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Boilers still buzzing after Sheets' fake

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

By CLIFF BRUNT

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Three days after Purdue's Kory Sheets put a highlight-reel move on Central Michigan cornerback Bobby Seay, his teammates still were buzzing about it.

Sheets busted through the line of scrimmage, came face-to-face with Seay in the secondary and unleashed a nasty stop-and-go, stutter-step, misdirection combo that left Seay grasping air. The 46-yard touchdown run with 1 minute left in the game pushed Sheets past Mike Alstott as the school's all-time touchdown scoring leader and gave the Boilermakers a 32-25 win.

"That was an amazing move, kind of like one of those video game moves that you see," Purdue safety Torri Williams said Tuesday. "It was a great play. We were in the need for a great play."

"That was one of the best open-field moves I've ever seen," Purdue linebacker Joe Holland said. "I think he did four jukes, and they kind of turned into one. We all just went nuts. That was an unbelievable run, an unbelievable play."

Sheets' run was the only play of the possession. It came right after Central Michigan had taken a 25-24 lead on a touchdown and 2-point conversion.

"It certainly was a very, very special run," quarterback Curtis Painter said. "To get that right there and win the game -- it was just huge. He's been doing that all season. Once he got past the line, it was all individual and making guys miss."

Holland, a high school running back, was a bit envious after watching replays.

"I was never able to bring out anything like that," he said.

Williams hasn't been victimized by Sheets.

"I don't allow him to put those kinds of moves on me in practice," he said, laughing. "We have an agreement."

Sheets has carried much of the load for Purdue's offense this season. He ranks 12th nationally with 117.3 yards rushing per game and is tied for fifth in scoring with 12 points per game.

He now has 43 career touchdowns and needs one more rushing touchdown to tie Alstott's career rushing touchdown mark of 39.


HOLLAND'S ROOTS: Holland's family has a new allegiance for Saturday's Notre Dame-Purdue game.

Michael and Dolores Holland graduated from Notre Dame. Their son, a freshman linebacker from Indianapolis, will start for the Boilermakers on Saturday in South Bend.

Holland grew up an Irish fan, but Purdue coach Joe Tiller changed that.

"As soon as I got the offer from Purdue, all the Notre Dame stuff was stripped down from my basement and quickly replaced with Purdue stuff."

Holland was moved from safety to linebacker late in fall camp, but enters the game ranked third on the team with 18 tackles. He looks forward to the matchup with the Irish.

"I'm not going to lie, I'm very excited to play them," he said.


TARDY LEADS NATION: Purdue kickoff returner Desmond Tardy leads the nation with 40.3 yards per return.

His 39-yard runback against Central Michigan set up Sheets' touchdown run.

Tardy also has 13 catches for 191 yards.

The return game was a concern for Tiller heading into the season, but it has been a strength. The Boilermakers rank second nationally in kickoff return average.


OFFENSE STRUGGLING? Purdue's offense hasn't matched its numbers from a year ago, but Painter isn't worried.

Last year's team averaged 436 yards per game, but this year's team is averaging 384.7 yards. Purdue passed for 307.2 yards per game last season, but has put up just 251 yards per contest this season.

"We've certainly done a lot of things well," he said. "We haven't played our best game on offense yet. We're close to being able to put a good game together."



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