December 26, 2007

Motor City Bowl wrap up

DETROIT - What a game. What more can be said?

Both teams had great showings. Purdue showed remarkable resiliance in coming back after it looked like Central Michigan had completely regained all momentum when the Chippewas tied the game, and Central Michigan did the same in making its initial comeback.

Purdue had the weight of the Big Ten on its shoulders. It was one of the few conference teams favored to win in the bowl season, and it would have really set a negative tone for the rest of the Big Ten had it dropped the conference's first bowl game to a MAC team.

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It's good.

DETROIT - Chris Summers knocked through a 40-yard field goal with no time remaining to give Purdue a win in one of the most thrilling bowl games I've ever witnessed. Purdue holds off a pesky and talented Central Michigan team, 51-48.

In between starting the drive and taking a knee at the 23-yardline to set up for a potential 40-yard game-winning yard attempt, Painter set Purdue's all-time record for passing yardage in a game. That's pretty impressive considering the two quarterbacks whose record he broke both started last Sunday in the NFL.

Fit to be tied ... again.

DETROIT - What else did you expect?

The first play out of the timeout, LeFevour found Bryan Anderson on a fade to the left part of the endzone for the game-tying score.

Six plays, 66 yards, 1:06 off the clock. Simple enough, eh?

It's Anderson's third touchdown catch of the night.

The game is all tied up with 1:09 remaining.

Stayin' alive

DETROIT - After getting sacked and gaining minimal yards on a scramble, it looked like it was all over for Dan LeFevour and the Chippewas.

But come on, this game couldn't end that easily, could it? Facing a 3rd-and-16, LeFevour found Duane Brooks for a 34-yard connection to get the Chippewas to midfield. A 13-yard pass and 16-yard scramble followed, and Purdue called a timeout with 1:14 remaining. Central Michigan has the ball on the Purdue's 20.

It all comes down to this

DETROIT - With 2:22 left, Purdue will be punting to Central Michigan after the Chippewas stopped the Boilermakers at Purdue's 30-yardline. Central Michigan exhausted all of its timeouts in the process, though.

This should be a good one.

Purdue keeps possesion

DETROIT - Facing 3rd-and-7, Curtis Painter found Jake Standeford down the left for just enough for a first down.

Dustin Keller, Greg Orton, Standeford are all over 100 yards receiving on the night.

Curtis Painter has thrown for more than 500 yards, too. He has 501 yards right now (Kyle Orton and Drew Brees are tied for the team's all-time record with 522 yards apiece.).

The final three minutes should be interesting. Does Purdue, who has just 26 yards on 21 carries this game, try running the clock on the ground, or does it stick to its strengths, pass the ball, and risk turnover/clock stoppage?

Well-timed time out

DETROIT - It looked like Purdue dug itself out of its own endzone, but a convenient time out keeps them inside its own two-yardline.

Facing a 2nd-and-10, Curtis Painter appeared to find a teammate for a 15-yard pass. But before the play was snapped, Central Michigan called a timeout, enfuriating the Purdue faithful and a handful of players on the field.

With five minutes left, Purdue leads 48-41.

Central stalls, but Purdue is pinned deep

DETROIT - The Chippewas' chance to take back the momentum came up short.

Central Michigan got a gift when it looked like its drive was over. Purdue was called for offsides on a third-and-long where LeFevour's screen pass to Ontario Sneed was off the mark.

But on the team's second shot, Central Michigan still couldn't convert. LeFevour's quarterback keeper was three yards short of the first down marker.

Tony Mikulec's soccer style punt traveled 53 yards and was downed inside the two, pinning Purdue very deep into its own territory.

Continue reading "Central stalls, but Purdue is pinned deep" »

Purdue regains control

DETROIT - Purdue just capped off a 12-play drive with a 12-yard touchdown run by backup running back Jaycen Taylor.

The Boilermakers converted on two third-and-long situations, both laser-sharp passes from Painter. The second third-down connection put Painter at 464 passing yards, a Motor City Bowl record (he now has 473).

More importantly, though, the long drive silented the crowd and gave the momentum back to Purdue after it looked like the Chippewas could do no wrong and the Boilermakers had lost all hope.

But now, with just eight minutes left, the Boilermakers are once again in control, leading the underdog Chippewas 48-41.

