Nose tackle Adam Patterson earned his first collegiate start at Purdue replacing banged-up teammate Mike Martin in the middle of the Michigan defense. Fifth-year senior Patterson appeared in 34 previous contests but made game No. 35 special, recording a career-best four tackles and registering the second sack of his career. Midway through the fourth quarter with U-M ahead 20-16, Patterson got loose on a third and long play and dragged down Purdue quarterback Rob Henry for the sack to force a Purdue punt. Photographer Eric Bronson captured the pivotal play right before Henry hit the turf.
Adam Patterson's Take:
"The whole game runs together. I felt great to get my first start and be out there. Our defense was so confident and though I was a little nervous at first, I settled down as the game went on. I loved the conditions -- the grass and the rain and mud. It was a true football experience. There's nothing like getting grass stains on a nice white jersey. Our fans were great too. After every defensive stop we could hear them on the field, which is pretty impressive since Purdue's fans are so rowdy."
Photographer Eric Bronson's Take:
"As a photographer, I love shooting and being in the elements -- the more rain, snow or wind, the greater possibility for a unique image to come out of your collection of pictures. And when you add grass and mud, it helps the image even more. This game was particularly wet and windy, as well as very dark due to the low, heavy cloud cover. There were a number of challenges to overcome shooting that day, including -- most importantly -- keeping my camera gear dry. This image was shot using a 400mm, f/2.8 lens, which helps immensely in low light situations. The rain highlights show up nicely, and since this image was taken near the end of the game, player uniforms are dirtied -- giving this image a true gritty football feel.