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2020 Virtual Purdue Season: Purdue 35, Rutgers 28

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Quarterback controversy?

NCAA Football: Maryland at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

With Rutgers being Rutgers I expected a really easy game in this one.

Whoops.

This one was a brutally ugly football game that I had to barely pull off. Jack Plummer ended up getting picked off four times, including one that was returned for a touchdown, and I even benched him for Aidan O’Connell for the game’s final drive. The Boilers still pulled it off though, as a touchdown by Tirek Murphy with 7 seconds left gave Purdue a 35-28 over the Scarlet Knights.

As I said, this one was ugly. On the game’s 3rd play I tried to go over the middle to Payne Durham only to have Tyreek Maddox-Williams intercept Plummer and return it 49 yards for a touchdown. We then traded punts before Purdue tied it at 7-7 with a three yard pass to Kyle Bilodeau.

Plummer then really struggled. The Scarlet Knights got their offense going and marched down the field, taking a 14-7 lead when Robert Longerbeam caught a 12 yard TD from Noah Vedral. Plummer was then picked off and Vedral broke a 39 yard TD on the ground to make it 21-7 with four minutes left in the half.

After Plummer’s third pick Purdue looked to be in trouble, but then got a big stop defensively. A drive with a couple deep passes to Rondale Moore led to a Zander Horvath 1 yard TD just before the half to make it 21-14.

The play of he game came early in the second half. Vedral started scrambling right and had room, but George Karlaftis came around that side, hit Vedral hard, forced a fumble, and Derrick Barnes picked it up. Barnes went 15 yards untouched after the scoop for a tying score.

That seemed to change momentum dramatically, which is big with the game’s AI. If you thro two picks early it becomes very easy to get a third, and you need a play like that to change things. The Boilers got a defensive stop and another drive where Jackson Anthrop scored on a two-yard pass.

Now up 28-21 entering the fourth quarter Purdue had a chance to pull away, but Plummer threw his fourth pick. That led to Rutgers tying it on a 28 yard swing pass to Longerbeam with five minutes left.

At this point I was pretty much terrified to throw the ball, so even with O’Connell in it was time to run the ball. They could not stop King Doerue, so he carried the mail down field. he was gashing the Scarlet Knights for 8-10 yards a play and I let him. Purdue rant he clock all the way down until Murphy, who came in because Doerue was gassed, scored with seven seconds left.

Doerue finished the game with 188 yards on 30 carries, but Murphy and Horvath got the glory of TDs.

As I mentioned, this was ugly. Purdue had four turnovers, but Rutgers had three as Simeon Smiley and Cory Trice each had a pick. Barnes was great with nine tackles, two for loss, and the fumble return for a TD. On offense outside of Doerue things were mostly quiet. Rondale had four catches for 89 yards and David Bell had five for 72.

Aside from the turnovers the defense struggled. I am pretty sure Vedral was over 100 yards rushing and Longerbeam had the two TDs. Without a spy on him Vedral was causing a lot of problems. Rutgers rushed for 184 yards, which is a lot for me.

Next up is Illinois, and I will try to speed this up to finish before the real season starts. Since I will be out of town the 10th through 17th I may try to get it in sometime this weekend.