Brees readies for offensive showdown in Pasadena
By PEYTON BERG
Drew Brees, through gutsy leadership and stellar play, leads his Boilermakers into the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1967. Brees passed for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, and added over 500 yards and five more touchdowns on the ground. Numbers aside, he led comebacks over Michigan, Northwestern, and Ohio State en route to winning the Big Ten Championship.
Brees is not entirely alone. Running back Montrell Lowe and wide receiver Vinny Sutherland each nearly hit 1,000 yards this season.
Purdue will most likely go with its explosive four-wideout set for the majority of the game against the Huskies. Coach Joe Tiller deviated from this philosophy against Notre Dame in September, choosing to run a more balanced attack against the Irish. While Lowe had a 100-yard game, the offense lost its quick-strike capability and the decision probably cost the Boilermakers the game.
Despite Miami's public criticism of the Bowl Championship Series standings, Washington may deserve to play in the Orange Bowl more, as it beat Miami in Sept. 34-29. Of course, the Huskies then traveled to Oregon three weeks later and dropped their only contest of the year.
Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo engineered eight come-from-behind victories this season. While he has played well, it is fair to say that he did not live up to the lofty expectations of many college football experts. After his 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in a single game last year, many predicted that he would at least be a Heisman finalist this year. Regardless of individual statistics, Tuiasosopo has led his team to a Pac-10 Championship and a 10-1 record.
Neither team is known for its defensive prowess. All season long, the burden has been on the offense to score more points rather than the defense to make a stand. Washington's defensive unit probably gets the nod over Purdue's because of its total team speed. Purdue's defense can be best characterized as smallish but overachieving.
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, December 12, 2000