2006 Champs Bowl

Dec. 22, 2006

Purdue (8-5, 5-3 Big Ten) vs. Maryland (8-4)
Orlando, Fla. -
Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium
Friday, December 29, 2006 - 8:00 pm ET - ESPN
Coaches: Purdue - Joe Tiller, Maryland - Ralph Friedgen
Series Record: 0-0-0


Purdue Website Purdue Roster Purdue Schedule Purdue Statistics
Maryland Website Maryland Roster Maryland Schedule Maryland Statistics


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The Purdue Boilermakers mark their 14th bowl appearance by kicking off bowl weekend against Maryland on Dec. 29. This will be the first meeting between the two schools, who faced no common opponents this season. Head coach Joe Tiller is leading his team back into postseason play following a one-year absence and marking the Boilermaker's ninth appearance under Tiller. The only Big Ten squad playing a 13-game schedule, Purdue needed seven wins to clinch a bowl birth doing so on Nov. 11 with a road win over Illinois, 42-31. 


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 Maryland's fourth bowl game in the last six years as the Terrapins are hoping to garner its third-straight bowl game victory, having defeated the West Virginia, 41-7 in the 2004 Gator Bowl and Tennessee, 30-3, in the 2002 Peach Bowl.


Purdue Bowl Series: 7-6

Maryland Bowl Series: 8-10-2


Purdue Offense...

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 Maryland. He also caught 27 passes for 201 yards and was named the team's Special Teams Player of the Year after averaging 22.8 yards on 17 kickoff returns.

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 Defense...

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 Fort Wayne, Ind., native leads the nation with 26.5 tackles for loss and leads the Big Ten with five forced fumbles. Behind him are LB Dan Bick and CB Terrell Vinson who have contributed over 50 tackles and four others who have totaled more than 40 to share the responsibility.

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. 

Maryland Offense...

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.

Maryland Defense...

While Maryland is averaging 21.7 points per game, the Terps are allowing 23.1 and have a minus-8 turnover margin. Linebackers Erin Henderson and Wesley Jefferson have combined for 119 tackles with Jefferson adding 10 tackles for loss and Henderson picking two passes on the season. DT Dre Moore and DE Jeremy Navarre lead the team with 3.5 sacks apiece.

Keys to the Game

Maryland will look to exploit Purdue's rush defense with powerhorses Lattimore and Ball. Purdue must not panic and needs to establish its own run game before trying to make too many things happen in the air. Despite Painter's impressive numbers, one number that he doesn't want to increase is his 19 picks, however Maryland is just as guilty giving away 23 possessions.