Fit to be tied

DETROIT - After Central Michigan tripped up on its chance to tie the game on offense, its defense stepped up again, causing its third turnover of the night.

Central Michigan's Casey Droscha emt Korey Sheets in the backfield, stuffing him for a loss and then knocking the ball loose. Teammate Nick Bellore picked up the ball and returned it all the way to Purdue's six-yard line.

Two plays and another LeFevour touchdown scamper later, and this game is improbably tied up, 41-41.

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New life

DETROIT - Both the Central Michigan defense and the now-raucous Central Michigan fans have had new life breathed into them.

The Chippewa defense - which allowed more than a point per minute in the first half - has calmed down in the second half. It has stopped the Boilermakers three straight drives on defense.

And that has led to the crowd - 60,624 strong - to being louder than any Detroit Lions one has likely been this season. The fans are very pro-Central Michigan, and the defenses resurgance has really brought out the best in the crowd.

Central Michigan now has the ball with a chance to tie the game.

He's good.


The game many had hoped for is happening after all. Central Michigan is now within seven after a ridiculous touchdown run by Dan LeFevour. The mobile quarterback scrambled for a touchdown, throwing some Reggie Bush-like jukes in for good measure.

That rush was LeFevour's 21st of the night, and put him two yards away from the 100-yard mark. He also has 202 yards through the air.

Purdue leads 41-34 with 5:02 left ... in the third quarter.

Here's their chance

DETROIT - After both teams traded punts, Purdue started its next drive near midfield.

Curtis Painter threaded a nice pass up the middle to Dorien Bryant, who tipped the ball right into the hands of Central Michigan's E.J. McLaughlin. The freshman defensive back returned it into Purdue territory.

The Chippewas now have a shot to get back into the game for the first time since the early stages of tonight's contest.

I have LeFevour, and the only prescription is ...

DETROIT - more touchdowns.

(OK, sorry, I had to get the Saturday Night Live name pun joke in there somewhere).

After a shaky first half, sophomore Dan LeFevour has really picked it up in the second half. He just tossed his third touchdown of the night (his second in the four-minute long second half) and again closed the gap to two scores.

This drive ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Anderson.

LeFevour has now thrown for 181 yards and rushed for 78 more.

Painter can't be stopped

DETROIT - It didn't take long for Purdue to answer.

Less than a minute and a half after the Chippewas' emphatic start to the second half, the Boilermakers found themselves in a familiar location - the Ford Field endzone.

This drive ended with a 19-yard pass to Jake Standeford.

Continue reading "Painter can't be stopped" »

Inspired start

DETROIT - Central Michigan coach Butch Davis kept his team in the locker room until less than one minute was left in halftime. Whatever he told his team must have clicked.

Seconds into the second half, Dan LeFevour found teammate Antonio Brown down the left for a 76-yard touchdown pass. The Ford Field crowd erupted to the loudest cheers heard yet at tonight's game.

Motor City Bowl halftime thoughts

DETROIT - There have been 47 points at halftime, and I'm not the least bit surprised. The surprise has come on the distribution of those points. Purdue was favored to win, but I really thought Central Michigan would put up a good fight and could potentially win this one.

Instead, Purdue, the team many thought wouldn't appreciate this bowl game as much as a smaller-conference team like Central Michigan would, has been the team that has played the inspired ball.

Unless Central Michigan comes out on fire in the second half, this looks like Purdue will cruise to victory here. So what does Central Michigan have to do if it wants to get back into the game?

Continue reading "Motor City Bowl halftime thoughts" »

Second time's a charm

DETROIT - Kory Sheets appeared to have scored on second-and-goal, but was ruled an inch short of breaking the goalline. After Curtis Painter fumbled the third-and-goal snap, it looked like the ref's spotting of Sheets' run could cost the Boilermakers some points.

But with just 16 seconds left in the half, Purdue coach Joe Tiller opted to go for the touchdown up 14 on the one-yard line. His risky call paid off, and Sheets found the endzone on his second chance, extending Purdue's lead to 34-13 heading into halftime.

Inching back in it ... by an inch

DETROIT - Dan LeFevour just found wide receiver Bryan Anderson down the left sideline for a 49-yard touchdown. The pass just barely found its way into Anderson's fingertips as the sophomore stretched out his arms after getting past a Purdue defender to make himself open for the deep ball. After the extra point, Purdue's lead is cut to 14 points, 27-13.

