I kid in the headline but I certainly didn’t expect Purdue to win today. I picked against them in our predictions, and my expectations for this game were rock bottom. I’ve checked out on this coaching staff but I still watch. I was pleasantly surprised today. Despite some rather noticeable hiccups and problems the Purdue defense carried this team to a 24-14 victory with Purdue now sitting at 2-1 on the season. Which, for those of you who have forgotten means Purdue has a winning record. This is the first time Purdue has had a winning record after three games since 2012 when they started 3-1 with their only loss being a squeaker to ND. But, I digress.
Purdue did what Purdue does best by trying their very best to lose the football game. Purdue committed two turnovers around the Nevada 5 yard line. One was a terrible decision by Blough to throw directly to Nevada and one was a fumble by Brian Lankford-Johnson who, aside from the fumble, had a pretty darn good game. Despite the five turnovers, including the failed fake punt, the Purdue defense played a stout second half and prevented Nevada from getting anything going. Purdue allowed 0 points in the second half. They were helped by a rather embarrassing missed field goal by Nevada that was nowhere close to the uprights. After getting no sacks in the first two games of the season Purdue recorded five today. Everyone on the defense looked more locked in and ready to go. Austin Larkin played in his first game for Purdue and played admirably. He looks like he will be a nice addition. Other standouts on the defense were Jake Replogle and Evan Panfil. These guys were living in the backfield in the second half and really prevented Nevada from getting comfortable either running or throwing the ball. There was also an honest to God coverage sack at one point. I am as shocked as you are.
On the offensive side Purdue looked much improved from their previous game against Cincinnati. Maybe the bye week really did Purdue some good. The play calling looked sharp and the execution was much better. The four turnovers, five with the fake punt that failed, are obviously a big issue but you can learn from that when you win. It is a bit concerning that Markell Jones fumbled twice but he was able to get his head back on straight and come back in later in the game with no trouble. If this were the Joe Tiller years there’s no way that Jones would’ve been back on the field after losing two fumbles.
Purdue mustered an impressive 466 total yards of offense while allowing just 253 from Nevada. It’s quite a turnaround from a week ago when this team was being manhandled by Cincinnati. There were a lot of good things on that field today but make no mistake, this isn’t a team that you can trust yet. Let’s see how they play next week against Maryland where TMill and I will be in attendance. Let’s hope it turns into a second win in a row. How crazy would that be? Stay tuned for much more from today’s games including a comprehensive game wrap and the post-game grades. For now let’s celebrate the victory!