Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Watching the Watchmen costumes

For years I heard about how the Watchmen "graphic novel" was one of the best of all time. I'm not the most voracious reader of comic books, though I do have a soft spot for the superhero genre. I've read my fair share of comics, but I'm not a collector.

So, having heard about Watchmen for several years, I was extremely curious when I heard it would be made into a movie, with the director of "300," Zack Snyder, at the helm. It was interesting because many uphold Watchmen as the high-water mark for comics; a book that transcended the bounds of comics and elevated them to an art. It's an argument I'd heard on and off for a long time. Yet, I didn't read it.

Then, I saw the trailer for the movie based on the comic. I don't know whether it was the Smashing Pumpkins song used or what, but it looked absolutely spectacular, epic. After that first trailer debuted over the summer, I was sold. Sold enough, in fact, to buy the collected edition of the Watchmen.

Indeed, the comic tells a deep, complicated story about the psychological consequences of being a "superhero." It's a dark tale full of violence, psychosis, sensuality, betrayal, sacrifice, and mystery. It's full of flashbacks and even includes a "story within a story" called Tales of the Black Freighter. It was a good, solid read. I understood what the fuss was all about. I think the comic lived up to the hype, which is something that doesn't happen very often.

Famously, Warner Bros. and Fox have fought over the rights to it. They finally settled the whole deal, but Watchmen sat in development hell for years at Fox. In fact, Terry Gilliam was once signed to helm a Watchmen movie, but quit...saying the movie would be impossible to film. I can see why he said that. The tale is so well interwoven, it would be difficult to cut it down. I'd say it's an achievement that Snyder has managed to keep the running time under three hours.

Anyway, I really liked the comic, er, graphic novel. Some very interesting characters populate this universe, and I thought it was worth it to take a look at how the movie costumes stack up against their comic book roots.

RorschachRorschach is the heart of the Watchmen story. For much of the tale, he's the narrator and it's his quest for truth that drives the story. To me, it looks like the costume folks hit this one dead on. You've got his fedora, the trenchcoat, the white scarf...he looks fantastic. I would say that Rorschach's voice fits the character perfectly; however, as I saw the trailer before reading the comic, it's impossible to say that. Still, from the clips I've seen, it looks like the spots on Rorschach's mask change throughout the movie. I think that's a nice touch.

Nite Owl IINite Owl II is a very sympathetic character. Or, you could call him pathetic, especially at the beginning. A middle-aged man with a sizable paunch and, well, let's just say he could use a bit of Viagra, Nite Owl II is a pitiable character who's hung up his mask and hung up on Silk Spectre II. One thing you see in the original comic is that the Nite Owl has what appears to be a spandex suit with your standard superhero "underwear" covering his groin. He doesn't look menacing at all; those goggles are ridiculous! For the movie, Nite Owl has gotten a "Dark Knight" makeover. While the comic Nite Owl doesn't look well armored, the movie Nite Owl looks like a force to be reckoned with. I'd say he's had some help from Lucius Fox, wouldn't you? Like in the comic, his movie version even has a utility belt (which you can't see very well because the movie picture is dark).

Silk Spectre II Wow. I guess the costume designers didn't think the original Silk Spectre II costume from the comics would play well with today's audiences. Not sexy enough, right? So, well...they've sexified the costume for the movie. Silk Spectre's choker is gone, replaced with a sleek, high, glossy black collar. Those goofy-looking baggy arms are also a thing of the past, replaced with a tight, form-fitting catsuit look. She's sporting a different hairstyle (if anyone cares) and there's a lot more black in the outfit in general. You can't see it in either of the pictures, but in the comics, Silk Spectre traipses around in high heels; for the movie those have been replaced with knee-high boots. You know...because those are a lot more functional for fighting crime, right?

Dr. ManhattanWell, in the comics, Dr. Manhattan is a glowing blue guy who can do just about any superhuman thing you can think of. In the movie, he's a glowing blue guy who can do just about any superhuman thing you can think of. I'm sure the special effects for ol' Doc are fantastic, but seriously...this one would be hard to screw up. About the only way you could conceivably mess it up would be to make him pink or something.

