Friday, October 8, 2004

Nothing better than a win

Orton's not motivated by Heisman Trophy talk - he's in it for the victories

The Cincinnati Enquirer

In a field stacked with names such as Matt Leinart, Jason White and Cedric Benson, Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton has emerged as the surprising early-season leader in the Heisman Trophy race. Orton hasn't just played well in leading Purdue to a 4-0 start, including the Boilermakers' first win at Notre Dame in 30 years last week; he has played almost perfectly.

Orton has yet to throw an interception, which makes for a nice touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio of 17-to-zero.

But unlike Benson (who said he would rather win the Heisman than beat Oklahoma), Orton said Purdue's continued success, and the chase for a Big Ten title, are what really matter when he participated in the 2-minute drill this week with the Enquirer's Dustin Dow.

Q: Seriously, when are you going to throw an interception? You can't go the whole season without one, can you?

A: Realistically, no. There's always something fluky that can happen. There could be a tipped ball that bounces up to someone for an interception. What I have to do is I have to be smart about it and keep making the right decisions. Hopefully, I won't throw any bad picks, where I make a bad decision and the ball gets intercepted. And I have to try to take real good care of the ball in the red zone.

Q: But do you feel pressure to not throw an interception?

A: Not at all. If you're thinking about not throwing picks, you're not doing your team any good. I've got a lot of confidence that I can make any throw on the field.

Q: But is it true that you lay off the velocity of your passes so Taylor Stubblefield can catch them?

A: Only in warm-ups. I let him have it in the games. He doesn't like to tear up his pretty hands in the warm-ups.

Q: You're suddenly one of the Heisman favorites. How are you handling your newfound fame, and is it a comfortable position?

A: It's comfortable for me because I don't really worry about it. We're 4-0 right now, and that's what really matters. I'm handling it fine. Everybody that knows me knows I'm a real humble guy. I realize you can be as high as you want at one point, but if you play one bad game, everybody hates you. To me, it doesn't matter as long as we're winning.

Q: So if you could have the Heisman Trophy or a Big Ten Championship -

A: I'd rather win any game than the Heisman Trophy. It's doesn't matter if it's Ball State or Notre Dame.


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