“We’ve gotten this far let’s go ahead and go for the win.” Those are the words of Jeff Brohm regarding the decision to call the absolutely beautiful reverse from backup to the backup QB Aiden O’Connell to freshman David Bell late in the game to ultimately put Purdue in the lead and put the final points on the board. It was a beautiful play call and a gutsy one at that. As the clock wound down you could read the lips of the guys on the sidelines shouting “We’re still alive!” meaning bowl eligible. It’s amazing really that this team can find a way to win given that the injuries continue to pile up including a leg injury following a great run by Jack Plummer in the fourth quarter.
Purdue continuously handed Nebraska opportunity after opportunity in this game but still found a way to claw back into it and ultimately pull out the win.
- Purdue had two punts blocked.
- Purdue threw two interceptions including one that almost led to the ever so rare big man touchdown. Full disclosure I did feel a bit bad for the Nebraska Defensive lineman who had such an excited look on his face as he rumbled to within the five but got cut down just short.
- Purdue got called for penalty after penalty on crucial drives and ultimately had, at one point, 10 penalties to just 3 for Nebraska.
So how did Purdue win this game? Well there are three factors that pop out to me. First, the defense of Purdue showed up when they needed to. Trice had yet another interception today. They stopped Nebraska on two of the four fourth down attempts and they ACTUALLY stopped them on three of the four but Purdue got called for a bogus penalty that resulted in a first down on one of those. Despite being put in bad positions by the offense the defense was able to hold Nebraska to just 27 points which was great all things considered.
The second factor that led to Purdue winning is the great play of King Doerue. Sure, he only wound up with 71 yards but he had a great 25 yard run on Purdue’s massive 99 yard drive and he found his way into the endzone. Having even a threat of a running game gave the passing game the extra time it needed.
Third, the play of Brycen Hopkins. Hopkins had eight receptions for 87 yards but those numbers belie the importance of those catches including a couple on that final drive. His sure hands make any QB feel more comfortable in the backfield.
There’s much more to come on this one but for now Purdue moves to 3-6 on the season and remains somewhat alive for bowl eligibility.