Was there ever really a doubt? Jeff Brohm and his Boilermakers came into this game and knew exactly what they had to do in order to get to Indy. They basically snoozed during the first half, going into halftime trailing 7-3. I’m guessing the team got an earful in the locker room and they came out swinging in the second half, forcing back-to-back 3 and outs and scoring touchdowns off them. Purdue would get into the endzone two more times and allow a garbage time touchdown to end the game at 30-16. Now, the bucket and the West crown are Purdue’s.
There was substantially less wind this week and Aidan O’Connell was able to sling the ball around. AOC finished 18/29 for 290 yards and 2 touchdowns, the majority of which came in the second half. Also, surprise, surprise: Charlie Jones had a big day as he pulled in multiple 50-plus yard receptions and finished with 4 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown. Another shocker, Payne Durham caught a pass over the middle and bowled into the endzone through some defenders. Payne also had 4 receptions and 39 yards to go with a touchdown.
Man, what can we say about Devin Mockobee? This guy is unreal as he finished 1 yard short of another 100-yard rushing day. Devin just knows how to carve a defense when he gets in space, as evidenced by his 27-yard touchdown below. Devin also pulled in 5 passes for 58 yards and was big in the pass protection games at times, so he made a difference everywhere. I for one cannot wait to see where he goes from here.
Indiana was able to move the ball in this one, gaining 421 total yards of offense. They just weren’t able to put points on the board consistently against the Purdue defense. In the first half, 4 IU drives went for 196 yards in total but only amounted to 7 points. Aside from a 71-yard TD run by Jaylin Lucas, Purdue’s defense held firm, especially when the ball crossed midfield. It felt lucky to only be down 7-3 at halftime.
The second half was similar for the defense, as IU was able to gain yards but not points. The defense forced the aforementioned 3 and outs to allow the offense to get into rhythm and proceeded to bend but not break. The defense forced IU into 2 turnovers on downs, blocked a field goal, and essentially ended the game on a Cory Trice pick-6. With the game in hand, IU scored a garbage time touchdown to end it, so the 14-point victory should have been 20 with the defense only allowing 10 points.
Not too bad of a day for special teams as Mitch Fineran hit a 29-yard field goal and went 3/4 on PATs. Jack Ansell averaged over 40 yards per punt and landed 3 inside the 20, a fine day for him. The special teams also blocked a field goal, a rare occasion, so good on them and good on the kickoff team, as they did not allow the IU returners do that much damage.
From Jeff Brohm and Mike Bobinski to all of the players and staff that have had a hand in building this program back up, we thank you! Back-to-back 8 win regular seasons seemed like a pipe dream just 6 years ago, so it goes to show how far this program has come. Let’s keep this train rolling!
I am hoping for the best for Dexter Williams who went down in the first half from a non-contact injury and had to be carted off the field. Rest up and get healthy, young man.
Thank you, Nebraska for beating Iowa this week. We would not be planning our trip to Indy without you.
BIG TEN WEST CHAMPS!!! This train is rolling on down to Indy for a date with Michigan, who doesn’t even have a mascot (lame). Hell, if Purdue can pull that one off, I’ll see y’all in Pasadena. As for now Boiler Nation, I’ll catch you in Indy. Boiler Up!