Add three more

DETROIT - Chris Summers made another chip shot to extend Purdue's lead to 21.

Purdue fans are livid that what pass interference wasn't called on a third-and-goal fade pass from Painter. Still, the Boilermakers are completely in the driver's seat, and will continue to be unless Central Michigan makes some big adjustments.

Unhappy fans

DETROIT - Trailing by 18 and needing a spark, Central michigan fans were hoping coach Butch Davis would allow the Chippewas to go for it on fourth-and-1 near midfield. But Davis sent on the punting team, and Chippewa fans sent out a reactionary chorus of boos.

Hold up

DETROIT - After what looked like Curtis Painter's third touchdown pass of the night, the once-silent maroon-clad fans had something to cheer for. Painter connected with senior Jake Standeford on third and goal, but the touchdown was negated by a holding call.

Chris Summers knocked in a 30-yard field goal to bump the Boilermakers' lead to 24-6, but the Chippewas might have gotten something to build on if they want to get back into this game.

That was quick

DETROIT - My hands hurt.

Just seconds after Central Michigan's field goal, Purdue answered quickly - and emphatically.

Curtis Painter connected with Dustin Keller for a 62-yard touchdown pass on the drive's first and only play. Keller slipped between two Central Michigan defenders trying to make the tackle and easily made his way down the right sideline and into the endzone. With 10 seconds left in the first half, Purdue leads 21-6.

Small school, big leg

DETROIT - Central Michigan's Andrew Aguila may not be a big-market player, but the sophomore junior college transfer is doing well against a Big Ten team on a big stage.

After knocking through a 27-yard field goal to start the game's scoring, Aguila just made a 47 yarder with ease to close in on Purdue's 11-point lead. The Boilermakers now lead 14-6.

Is that West Virginia?

DETROIT - For those of you watching on television seeing the West Virginia-esque spread option attack the Chippewas are using, it shouldn't come as much of a suprise.

Central Michigan's first-year coach Butch Davis came to Mount Pleasant from Morgantown last season to take over for Cincinnati-bound Brian Kelly.

Davis has been succesful in his first year as Central Michigan's coach - maybe too succesful for Chippewa fans who are afraid they may lose their second coach in as many years.

Continue reading "Is that West Virginia?" »

Shootout? Yes. Dual? Not so much.

DETROIT - Dorien Bryant returned a kick 35 yards to give Purdue great starting field position, and it didn't take long for Purdue coach and offensive mastermind Joe Tiller to take advantage of it.

Continue reading "Shootout? Yes. Dual? Not so much." »

Boilermakers take control

DETROIT - What a play.

Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter completed his third straight pass of more than 10 yards, this time it was to his favorite target and fellow senior Dorien Bryant.

Bryant looked poised to make the end zone after catching it near the 15. He juked inside and outside a trio of Chippewa defenders before finally trying to give into the end zone from about the three.

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Trivia Time

DETROIT - Pop quiz. Who is the only quarterback in NCAA history not named Vince Young to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in the same season?

Give up?

It's Central Michigan's sophomore signal caller Dan LeFevour

Continue reading "Trivia Time" »

The best offense is a good defense

DETROIT - Just a little more than a minute into the game, Central Michigan is almost on the board thanks to its ... defense?

That's right, on Purdue's first third down of the game, Boilermaker quarterback Curtis Painter's pass was deflected right into the hands of Central Michigan's Nick Bellore. The linebacker brought it back to the Purdue 10.

Continue reading "The best offense is a good defense" »

Motor City Bowl pregame thoughts

DETROIT - We're here live in the Motor City where Central Michigan returns to its home away from home for its second straight Motor City Bowl appearance. Instead of preying on lowly Middle Tennessee State like it did last year, the MAC Champions face formidable Big Ten foe Purdue this time around.

The Boilermakers are more than a touchdown favorite according to the oddsmakers, but this has all the makings of being a down-to-the-wire shootout. Both teams have high-flying offenses, and the game could come to to whichever defense steps up first.

Purdue will be receiving the ball to begin - I'll be shocked if this is scoreless ten minutes from now.


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