On a blustery day in Evanston, Illinois, Purdue comes out victorious, behind touchdowns from three freshmen and a game winning 39 yard field goal by J.D. Dellinger.
There was never a doubt, right?
After going down 14-0 in the first quarter, the Baby Boilers scratched and crawled (Pun Intended) their way back into the game.
Early in the second quarter, King Doerue took a carry 12 yards to cut the lead in half. Then, punting by both teams ensued. Late in the 2nd quarter, the Boilers had an opportunity with 3 timeouts and wind at their back to go down the field.
Instead, an intentional grounding was called, making the score 16 to 7 going into halftime.
Social Media was mad.
Jeff Brohm was mad.
Nick Holt, as always, was mad.
So, I went to Arni’s got an Arni’s Junior Salad, only to come back and see these young Boilermakers under the control from Sophomore Walk-On Quarterback, Aidan O’Connell taking advantage of the wind at their back in the 3rd quarter.
Purdue dominated the 3rd quarter, scoring on two touchdown passes, one to Freshman Phenom, David Bell and a sensational catch to Redshirt Freshman Amad Anderson Jr. The Boilers took a 21 to 16 lead with about 6 minutes to go in the third.
After the defense forced a turnover on downs, we go the ball back at the 27 yard line. Looking for the kill shot, the Boilers started to push the ball downfield. Right at midfield, a tipped ball lead to an interception though killing some momentum.
To start the 4th quarter, Northwestern drove down the field and scored a relatively easy touchdown.
Then, the 15 MPH winds were hitting Purdue in the face, most of the 4th quarter was ugly - Punt after punt.
But, after a missed Northwestern Field Goal, which would have pushed their lead to 4, the Boilermakers got the momentum back in their corner and marched down the field, going 58 yards in 11 plays, milking the clock.
I will have to say, I was not too confident in Dellinger to make the game winning kick, 15 MPH winds, game on the line. Per usual, I am wrong and Dellinger drilled the kick to seal the game.
In a game that was up and down, with freshmen and walk-ons all over the field due to injuries, Coach Brohm and Co figured out a way to win this game.
This was a homecoming for Aidan O’Connell, he had family and friends in the stands watching and was extremely emotional after the game. The former Wheaton College (Division III) commit just lead a power 5 team to a victory.
Aidan shows impressive poise. He appears to be a solid leader and little things do not appear to phase him.
Today, we did just enough against the bottom feeder on the Big Ten. Now, we will have to play a complete game against a talented Wisconsin Team, though they were exposed by Illinois just a few weeks ago.
The Boilers remain a long shot for a Bowl Game, if they win the next two - At Wisconsin and Host the team from Bloomington, we could find ourselves in a bowl game with a very young football team.
It is an uphill climb, but it isn’t impossible.
One game at a time.
Great job Coach Brohm & Co! Boiler Up!
Aidan O’Connell 34/50, 271 Yards, 2 Touchdown, 2 Interceptions
King Doerue - 9 Carries, 43 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Zander Horvath - 5 Carries, 24 Yards
David Bell - 14 Catches, 115 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Amad Anderson Jr. - 9 Catches, 67 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Brycen Hopkins - 3 Catches 23 Yards
Jackson Anthrop - 2 Catches, 24 Yards