OzymandiasAt first blush, the movie version looks like quite a departure from the comic. And, in some ways, it is. In the comic, Ozymandias is seen with a purplish cloak that conceals a golden suit of spandex. There are a couple panels that give you a good look at Ozymandias' suit (they're just very small), and that's what it looks like...a tight, form-fitting golden costume. Something you don't see in the panel I scanned from the comic is the hero's purple Lone Ranger-style mask. Frankly, it looks pretty silly, even for a comic book. The costume designers have again gone the "Movie Batman" route with his outfit; for some reason, it reminds me of Robin's suit from "Batman Forever." The mask is more textured (though it still looks ridiculous) and the golden headband is replaced with a kind of "Julius Caesar" type ornamentation on the sides of his head. The Egyptian-style golden thing around his neck (I'm sure there's a name for it, but I couldn't find it) is replaced by a more sophisticated-looking golden armor plate.

The Comedian The Comedian is no hero, not in the way you'd think. He's a sadistic man who loves guns. Think of the Punisher, just with a really cynical attitude and an even nastier streak. I think the movie hasn't departed too much from the Comedian seen in the comic. The armor plating/flak jacket stuff is more pronounced in the movie version. I also don't recall seeing the Comedian with dogtags in the comic, though I could've missed it. I haven't gotten a really good look at his shoulder armor, but I suspect the movie version is fairly close to the comic armor. The Comedian has an ever-present cigar in his mouth, though the shot I took from the comic shows him having a drink. Both versions of the Comedian shown are during his days in Vietnam before he gets a facial scar. I've seen promo pics and the Comedian has that scar during appropriate moments in the timeline. Also notice how the movie version does not have a white hair "wraparound," whereas the comic version does. In the comic, the Comedian has white hair "wraparound" in Vietnam, though he doesn't have it in some of the earlier scenes in the timeline. Also, got a look at a scene that gave a close look at the Comedian's armor. It looks very much like it does in the comics. One more thing worth mentioning...the Comedian wears a full facial mask while working law enforcement in the streets of the U.S.; in the movie, this mask is nowhere to be found. I have no problem with that.

Of course, "Watchmen" opens March 6.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Golden era quietly slips away for my beloved Colts

Disheartening news this weekend reminds us that the NFL is in fact a business. Professional sports are a business. It's easy to forget that when you're wearing a horsehead hat and cheering on your team while scarfing down yet another chicken wing. All in hi-def, of course (the game, not the wing eating).

Tony Dungy is gone. I can live with that. The coach has always had a special plan, and it didn't include coaching the Colts for the rest of his life. He left a great legacy in Indianapolis and though it's tough to see him go, I can accept it. I'm actually surprised the Colts got two seasons out of Dungy following the Super Bowl win. If there's ever a "perfect" moment to retire, that would've been it. I think Dungy saw the latest playoff disaster and thought to himself, "One more year. We could go one more year." I think he realized that was a cycle that could continue year after year, especially with the Colts always in contention. Being a smart man, he walked away. No hard feelings at all...just a reverential feeling that he'll be missed.

Dungy's departure was the first blow...but now things are starting to unravel just a bit. First off, the team will let Jeff Saturday test the free agent market. Any team would be crazy not to throw a bunch of money at him. Saturday is one of the top centers in the game. He's smart, feisty, and a community-conscious guy. The line struggled without him last season, though I suppose those opportunities were good for guys like Jamey Richard. Still, the last thing anyone wanted to hear last season with Peyton Manning hobbled was that Saturday wouldn't be there as his vigilant protector for several games. When Saturday returned, the line was better. You couldn't deny it. The unit never quite got it together from a running game standpoint, even with #63 making the line calls.

