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Deep Dive: Purdue 24 Virginia Tech 17

Purdue is able to escape the bad weather and Hokies for the first win in the Ryan Walters Era

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Purdue at Virginia Tech Photo by Brian Bishop/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a five hour weather delay that interrupted Purdue’s early momentum in the game, the Boilers were able to stave off the momentum built by a 17 point Hokie comeback to win 24-17.

To start the game, the Boilers marched down the field to take a 7-0 lead off a Devin Mockobee 15 yard touchdown off their initial possession of the game. Purdue was able to keep the Hokies off balance with Card finding five different receivers in the first two drives before weather forced the delay. Purdue was driving down the field before the weather forced the teams to the locker rooms and fans scrambling to find cover from severe weather.

Purdue clearly had the advantage prior to the weather delay and even following the delay they were able to continue the momentum to eventually by getting a 43 yard field goal from Ben Freehill. Purdue missed an opportunity to convert a third down with Canion missing a quick block following a Max Klare catch near the line of scrimmage.

That momentum was followed up with Cam Allen picking off the Hokies which led to Tyrone Tracy scampering 21 yards with an outside zone to take a 17-0 lead with 12:39 left in the second quarter. Looking like Purdue had snatched momentum and would continue walking their way through the game, the game quickly turned on its’ head.

Following another Purdue stop on defense, the Boilers took control with the ball on their own 11 yard line but quickly went three and out after Card was pulled down on a QB draw. Jack Ansell’s rugby style punt was able to roll most of the 60 yards he was credited for to help flip the field. However, Virginia Tech scored on their next possession to flip the momentum that Purdue had built for themselves.

The Boilers had stopped Virginia Tech and had them at 4th and 6 but OC Brothers lost track of his responsibility and allowed the running back to slip out of the backfield alone and the Hokies scored. This marked the shift in momentum squarely to the Hokies as they would go on to dominate the reset of the second quarter. The Hokies were able to get another stop on defense and Virginia Tech scores off a fade route to pull it even at 17.

In that first half, the issues that plagued Purdue against Fresno State continued to come up again as Ryan Walters inexperience led to a questionable decision when he went for it on 4th and 1 inside the Boilermaker 30. The Boilers were stopped and the Hokies were able to convert a field goal in that instance. The Boilers also lost the momentum they had built in similar fashion to that first week as the Boilers did little to nothing offensively from that score that gave them a 17-0 lead until they finally pushed the ball back into the end zone with 8 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

The second half started with Purdue getting a great turnover from Dillion Thieneman, who grabbed his second interception of the season off a deflection. The Boilers went to more zone coverage to confuse the Hokie quarterback and Thieneman was able to play over the top of half of the field with Kane dropping into deep coverage on the other side. Thieneman again showed how good of a player the staff got as he consistently held Virginia Tech’s offense from being comfortable enough to attempt any shots down the field.

Both teams traded punts for most of the second half until Purdue was able to put together a drive that ended in a long field goal attempt by Ben Freehill. The first attempt, however, was whistled dead after Purdue took a timeout because it had only ten men on the field. Freehill nailed this attempt and failed to hit on his second following the timeout, the second such occurrence this season already where the Boilers have iced their own kicker. With Virginia Tech taking over with good field position, the Hokie were called for a personal foul that placed them behind the chains and unable to move the ball. Another booming punt found the Boilers taking over from their own 25 yard line.

After Purdue was able to generate a first down, they were faced with a 3rd and 6 from their own 43 yard line. Hudson Card was able to escape the pocket and scramble for a 12 yard gain to push the ball into Hokie territory. Mockobee was able to slice his way through the right side for a first down on the next 3rd down for five yards. On the next play, with Purdue loosening up the defense, Tyrone Tracy was able to rush up the middle for a 22 yard gain to the Hokie 13 yard line. Again, facing another 3rd down, Hudson Card was able to manipulate the pocket and buy time until he found Mockobee as the release valve to convert down to the two yard line. Purdue was able to use a Q Power run to the left side to get Card into the end zone to take the lead 24-17.

Purdue had a chance to seal the game when they took over with 6:05 left in the game but after driving to the Hokie 32 yard line for a 3rd and 1 opportunity, a QB power was called that was slow to develop and the Hokie were able to tackle Card in the backfield. When Purdue lined up to go for it on 4th and 3 from their 34 yard line, Marcus Mbow was called for a false start and Purdue was forced to punt.

Virginia Tech would get the ball on their own 9 yard line and backup quarterback Kyron Drones’ first pass of the game went for 26 yards and again Cam Allen appeared to be the one that allowed a big play to occur. It quickly turned for the backup quarterback after a 13 yard scramble that pushed the Hokies to the Purdue 42 yard line as he threw four straight incomplete passes and handed the ball back to Purdue with 1:23 left in the game.

