2006 Champs Bowl
Dec. 22, 2006
Purdue (8-5, 5-3 Big Ten) vs. Maryland (8-4)
The Purdue Boilermakers mark their 14th bowl appearance by kicking off bowl weekend against
After going 3-2 through their first five games, the Terrapins, under sixth-year head coach Ralph Friedgen, reeled off a five-game winning streak and finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Atlantic Division. This is
Purdue Bowl Series: 7-6
While conference rival Ohio State might have the No. 1 ranking in the country, it was Purdue who had the most explosive passing offense, ranked first in the Big Ten (10th in the nation) with 261.4 yards per game.
Junior quarterback Curtis Painter threw for 3,721 yards and 21 touchdowns after starting only five games as a starter last year. His offensive line allowed only 17 sacks and very little pressure, which allowed Painter to complete almost 60 percent of his passes. Overall, the Boilermakers averaged 6.2 yards per offensive play with a balanced attack of 23 rushing and passing touchdowns each.
Purdue's Kory Sheets, the 2006 Walter Camp "Connecticut Player of the Year", led the team in rushing with 769 yards and 13 touchdowns and will be the Boilermakers' biggest offensive threat against
In the air, Painter hooked up with second-team All-Big Ten unanimous selection Dorien Bryant, who averaged a team high 74.4 yards per game and 967 yards overall. Not only can Bryant hurt you with his hands, but can explode for more yardage if he isn't quickly wrapped up after the catch. Painter shared the ball well with three other receivers in Dustin Keller and big men Greg Orton and Selwyn Lymon who each had over 575 yards receiving. Also receiving post-season honors on the offensive side of the ball was tackle Mike Otto, who was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree.
Purdue's defense is anchored in fifth-year defensive end and second team All-American, Anthony Spencer who led the way with 64 tackles and 10.5 sacks. The
Safety Justin Scott added a team high three interceptions for 31 yards and five pass breakups to keep opposing quarterbacks on their feet. In all, the defense forced 28 turnovers in all, and 80 tackles for loss including 30 sacks.
After an up and down season senior quarterback Sam Hollenbach completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 2,148 yards with 13 touchdowns. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bev has been Hollenbach's go-to guy this year catching 41 passes for 613 yards and four touchdowns. However, the Terps are most effective when they set up the pass by running the ball with tandem running backs Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore. Ball has rushed for 717 yards and eight touchdowns while Lattimore averaged 4.7 yards per carry and three touchdowns.
Keys to the Game