Tiller sticking with Painter at QB

October, 6, 2008
10/06/08
9:36
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Fifth-year senior Curtis Painter will start at quarterback when Purdue visits No. 12 Ohio State on Saturday (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET). Whether Painter takes snaps the entire game remains to be seen.

Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller reiterated Sunday that Painter would start despite replacing the record-setting quarterback with Joey Elliott in the fourth quarter of last week's loss to No. 6 Penn State. Tiller nearly replaced Painter two weeks earlier against Central Michigan and made the switch after Painter completed just 13 of 22 passes for 112 yards and an interception against the Nittany Lions.

Here's what Tiller told The (Lafayette, Ind.) Journal and Courier:

"I'll talk to him probably midweek or so, but I'm not going spend a lot of time on it because of his experience. I tell the quarterbacks every year that anybody can get replaced at any time, don't read anything into it. You get a chance to come back and play, you come back and play your best."

Tiller made the right call to stick with Painter, and Painter strikes me as mature enough to handle his momentary demotion. But it's still somewhat surprising when a guy who likely will finish his career second on the Big Ten's all-time passing yards list gets sent to the bench. Painter has completed just 57.6 percent of his passes with as many touchdowns (5) as interceptions this year. He clearly misses Dorien Bryant and Dustin Keller -- can't blame him there -- and is still trying to build chemistry with his new set of wideouts.

It won't be easy to find a rhythm against Ohio State, but Purdue needs Painter at the top of his game before the season starts to slip away.

Purdue has made a change at kicker after Chris Summers missed two field goals and an extra point against Penn State. Freshman Carson Wiggs will kick for the Boilers at Ohio Stadium

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