Needed to generate one more first down, Purdue went with Devin Mockobee on back to back plays and he was able to seal the game with a twenty yard run and a fresh set of downs with Virginia Tech only have one timeout left. When the clock struck zero, Purdue had gone into Blacksburg and beaten an ACC team on the road to give Ryan Walters his first victory as a head coach, 24-17.

Player Stats:
Hudson Card: 23-34 248 yards 0 TD 0 INT, 12 carries 16 yards 1 TD
Devin Mockobee: 21 carries 95 yards 1 TD
Tyrone Tracy: 4 carries 51 yards 1 TD
Max Klare: 8 rec 64 yards
TJ Sheffield: 4 rec 60 yards
Abdur Rahman Yaseen: 4 rec 58 yards
Deion Burks: 1 rec 18 yards
Dillion Thieneman: 7 tackles 1 INT
Nic Scourton: 5 tackles 1 sack 3.5 TFL
Kydran Jenkins: 4 tackles 1 sack 1 TFL

Time of Possession:
Purdue: 38:01
Virginia Tech: 21:59

3rd Down Conversions:
Purdue: 7-17 (41%)
Virginia Tech: 2-12 (17%)

Team Stats:

Advanced Stats:

Stat of the Game: 11 Yards Rushing for Virginia Tech
Purdue’s new look defense under Ryan Walters looks to make it really difficult to run the ball on a consistent basis. That focus was evident for a Virginia Tech team that wants to establish the run but found it tough sledding on the day. Virginia Tech was only able to generate 11 yards total rushing after Purdue was able to get three sacks and the team was credited with 8 quarterback hurries and 9 tackles for loss. Even without the -24 rushing yards from their starting quarterback, Virginia Tech still would have been 35 rushing yards for the game. Making a team one dimension is a key in Walters’ defense and they showed that capability tonight.

Questionable Call:
On 4th and 1 from inside their own 35 yard line, Purdue decided to go into shotgun and run the ball for a first down with Hudson Card. He was stopped and Purdue gave the ball back to Virginia Tech along with the momentum of the game after giving up a score previously to get the game to 17-7. The defense was able to hold for a field goal to make the game 17-10 but the momentum had been lost that was built in the first quarter.

Biggest Moment:
Purdue was driving and needing a score in the fourth quarter with the game tied 17-17. Purdue, behind Devin Mockobee and Tyrone Tracy, had gotten to the Hokie 13 yard line. After an imcompletion and a loss, it was 3rd and 11 from the Virginia Tech 12. Hudson card dropped back to pass and couldn’t find anyone open through his progression. He stepped up in the pocket to buy time and found Mockobee alone at the 7 yard line and he was able to drag two defenders down to the 2 yard line for a first down. One play later, Card stepped into the end zone to get the game winning touchdown.

What Needs Worked On?:

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Purdue at Virginia Tech Photo by Brian Bishop/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It is becoming abundantly clear that Purdue needs more help in the secondary. There was an improvement but assignments were still blown and Cam Allen is continuing to struggle to cover receivers down the field. He was frequently left spinning, missing tackles, or just flat out of position that allowed Hokie receivers to run down the field after the catch. It seems the staff has confidence in him but if there is a young guy working their way into a position to play, it might be good to see them get snaps next week. Better offenses are coming Purdue’s way with the B1G slate starting after Syracuse.

Biggest Blown Call:

It didn’t impact the game but a clearly missed pass interference call on a long attempted pass by Hudson Card to Deion Burks was missed. A referee was right in the correct spot and watched Burks get run into prior to the ball getting to him and was only compounded by the fact the Hokie defensive back did not make an attempt on the ball nor did he turn around. As shown in the photo below, this was a bad miss by the referees.

What To Look Forward To?:
It was clear that there was improvement from week one to week two. Had it not been for a severe weather delay of more than five hours, Purdue likely runs away with this game in the first half as they were poised to take control early on. Even after the delay, the Boilers still came out and got to a 17-0 lead before letting it get away from them quickly in the second quarter. Unlike last week though, the Boilers were able to weather the storm (figuratively and literally) to counterpunch enough to get a victory on the road. The pieces are there for Purdue to get to 2-1 prior to B1G conference games begin and the Boilers look like they have enough to be very salty the rest of the way. Once their other pieces get healthy enough to be on the field and stay there, Purdue could find themselves playing for a bowl game the last few weeks of the season. That would be a big positive and step in the right direction for the Boilers when they lost so much production from last season.