Joe Tiller's great games at Purdue: 2000-2002

Brian Neubert, staff
Gold and Black

Joe Tiller's great games at Purdue: 1997-99

Joe Tiller, Purdue's all-time winningest coach, passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 74.

His impact in West Lafayette will long live on with the scores of fond memories he and his teams created for the Boilermaker program — the momentous or improbable wins, even some of the wild losses.

Win or lose, it was always eventful for Purdue during the Tiller Days.

Here's a look at some of the most memorable games between Purdue's storied 2000 season and 2002.



PURDUE 32, MICHIGAN 31 — Oct. 7, 2000

After maddening — to put it mildly — losses at Notre Dame and Penn State, the Boilermakers appeared to be cooked at halftime, down 28-10, then on their way to another heartbreaker after Travis Dorsch missed a 32-yard go-ahead kick with a little more than two minutes left.

Purdue's defense, though, gave it another chance, stopping Michigan, then Drew Brees moved the Boilermakers back into kicking range.

Dorsch's 33-yard do-over was good and Purdue had the first of its dramatic wins that ultimately delivered it to the Rose Bowl.

Here's a look, courtesy of BTN

PURDUE 30, WISCONSIN 24 — Oct. 21, 2000

The hysteria over the 2000 Michigan and Ohio State games may leave this one overlooked, but it was every bit as dramatic.

The two teams went to overtime tied at 24 in Madison, before Akin Ayodele's third-down sack of Jim Sorgi pushed the Badgers into a 58-yard field goal attempt — the Drew Brees Effect often affected opposing coaches, and it may have here in convincing Barry Alvarez not to punt.

Craig Terrill blocked the kick. Ashante Woodyard scooped the fortuitous bounce, eluded a tackler and scored for a walk-off touchdown from 36 yards out.

PURDUE 31, OHIO STATE 27 — Oct. 28, 2000

Purdue capped an extraordinary October with an extraordinary moment, the signature play in its football history — Brees' game-winning 64-yard 'Holy Toledo' bomb to Seth Morales, moments after a turnover and Buckeye score could have cost the Boilermakers the game.

PURDUE 41, INDIANA 13 — Nov. 18, 2000

This was indeed more coronation than game, but needing a win over its rival to clinch a trip to Pasadena, Purdue left no doubt, routing the Hoosiers, then celebrating just as emphatically.

WASHINGTON 34, PURDUE 24 — Jan. 1, 2001 (ROSE BOWL)

The Huskies pulled away from the Boilermakers in the second half at the Rose Bowl, but years later, it's the experience for Purdue that matters more than the result.

PURDUE 35, MINNESOTA 28 — Sept. 29, 2001

Of all the dramatic finishes Purdue experienced during Tiller's tenure, this might have been the one that required the most suspension of disbelief.

Down three with 19 seconds left and snapping from the shadows of its own goalposts, Purdue drove 63 yards on three plays, before Travis Dorsch ran onto the field and booted a 48-yard field goal, barely breaking stride, to tie game and force OT.

John Standeford put Purdue ahead with a TD pass from Brandon Hance, then Stu Schweigert finished it off with a walk-off interception in the end zone.


Maybe in the grand scheme of things this wasn't all that memorable a game, but the memorable part lied in Purdue moving forward under its next star quarterback, Kyle Orton, who was cut loose in El Paso to the tune of 74 attempts and 419 passing yards. It was clear on that day basketball on grass didn't leave with Brees.

Here's the whole game, plus an 'Everybody Loves Raymond' commercial.

OHIO STATE 10, PURDUE 6 — Nov. 9, 2002

This is not a happy memory, but Craig Krenzel's 37-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass in the game's final two minutes saved the third-ranked Buckeyes and did constitute one of the wildest finishes of the Tiller Era at Purdue.

PURDUE 45, MICHIGAN STATE 42 — Nov. 16, 2002

In the throes of a season full of frustrating narrow losses, Purdue stole one from, of course, Michigan State.

After winding up in a back-and-forth QB situation with Brandon Kirsch, Kyle Orton came off the bench in the cold after Kirsch was knocked out, then did to the Spartans what Ohio State did to the Boilermakers just a week earlier.

Orton hit a lunging John Standeford down the left sideline for a 40-yard fourth-down TD, then hit Taylor Stubblefield for a two-point conversion that turned out to not matter since Purdue's defense then closed the door on the Spartans.

Those were the only two passes Orton threw in the game.

PURDUE 34, WASHINGTON 24 — Dec 31, 2002 (SUN BOWL)

Two seasons after falling to the Huskies at the Rose Bowl, Purdue got a measure of vengeance back in El Paso, scoring 34 straight points — including two defensive touchdowns — after falling behind 17-0 to beat Washington.


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