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Saturday, September 13, 2008
First quarter update: Purdue 13, Oregon 3

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue all but admitted having a speed and talent deficit going into today's clash against No. 16 Oregon. That could still be the case, but the Boilermakers are making big plays in all three facets of the game.

Joe Tiller couldn't have scripted a better start, as running back Kory Sheets showed he's got some decent wheels, too, zooming 80 yards on the second snap from scrimmage. Quarterback Curtis Painter isn't known for his mobility but several times has beaten the Ducks' supposedly quick defense with his feet.

The most encouraging sign for the offense is a newfound creativity. Tiller's decision to put sophomore running back Justin Siller at quarterback for a play surprised many up here in the press box, and Siller's improvisation on an option play worked smashingly, as he followed Painter's block for a 21-yard gain.

Oregon's offense is moving the ball but has little to show for it. And as good as Justin Roper has been early on in his tenure, he made a terrible decision on a rollout that led to Brandon King's momentum-swinging interception.

Even the wind, thought to be a major disadvantage for Purdue's passing attack, has so far benefited the Boilermakers. After fielding two short kickoffs into the wind, Oregon foolishly left its return men too far back on another short kick. Purdue recovered at the Ducks' 23-yard line and retained the momentum. Good teams don't make mistakes like that.