To me, Jeff Saturday is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. Period. He's hardly banged up, he doesn't make a lot of mistakes, and he's mentally tough. You can argue all you want about who deserved that Super Bowl MVP (Peyton, Kelvin Hayden, Dominic Rhodes, etc.), but the real story of that game (and the entire playoff run) was how Saturday and the line dominated the line of scrimmage. They did it against KC. They did it against Baltimore. They did it against New England. Ditto Chicago. Saturday was a huge part of that. If he indeed departs, it'll be a sad day for this Colts fan.

Don't get me wrong; I understand change is a necessary part of life. It's a necessary part of staying competitive, too. But Saturday, in my opinion, is a different breed of player. He's the kind of guy you want in the locker room. He leads by example, letting his actions speak loudly. He commands respect among fans and his teammates. To lose that type of player is tough for me to swallow. If I were Peyton Manning, I'd renegotiate my ungodly large contract to help keep Saturday around.

Oh sure...Polian is doing his yearly dance when it comes to those beloved veteran free agents. He does this all the time...maybe there's a chance he'll be back. That's entirely possible...just unlikely. Polian is a terrific general manager and a confirmed personnel guru. He doesn't miss often. He's one of the league's best because he's smart, shrewd, and a bit ruthless. That brings me to my next point.

Marvin Harrison. I've loved watching #88 grow from "that guy from Syracuse" into the NFL's most productive wide receiver. A hard worker, a physical freak, and a big fan of Tastykakes, he's been a joy to watch. Every time Manning threw that ball to #88, it was special. Harrison has made some amazing catches in his career with the Colts. A couple of my favorites include the terrific "don't tackle me" catch against the Broncos in the playoffs and an absolute "can you believe that!" grab against New England. Oh, wait, he's had multiple versions of the latter!

But there's a darkness deep inside Marvin Harrison, something that doesn't come out often because he shies away from the media. It's the reason he was sued for "attacking" some kids who bugged him about an autograph at the Pro Bowl a few years back. It's the reason he was involved in that messy and confusing "did he or didn't he" shooting back in Philadelphia. It's the reason he doesn't talk much to the media. No one knows Harrison, certainly not me, and that's the way he wants it. The problem with that attitude, however, is that it gives people a lot of leeway to speculate about you. With no real perspective on the man, the best we can do is guess. And Harrison doesn't like that.

As I'm sure you've read plenty of places, Marv will cost $13 million against this year's salary cap. As great as he's been for Colts fans, it's impossible to pay that kind of money to a wide receiver who will be just three years shy of 40 years old in August. It'd be different if Harrison had been the productive receiver we've watched throughout his career over the past two seasons. But that's not what we saw. Now, I actually didn't think Harrison was quite as bad last season as a lot of people. In fact, I saw him beat coverage a lot...he just didn't get the ball. Now, when he beat coverage, it was through his precise route running, perhaps not as much because of his pure speed like it had been in past years.

Still, there were too many "almost" plays with Harrison last season. They were plays he and Manning made time and time again in prior seasons. They lost their synergy last season, and it was depressing to watch as a fan of the 18-to-88 connection.

What Polian sees is a decline in production and the chance to save millions of dollars against the salary cap. Harrison won't take a pay cut or renegotiate his contract...my gut tells me he's too proud for that. If the Colts won't bend over backwards to retain a guy like Saturday who still has a few productive years left, there's no way they'll pony up the greenbacks to keep an aging wide receiver around.

Even if he's a legend?

Yes, even if he's a legend.

Again, this is where it gets sad as a sports fan. When you're a kid, you think silly things like "Jim Harbaugh will be the Colts' quarterback forever." Then, the team trades him away and drafts some pedigreed pretty boy out of Tennessee named Manning. The Franchise goes on. While Harbaugh had the team within a pass of the Super Bowl, Manning won the darn game.

I'd always imagined that Marvin Harrison would remain a Colt forever. And in many ways, he will. But when the Colts release him citing the salary cap, the young fan in me will die just a little bit more. That's why I have to remind myself that this is all a business...and sometimes a dirty one at that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Retired? Sure!

