Santa Clara, CA – Elijah Sindelar hit ANthony Mahoungou for a touchdown with 1:44 left in the game for the go ahead score, and Head Coach Jeff Brohm remains perfect in the post season as a head coach as the Boilermakers beat Arizona 38-35 in the Foster Farms Bowl.
Purdue would get two three and out on defense to open the game, and getting a 31 touchdown pass from Elijah SIndelar to Anthony Mahoungou to take a 7-0 lead halfway through the first quarter. After tying the game up at seven, Purdue was faced with a fourth and inches opportunity. Purdue would go for it and failed to make it. Arizona would take the ball and score on a pass from Tate to Ellison to take a 14-7 lead. Purdue would answer right back as Sindelar threw a beautiful pass hitting Gregory Phillips for a 42 yard touchdown pass.
Purdue would start the second quarter by stopping the Wildcats on third down, and forcing Arizona to punt. Purdue would take the ball at their own nine yard line and have the same result, going three and out. When Purdue punted the ball, Arizona would be called for roughing the kicker, giving them 15 yards and a new set of downs. Purdue would drive down the field to the Arizona 47 yard line where they were forced to complete another fourth and one. This time Purdue would succeed and Markell Jones would run the ball inside the 25 yard line of Arizona. Sindelar would hook up with Phillips again for a touchdown building a 21-14 lead with 9:12 to go in the half.
Purdue would force another Arizona punt. The Boilers would drive down the field with big catches by Phillips and Mahoungou. D.J. Knox would cap off the drive with a 13 yard touchdown run, giving the Boilers a 28-14 lead with just over four minutes to go in the half. Purdue and Arizona would trade punts leading down the stretch. Purdue would go on to force a fumble with 56 seconds left in the half. Purdue would do a fake kneel down at the end of the half and Knox would run in down inside the 40 yard line with 47 seconds left in the half. The Boilers would drive down to the nine yard line, but would settle for a Spencer Evans field goal, taking a 31-14 lead into halftime.
Sindelar would be 18-28 for 244 yards, and three touchdowns at halftime. Phillips would lead the Boilers catching the ball with eight catches for 107 yards, and two touchdowns. Purdue had 371 yards of total offense at halftime, compared to only 228 for Arizona. Tate averaged over 10 yards a carry coming into the game. In the first half the Boilers for Tate to run to the outside, and that resulted in Tate averaging only 3.7 yards per carry. For Purdue, Knox and Jones would combine to go for 20 touches, 133 yards and one touchdown. Purdue would get the ball to open the second half with all the momentum.
Purdue would take there first possession of the second half deep inside Arizona territory but J.D. Dellinger would miss a 45 yard field goal. Arizona would strike back after a questionable pass interference call to bring the score to 31-21 with 8:53 to go in the third quarter. After a tip drill, Sindelar would have a pass intercepted by Arizona at the 50 yard line, with the Wildcats only down 10.
Arizona would take the interception and march 50 yards for another touchdown, as Tate hit Johnson for a 40 yard touchdown; cutting the Purdue lead down to 31-28. Purdue would be forced into a three and out, and Purdue needed something to stop the bleeding. Purdue got it as Markus Bailey would get two tackles for loss and force and Arizona punt. After a first down punt, Arizona would force the Boilers to punt once again. The Boilers would force another Arizona punt, as the punt contest continued into the fourth quarter.
The Boilermakers would drive the ball down to the Arizona 38 yard line, facing another fourth down; this time with only two yards to get the first down. After another questionable call on fourth down, Purdue would turn it over on downs; but once again the Boilermaker defense would force their third consecutive three and out after giving up 14 points.
The Boilermakers and Arizona continued to trade punts well into the fourth quarter. Arizona took over with 5:47 left in the game at their own 33 yard line. Arizona would drive right down the field, and Tate would get his fifth touchdown of the game, giving the Wildcats a 35-31 lead.
Purdue would answer driving the ball down the field, and Mohoungou would make easily the catch of the year of 38 yards to give Purdue a 38-35 lead with 1:44 to go in the game. As has been the case all season, the Purdue defense stopped up when needed as Jacob Thieneman comes up with the interception. Purdue would run out the clock to win the game.
Purdue finished the game with 559 yards of total offense. Sindelar finished the game with 33-53 396 yards and four touchdowns. Knox finished with 101 yards and a touchdown. Purdue finishes the season 7-6 and it’s first winning season in over half a decade. The future looks bright for Purdue.
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