The moment the Purdue faithful have all been waiting for finally came to fruition on Saturday afternoon.
The Purdue offense carried its own weight as David Blough had another great performance through the air. Blough completed 21 of 28 passes for 296 yards with three of those completions going for touchdowns.
Rondale Moore continued displaying why he is potentially the most electrifying true freshman in all of college football. Moore caught eight passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns, with the bulk of those yards coming after the catch. Junior wideout Terry Wright caught Blough’s last touchdown pass late in the third quarter to increase the halftime margin of 23-7 to 30-7, effectively ending the game.
While the offense was great, the story of the game for the Boilermakers was how unbelievably well their defense played.
A week after giving up 608 total yards of offense to Missouri, they only yielded 229 total yards on Saturday. Early season Heisman candidate A.J. Dillon was ineffective all day, mustering a mere 59 yards on 19 carries.
Equally as impressive, though more important for the Purdue defense, were the four turnovers it forced. Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown looked overwhelmed from start to finish, completing under 50 percent of his passes and throwing four interceptions.
As much of this pass defense can be attributed to great coverage in the secondary, the Boilermakers’ pass rush was suffocating Brown all-day. Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm praised the group’s effort post-game, pointing out that three of the four interceptions were in large part due to the pressure the rush was getting.
On two separate occasions, Brown had a pass tipped by a defensive lineman that fell into the hands of a Purdue defender. The last interception Brown threw was the result of a rapidly shrinking pocket, causing him to try and force one down the seam.
The end result? Cornerback Antonio Blackmon undercutting the route for an interception, again ending a Boston College drive in the red zone.
Far and away the most important thing to take away from this game though was the lack of penalties called against Purdue. After having 19 penalties called against them for 200 total yards in their first three games combined, the Boilers’ only had two penalties for 25 yards yesterday afternoon. If Brohm’s squad continues to play disciplined football, wins will be unavoidable for this team.
Sitting at 1-3 (0-1 in the Big Ten) was not the way Purdue fans anticipated the four game home stretch to unfold. Through three games, the Boilers had lost all three by a combined total of eight points, losing the latter two on field goals as time expired. Saturday’s game was a must-win. Not only for their season, but for their fans and locker room. Their response to the situation was perfect.
Coming out and controlling the game the way they did should inspire hope to restless fans around the country.
Purdue still has time to salvage the remainder of this season.
And if Saturday afternoon was a sign of things to come, then my gut feeling is the Boilermakers will be just fine.
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