West Lafayette, IN – The Purdue Boilermakers came into their game tonight against a red hot Missouri Tigers team. Purdue had their backs against the wall with their post-season hopes on life support. Give them credit, the offense came to play. Not only did they post 37 points, the most of the short season so far. Purdue quarterback David Blough set the school record for passing yards in a game with 572 yards on 39 of 55 passing and four total touchdowns. It was a career day for Blough minus the one interception on a double reverse flea flicker. The 572 yards passing was good enough for second most ever in Big Ten history, the most since 1980.
Purdue had three different receivers Rondale Moore (11 for 137 yards and 1 touchdown), Brycen Hopkins ( 5 for 136 and 1 touchdown) and Isaac Zico (4 for 100 yards) break the one hundred yard mark. Just about every Purdue pass catcher got involved in some way. Terry Wright had a touchdown grab and an incredibly athletic hurdle of a defender even though it didn’t count as he stepped out of bounds prior. Moore as always was electric every time he touched the ball. His hesitation stutter step draws immediate ooh and awes from the crowd and will truly be a force to reckon with in the Big Ten for the next few years.
While the offense had a banner day, the defense left a lot to be desired. Missouri Quarterback Drew Lock had so long to throw in the pocket he probably had enough time to finish whatever homework he had over the weekend. Purdue officially finished the game with one sack. Lock torched the Purdue defense to the tune of 375 yards 3 touchdowns and one pick. Whenever Purdue needed a critical stop to get off the field and capitalize on momentum, Missouri would call a play that allowed their offensive line to go to work on blocking any would be pass rusher. Not sure if the rash of injuries Purdue dealt with tonight was the reason or just the lack of talent.
The lack of pressure from the front seven also allowed Missouri running back Larry Rountree to plow through the Boilers en route to 176 total yards and one score. The elusive back just looked faster than everyone wearing black and gold. Purdue was able to hold them to only 5 of 16 on third down conversions but the back breaker is the 3 for 3 on 4th down conversions for the Tigers. Purdue’s defense just wasn’t able to get off the field. They were gassed a majority of the game and probably played a part in the amount of injuries they had. Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt needs to find answers on defense if Purdue wants to start winning some games. It is a very rare event for a team to break the school record in passing yards and lose the game.
For the first time all season Purdue really didn’t beat themselves. It wasn’t a personal foul call or sloppy play that doomed the Boilers. It was just a situation where the better team got the tough win. Purdue now sits 0-3 on the season. All three losses are by a combined eight points. Many Purdue fans are disappointed with the outcome tonight especially after a controversial touchdown call that was overturned. Jeff Brohm and company have to do some soul searching. The schedule doesn’t get any easier. A very good and undefeated Boston College Golden Eagles come to Ross-Ade next Saturday. The Eagles are averaging 53 points per game over their first three games.
The season is far from over but Purdue’s chances of getting to a consecutive bowl game is fading fast. This brutal schedule and playing a lot of underclassmen might be proving to be to much to overcome. Make no mistake though, this is all part of the process. It is extremely difficult for a program to go from 9-39 over 4 seasons to being successful. There is young talent on this team and they are gaining valuable experience and reps. While being 0-3 doesn’t put butts in seats you can still feel the change in culture at Purdue. Attendance figures are still higher than they ever were just 2-3 years ago. The train is going in the right direction, just going to take some time to get there.
Nick Konkel is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Purdue University and has full media access. Follow @NickKonkelISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.