Just a quick one here. Brett Favre is entering the "Retirement Zone" again. This time he'll stay, I suspect. At least I hope he stays retired instead of reconsidering at the end of July.

Favre faced the difficult task of giving up on something he's known all his life. That can't be easy. Yet, he went about it the wrong way. He swore up and down almost a year ago that he was finished with football. Then the rumors started up...Favre was mulling over a return. No one was shocked. No one thought he'd really retire. The Green Bay Packers faced a tough choice as a franchise...do they move forward or give Favre one more shot?

I understand Favre is a fierce competitor, the kind of guy who needs competition in order to thrive, to feel normal. I think he was shocked, absolutely taken aback, when the franchise failed to welcome him back with open arms. I can't speak for Packers fans, but I would imagine it got pretty tiresome during his last three seasons in Green Bay...you know...when he considered retirement and left the franchise hanging? The Packers sure were paying Aaron Rodgers a lot of money!

The first couple of times, I think franchise officials were pretty understanding. This is Brett Favre, the most popular player in franchise history. Cut him some slack, right? Eventually, the soap opera grew old and the Packers made a bold decision to move the organization forward, leaving Favre behind after his avowed return. It was a messy divorce, certainly something you don't want to see when you're talking about legendary athletes.

The funny thing about it is that Favre worked against his own mystique. Suddenly, his "childhood love" of the game turned into one gigantic ego trip. Instead of seeing Favre as a hero and someone to look up to, people began to see him as selfish. Certainly, the tag had been applied before, but it never, ever stuck until this whole Green Bay mess.

What did Favre accomplish with his "one more year?" Absolutely nothing. He may have gained some separation in a few record categories (like passing touchdowns, consecutive starts, etc.), but the net effect of his un-retirement was dramatically different. He managed to turn many football fans (though not necessarily Green Bay fans) against him. He looked old and clueless out on the field, particularly in the later parts of the season. I can only hope the lasting impression he'll leave is of the guy who loved to play football in Green Bay...not of the returning conquering hero no one wanted.

Of course, it'll help if he stays retired this time around.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Boilermakers find road redemption

#21 Purdue 49, Cincinnati 35

After a startlingly lackluster performance a week ago against Notre Dame, the Purdue Boilermakers got their act together, riding junior quarterback Justin Siller for six touchdowns in a high-scoring affair against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

"That was an amazing game," Coach Matt Adams told reporters. "I know we didn't play our best defensively, but we made some big plays when we had to. On offense, they simply couldn't stop us."

The Bearcats struck first, with D.J. Woods catching a 29-yard pass from Demetrius Jones. The Bearcats took an early 7-0 lead."That was a great throw from Demetrius," Coach Dunn said. "I really haven't had much of a chance to say that throughout his career at Cincinnati. But that was a brilliant throw. His ability to move in the pocket makes it awfully hard for defenses. It doesn't matter if you blitz, play zone, spy, or go man-to-man."

Purdue responded with a drive that ate up almost three minutes of clock. Siller faked a handoff, rolled right, and took it in himself for a four-yard score.

"Just wasn't much open there. They had it covered pretty good, but they left a lot of running room so I took that," Siller explained.

In the span of two plays from scrimmage, the Bearcats and Boilermakers exchanged touchdowns. For Cincy, it was a 44-yard screen pass from Jones to running back Isaiah Pead.

"I almost peed myself when I saw that name," Adams said. "Great call. The 'D' read it too late and no one could get near Pead. Seriously, that's his real name?"

Purdue struck back courtesy of their big-play receiver, the speedy Anthony Kellner. The sophomore sensation took a short pass from Siller, spun away from a tackle and raced 71 yards to the endzone as time expired in the first quarter, score tied 14 all."I don't usually pay too much attention to the other coach during the game," Dunn said. "But after Kellner took that pass all the way, Adams and I exchanged looks. It was just kind of like, 'Oh yeah. We're gonna score a lot of points.' We didn't disappoint."

