarterback Adam Weber getting fewer carries as the season progresses, it doesn’t seem to be happening.

Weber carried the ball a total of 20 times Saturday for 76 yards, good for second best on the team.

Weber said his body feels pretty well even after getting that many carries, but knows it might not stay that way.

“It’s the Big Ten. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, but I’m alive and I can move,” said Weber with a smile. “So that’s a good sign.”