Isn’t it fun to have a nice, worry free game where Purdue just takes care of business?
UConn is bad.
I mean really, really bad.
Like, “Worst FBS team in the country not only this year, but in many years” bad.
Purdue had to sweat for about 10 minutes today. The Huskies did get to Purdue territory and were poised to go for it on 4th and 1 before a penalty forced them to punt. The Boilers then gave up two sacks on the first three offensive plays and the Huskies again got into Purdue territory before they were stopped on downs.
After that it was game over.
The next seven Purdue drives all ended in touchdowns. Even better, the Boiler defense earned a shutout. UConn came close to scoring a couple of times. They missed a long field goal and turned the ball over on downs at the Purdue 15 (at least playing with honor by not kicking the sad field goal there), but for the most part the defense was excellent. UConn had only 99 yards passing and 123 rushing yards.
It is not often we can say this, but Purdue was the better team at every position and left very little doubt. The worst news was the injury to Zander Horvath, which was hopefully nothing serious. George Karlaftis blew up numerous plays and David Bell was racing through their secondary like a 5-star recruit against middle schoolers. When Purdue threw a fade to him in double coverage (and he nearly caught it) it was clear the play was run just to see what would happen.
By halftime both Karlaftis and Bell were safely on the sideline, resting for next week. It was time to see what firsts we could accomplish and which players way down on the depth chart could do. Here is a partial list.
· First shutout since 59-0 against Southeast Missouri State in 2011
· First shutout of an FBS level team since 51-0 against Syracuse in 2004
· First road shutout since 35-0 at the historically awful Northwestern team in 1981
· Largest road shutout since winning at Wabash College 72-0 way back in 1892
· First career catches and TD for Mershawn Rice and first TD for TJ Sheffield
· First career interception for walk-on Zane Greene
· First career catches for Andrew Sowinski, Marcellus Moore, Alex Maxwell, Jack Cravaack, and Kyle Bilodeau.
· First career carries for Deion Burks, JaQuezz Cross, and Moore
· First career playing time for Michael Alaimo
· First career action for… a lot of guys
Among other fun stats, Jack Plummer crossed 3,000 passing yards for his career and is now at 3,127, 18th in school history there. He also now has 25 career TD passes, which is tied with Billy Dicken and Caleb TerBush for 14th in school history.
Overall, it was a game that went exactly as it needed to go. Purdue was completely dominant, never seriously challenged, it took care of business, and the front line starters got plenty of rest while lots of backups got experience. Pretty much who has any chance at playing time this year got a chance to play. Sometimes getting even a little game experience can go a long way.
Through two games now Purdue is exactly where it needed to be: 2-0. It got the nice win over a power 5 team at home and the expected blowout of a dismal UConn team. Now it gets its shot for more. Notre Dame will be in the top 10 next week, but they have certainly not looked like a top 10 team. They barely escaped Florida State and Toledo. I think Purdue needs to play a lot better to have a shot, especially along the offensive line, but suddenly this game doesn’t look like the blowout loss many expected. At worst, it would be nice to be competitive deep into the second half. Should Purdue pull the upset, it will host Illinois with possibly its first top 25 ranking since 2007.
Here come the Irish.