Cincinnati came right back, taking the lead on a 26-yard pass from Jones to Orion Woodard. The big play followed a sack that made it third and 16."That one was frustrating," Adams said. "We got them in a terrible position. I was thinking we'd hold them to a field goal. Instead, we give up a huge touchdown pass. I couldn't believe it."

"At that point, I began to think neither of us would be able to stop the other. It was getting pretty darn ridiculous," Dunn said.

Purdue tried slowing the pace of the game down, settling for some short passes and concentrating on the running game. Adams made a bold coaching move, going for it on fourth and two at his own 35-yard line.

"A lot of people will wonder about that call. But the way our offenses were playing, it felt like a necessity. It was like the first team to punt, loses," Adams explained.

Adams' gamble paid off when Siller found running back Dan Dierking for the first down. A few plays later, Kellner struck again, taking another short pass for a 54-yard score. This one was more impressive than the first; Kellner was hit behind the line of scrimmage and broke at least two tackles on his way to the end zone."I saw Coach Ebner's comments last week about tackling drills at practice. These Purdue receivers...they don't drop a lot of balls and they're really quick. I think the Bearcats need some tackling drills, too," Dunn said.

"I only had those two catches, but they were big ones," Kellner said. "I don't know, somedays you just feel you can take on the whole Empire by yourself. Today was one of those days."

With the score tied at 21, Purdue caught its first break of the game, when Jones threw a pass to Woodard, who was double-covered. Charlton Williams picked it off. The Boilermakers capitalized on the turnover, taking the lead when Siller found Arsenio Curry for a 23-yard score. "That was just Demetrius being Demetrius. Guy can't read defenses worth a crap," Dunn added bitterly.

"My only concern with that turnover, if there's anything negative about scoring a touchdown, it's that we scored too quickly," Adams said in retrospect.

Indeed, Adams was in the right frame of mind. Cincinnati tied the game at 28 with a three-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Adrian Robinson just before halftime.

The second half had a decidedly different slant. Purdue took an almost leisurely approach on its next drive, eating up more than three minutes of clock on its way to a touchdown run from Siller."We had our shootout in the first half," Adams said. "I wanted to get the ground game going and limit their possessions in the second half. Since we got the ball first, I thought it was important to hold it as long as we could."

Trailing 35-28, Cincinnati found itself in the same situation Purdue had faced earlier in the game. Inside their own 30 yard-line, the Bearcats stared down fourth and three.

This time, Dunn rolled the dice.

It didn't pay off.

As Jones rolled to his right, he tried to hit wide receiver Tomaz Hilton. But Purdue linebacker Ryan Tyson had the flat covered. The sophomore intercepted the ball and returned it 28 yards for the touchdown.

"Talk about your Pontiac game-changing moments," Dunn said. "We were down two scores after that. It was pretty much do or die time and we died pretty hard."

Down 42-28, Cincy pulled within a touchdown when Pead ran it into the end zone for a two-yard score. With 4:57 left in the game, the Bearcats trailed 42-35.

"I knew Adams wasn't going to do anything stupid on the next drive," Dunn said. "I just didn't think they'd take it to us like that."

With a chance to put the game away, Purdue held the ball for more than three and a half minutes. Siller ran a sneak across the goal line with 1:23 left to play, giving Purdue a solid 49-35 win.

Jones threw his third pick of the game on the next drive, and all Purdue needed was a couple of kneel downs to finish it off.

"The Bearcats got us last year on our home field," Adams said. "This year, we returned the favor. It was a good feeling."

"The good news is that fans saw a well-played, exciting game. The bad news is the visiting team won. Oh well, I think everyone enjoyed the promotion: Bring Your Own Stripper Night. That may have been a slight distraction, but I won't make any excuses," Dunn said, taking the loss in stride.

