In a battle of Big Ten West teams Purdue found a way to walk way with their first victory in the Twin Cities since the Carter administration. Not really, but it is the first Purdue victory in their new stadium. This was a game that Purdue had to have if they wanted to have any chance of winning the West.
Game ball - This one seems obvious to me as Devin Mockobee ran for 112 yards including a 68 yarder that helped to seal the game for Purdue. He also was able to add the touchdown that Purdue needed to put the game away. Without his great running who knows where Purdue would’ve found themselves.
Neither team seemed to want to win this one with both teams giving the ball away multiple times. AOC threw two interceptions and nearly had about 2-3 more had Minnesota been able to hang onto them. Meanwhile Purdue grabbed three interceptions off of Tanner Morgan. Podcast listeners might recall that he was not a name I feared going into this game. I got some flack for that on twitter but turns out I was right on the money. Time after time both teams shot the sleeves in the foot, but for once it wasn’t Purdue who committed the most self-inflicted wounds.
AOC clearly still showing some ill effects from the injury but did enough to keep the Minnesota defense honest. He finished the game going 27/40 with 199 yards to go along with 2 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. Not the performance we had hoped for but when you walk away with the victory you can excuse a lot of mistakes.
Meanwhile, the Purdue defense did a marvelous job. They allowed just 10 points to, what until this game, had been one of the best offenses in the nation. It helped that Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim was out with an ankle injury of course. But when it mattered the Purdue defense showed up time after time. There were missed tackles of course but ultimately the defense played one hell of a game and bailed the offense out when they could only muster 10 points for the majority of the game.
Purdue improves to 3-2 on the season and 1-0 in the Big Ten West. The West remains wide open. Could Purdue find a way to be the West division champion? Much of that could depend on their next games against Maryland and Wisconsin who was just embarrassed by Illinois today. Anything is possible. More to come on this one.