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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 64 ritory. The safe route would have been for Purdue to run the ball, and if it didn't make the first down, to punt. But Tiller, Dicken and freshman receiver Vinny Sutherland had other ideas. Dicken, who was having a banner day against the Irish, decided to throw the bubble screen to Sutherland. Not only did Sutherland catch it, but he took the ball down to the sidelines to within the shadow of the Notre Dame end zone. Ross-Ade erupted, and Tiller's play-to-win philoso- phy was firmly cemented in the minds of fans and players. There were numerous other examples of Boilermak- ers taking advantage of the moment at hand. There was Dicken, benched late in the Michigan State game for freshman quarterback Drew Brees, being re-inserted after Colvin's heroics and the Boilermakers' subsequent recovery of the onsides kick. Dicken wasted little time as he hit on a couple of key passes to drive Purdue to the game-winning touchdown. "It's just weird how you can play terrible the whole game, then hit a couple passes and you get back into the groove," Dicken said. "I didn't think about it too much on the game-winning drive. I just went out and played and that is pretty much how everybody approached ev- erything that year. We just played." Lesson No. 7: Little Makes Big History smiles on Colvin's 62-yard scoop-and-score on the blocked field goal, but it took several things to fall into perfect place for the play to produce the critical six points for Purdue. First, Perez had to block the kick, then the ball had to bounce perfectly to Colvin so he could pick it up in stride. But if you watch the replay on YouTube — Colvin keeps it on his phone so he can replay it any time he needs a quick, emotional pick-me-up — you see that it took a hustle play and little nudge to make sure Colvin reached the end zone. Simply put, if Colvin doesn't score on that play, there is virtually no chance the Boilermakers rally from two scores down to win. And Colvin doesn't score if Beasley doesn't hustle down the field and nudge MSU's Demetrius Underwood out of the way at the 35-yard line so that Colvin would have smooth sailing to the end zone. "I was thinking Tecmo Bowl, Tecmo Bowl," Colvin said of the Nintendo video game, where players could shift quickly to evade would-be tacklers, "and that was what I remember when I had the ball. But when I go back and look at it, Beas' block was what really made sure I got in." Beasley could have watched from 20 yards behind in amazement like just about everybody else did on that play, but he did the little thing, he hustled down to the end. And it paid off. But one other little thing turned into a big thing was the feeling by the players and coaches of having genu- ine gratitude for how things turned out in 1997, and for the positive effect it has had on the lives of so many of those that were involved. Beasley recalls running into Tim Bobillo, a Purdue fan since his college days in West Lafayette in the 1970s, a year ago. "I had given one of my game gloves to his son after the Notre Dame game," Beasley recalled. "It had blood on it, but Tim was so grateful for his son to have it and to have it all these years later. "I was like, 'Wow.' For me to be able to share that with him and his family, that made me feel special. It was very gratifying, winning the game, scoring the touchdown, but for him to come back and remind me of that special moment leaves me at a loss for words. And to this day, his son still has that glove. "It was a little thing I did without even thinking about it. But it is a special thing to this day." And so was the 1997 season, a lasting memory for Purdue fans 20 years later, and bound to be for many more years to come. j

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