Notes

Siller finished 22-26 for 332 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions; he also had three rushing touchdowns...Kellner made the most of his two catches, scoring two touchdowns and gaining 125 yards, an average of 62.5 yards per reception...Tight end Jordan Brewer led the team in receptions with six; he had 77 yards on the day...Tight end Arsenio Curry had five grabs for 60 yards and a score...Dan Dierking rushed 14 times for 54 yards and caught four balls for 43 yards...Cornerback Charlton Williams had a monster game, finishing with six tackles, two interceptions, and a forced fumble...Jeff Lindsay notched his third sack in two games...Demetrius Jones was 16-23 for 255 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions; he also had six carries for 52 yards...Isaiah Pead led Bearcats receivers with five catches for 78 yards and a score...neither team punted.

Capsule review: Irish top Boilermakers

Capsule summary: Notre Dame 27, Purdue 17

In an impressive display of defensive strength, Notre Dame held the potent Boilermaker offense to just 99 yards passing and 136 yards overall. Three Purdue turnovers proved to be the difference as the Irish beat their rival for the first time under Coach Matt Adams.

"I don't know what happened in this game," Adams said, removing his trademark black Purdue ballcap. "We just didn't execute anything in an acceptable manner. That first interception return killed us."

Purdue took an early lead after Charlton Williams picked off a Jimmy Clausen pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. Purdue's defense held Notre Dame to a 45-yard field goal from Brandon Walker. Poised to drive for another score, quarterback Justin Siller unleashed a pass into the waiting arms of Josh Causey, who returned it for a touchdown.

The Irish outscored Purdue 24-10 the rest of the way en route to their 27-17 home victory.

"Purdue kept it close," Coach Krildog said, "but I don't think they played their best game. We've seen them at their best and that wasn't it."

Clausen completed 15 of 20 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Armando Allen carried the ball 13 times for 57 yards.

For Purdue, Siller finished 17-29 for 99 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. On defense, Jeff Lindsay led the Boilermakers with six tackles and two sacks.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Purdue tops FSU in last-second thriller

It's not exactly a regional rivalry, but tensions run high when the Boilermakers meet the Seminoles.

The last time these two teams met, Purdue won a 42-40 shootout that included a furious rally by Florida State. This time around, the two teams didn't light up the scoreboard as much, but the conclusion was just as exciting.

With the score tied at 28, FSU quarterback D'vontrey Richardson threw a third down incompletion. The Seminoles were faced with two options: punt the ball or attempt a long field goal. On the road with Gabe Gholston, FSU Coach Blake Ebner rolled the dice."I lost epically on that one," Ebner admitted sheepishly. "I thought he'd at least make it to the goal line. I was wrong. It wasn't even close. We'll have to inject his leg with some kind of enhanced mule hormone. At least mules can kick."The missed kick gave Purdue the ball with less than 2:20 left to play. With all three timeouts remaining, the Boilermakers slowly, methodically drove into field goal range. On a key third-and-ten, freshman quarterback Kelechi Potts hit sophomore wide receiver Luke Campbell for a first down. Campbell extended the ball just before he was hit for the extra yardage. After that, Purdue stuck with its ground game, grinding it out with Dan Dierking, who barely made it past the first-down marker on a key third down run. The Boilers continued to burn clock by running all the way to the seven-yard line.

Kicker Carson Wiggs punched the 24-yard field goal through as time expired for a satisfying 31-28 win."It was a hard-fought win," Purdue Coach Matt Adams said, feeling the brim of his trademark black Boilermaker hat. "Those Florida State kids are fast, real fast. We showed a lot of heart in making the comeback."

The start of the game was just as spellbinding as the finish. Facing third and 22 following a sack, Richardson found Jarmon Fortson for a 68-yard touchdown strike.

"Fortson just split the safeties and they didn't put any pressure on me," Richardson said. "It was an easy throw. The sack was a bad start...but that long play really got us going."

Purdue answered with a 41-yard pass from Siller to Kellner. The sophomore All-American spun out of three tackles before outrunning Seminole defenders to the end zone.

"That was a complete joke," Coach Ebner said, clearly frustrated. "That little prick broke three tackles. He ain't that big of a guy. I can guarantee some of my Seminoles are going to be doing some tackling drills this week. And trust me, it won't be fun."

