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Purdue Pulls Away in Fourth Quarter, Beats Illinois 29-10

Purdue loses David Blough to injury but beats Illinois to improve to 4-5

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Purdue
Blough played a good game but it cost him dearly.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Brohm learned from the last two weeks. He learned that at this point, Purdue is a running team. Purdue just can’t catch the ball on a consistent basis, or throw it accurately on a consistent basis, in order for the team to run the offense that he wants. So today, Purdue focused on the run and it paid off bigly.

The fourth quarter is where Purdue’s offense finally came alive. After scoring just 13 points through the first three quarters Purdue went off for 16 in the fourth. Unfortunately, this came with a cost. With Purdue up 22-10 Blough kept the ball and ran and was hit in the helmet, not once but twice, and got his leg twisted underneath him. His head appeared to be fine but what I believe is his right ankle/leg bent in a way that it’s really not supposed to. Blough was carted off the field, all while giving the Boiler Up motion, and was loaded into an ambulance. No official word from Purdue at this point as to what his injury is but I don’t anticipate good news.

The Purdue defense looked good today including getting five sacks and one interception. Despite giving up some big plays the defense locked down when they had to. Of course let’s not get too excited because Illinois is very very bad, but a win is a win.

Purdue did some interesting things on offense today that I think are worth highlighting.

  • Purdue played different receivers than normal. Jarrett Burgess had three catches for 43 yards for instance. I’m not sure he’s seen the field all year.
  • Purdue had eight different players run the ball. Eight. They ran for 209 yards with the best run being the touchdown run in the first quarter by D.J. Knox who continued to fight despite what looked like a sure stop in the backfield. Richie Worship continues to improve and be used in a more thoughtful way.
  • Purdue ran a wildcat offense with Sparks getting those snaps. It seemed to work. Sparks had 5 rushes for 40 yards. I’ll take that average.

This was most definitely not a perfect game. Purdue’s offense still struggled mightily at times to find any sort of rhythm. Purdue got into the redzone twice and had to settle for field goals where touchdowns could’ve broken the game wide open. Jackson Anthrop muffed a punt but the Purdue D responded and so there was really no harm. Purdue’s defense still can struggle to tackle at times.

It is worth pointing out though that when the defense needed to respond they did. Bentley and Bailey in particular had great games. Those two deserve some props.

In the end though Purdue won the game which we all hoped they would. This is Purdue’s first win in November since 2012. Wow that’s a disgusting thing to type. Purdue now sits at 4-5 and will return to action next weekend at Northwestern with kickoff set for 7:00 PM. There is much more to come on this game.