WEST LAFAYETTE – Freshman quarterback Danny Etling has settled in some for Purdue, but the story remains the same for the Boilermakers as they enter the fourth quarter at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch has been unstoppable.
Lynch has four total touchdowns, 237 total yards and has led his Huskies to a 48-17 lead at the end of the third quarter. Etling, meanwhile, got his first touchdown reception in a Purdue uniform, but it will be a backdrop to the shellacking Purdue has taken in all aspects of the game.
The second half started on a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown by NIU wide receiver Tommylee Lewis. The short spark provided by Etling's two completions at the end of the first half gave way to reality – and freshman mistakes.
The 6-foot-3 Terre Haute native went 2 for 7 on his next two drives and threw an interception to senior safety Jimmie Ward that he returned 62 yards for a score. With 9:23 left in the third quarter, the Boilermakers had already surrendered as many points as they did to then-No. 24 Wisconsin in Week 4 and were one score away from topping a season-worst 42 points allowed in the opener against Cincinnati.
Etling bounced back on the next drive for a methodical drive, complete with four first downs on passing plays and a 16-yard toss to redshirt freshman Cameron Posey for a score. It was the first career touchdown for both players.
But the Purdue defense couldn't stop Lynch and his Huskies.
The 6-foot quarterback let his running backs do the work on an 11-play, 67-yard drive that featured nothing but rushing yards. Then, Lynch took it in on a 7-yard run for his fourth score and a 48-17 NIU lead.