With the score tied at seven all, turnovers dramatically altered the landscape of the game.

The first miscue came from Florida State, when Purdue safety Gavin Roberts intercepted a Richardson pass in the end zone. The momentum swung momentarily in Purdue's favor, but with the offense on the move and facing a third down, junior quarterback Justin Siller tried to hit Kellner out in the flat. Instead, junior strong safety Travis Arnold intercepted the ball and returned it for a touchdown, giving Florida State a 14-7 lead.

On the very next possession, Siller hit tight end Jordan Brewer for an apparent first down. Brewer took a shot from ferocious-hitting All-American corner Terrance Parks and coughed up the ball. Linebacker Kendall Smith returned it to the 28-yard line. Siller provided the stop...but injured his shoulder and had to leave the game. He didn't return.

Florida State couldn't capitalize on the turnover, as the Boilermaker defense stuffed Seminoles running back J. Parker on fourth and one.

Purdue's offense responded with a precise drive that ended with a one-yard run from Siller, who bounded high into the air for the tying touchdown with 2:03 remaining in the half.

FSU scored again right before halftime on a four-yard run from Jeff Parker. With less than 20 seconds left in the half, Potts, the freshman, tossed an interception. Florida State ended the half with a long pass, but couldn't score before time expired. Purdue trailed at the half, 21-14.

Purdue had a mountain to climb. Even though they were at home, they were down by a touchdown to the #1 team in the country. Their star quarterback, Siller, was out with an injury, leaving untested freshman Potts to manage the offense.

"When Justin went down, my heart sank," Coach Adams said. "He played a solid game, with a touchdown run and a touchdown pass. I like Potts a lot, but he's a freshman. He's obviously impressed us enough to be our number two guy. Still, it's scary to put a freshman in that situation. He flourished."

Potts directed Purdue on a brilliant drive to open up the second half. On third and goal, he dropped back, evaded some FSU pressure, and found freshman Caleb Brothers over the middle. Brothers took a vicious hit from Arnold, but held on for the five-yard touchdown. The play tied the game."That was an amazing catch. I've got to learn not to leave my receivers to hang out to dry like that. In high school, the guys can hit, but not like that. Not like that at all," Potts said. "But C-Bro and I, we've been working together since day one. That was a huge catch."

Not to be outdone, Florida State responded with a long, time-consuming drive. Riding Parker's back, the Seminoles took a 28-21 lead with 26 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Potts directed Purdue on yet another scoring drive, quickly getting the ball inside the red zone. On third and goal, Potts dropped back to pass. But gargantuan defensive tackle Moses McCray was right in his face. Potts calmly sidestepped the pressure and found tight end Arsenio Curry open in the right flat. Curry used his size to barrel in for the score.Florida State's next drive resulted in that disastrous 54-yard field goal attempt, which eventually led to Purdue's game-winning score.

For the Boilermakers, Potts finished 14 of 18 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. His only mistake was an interception on his first pass of the game. Siller finished 13-16 for 144 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing, one passing). Dierking was a workhorse at running back, carrying 15 times for 44 yards and hauling in five passes for 62 yards. Senior Waynelle Gravesande caught five passes for 98 yards. Kellner finished with four receptions for 64 yards.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Ryan Tyson had four tackles, two of them for losses. Cornerback Charlton Williams led the team with five tackles.

For Florida State, Richardson was 11-12 for 191 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Parker had 17 carries for 63 yards and two scores. Fortson led Seminole receivers with two catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.

On the defensive side, middle linebacker Nigel Bradham led the team with nine tackles. Arnold was second with six tackles.

NOTES

Purdue outgained Florida State 340-255 in total offensive yards...the Boilermakers had three turnovers to FSU's one...Purdue was an astonishing eight-of-nine on third down conversions...the Boilers scored on all four red zone opportunities (three touchdowns, one field goal)...Purdue dominated time of possession, 11:18 to 8:46 for the Seminoles