Saturday, September 22, 2018 3:30 pm
Purdue upsets No. 23 Boston College, 30-13, picks up first win
DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette
WEST LAFAYETTE –
How it Happened
The best play of the game on either side came early in the second quarter. On first down at the Purdue 30, quarterback David Blough dropped back to throw and hit Rondale Moore on a quick slant. Moore looked like he'd be tackled for a seven-yard gain, but shed the first tackler, spun the opposite direction and saw nothing but green in front of him. The speedy receiver raced 70 yards for a go-ahead touchdown, putting Purdue (1-3) ahead 13-7. The extra point went off the left upright and was no good.
Purdue's defense got a huge three-and-out to start the game and the offense took advantage, marching 62 yards in 12 plays for the game's first score. Blough went 4 for 5 for 43 yards on that opening possession, including a 24-yard throw in traffic to tight end Cole Herdman. From the 1-yard line, running back D.J. Knox punched it in for his third touchdown of the year to put the Boilermakers in front 7-0. The drive took nearly six minutes, perfect for Purdue's purposes of keeping the Eagles' offense off the field.
After the touchdown, however, Boston College (3-1) returned the kickoff 60 yards to the Purdue 38. From there, the Eagles punched the ball down the field quickly. Purdue continued to bottle up star running back A.J. Dillon, but quarterback Anthony Brown made a couple of good throws and hit tight end Tom Sweeney for a 15-yard touchdown pass that knotted the score.
After Moore's long touchdown, he added a 20-yard punt return in the second quarter to give the Boilers a short field, starting at the Boston College 34. The Boilermakers took advantage again, quickly moving into the red zone. With the ball inside the 10, Blough found Moore on a short out route and Moore shed another tackler, high-stepping into the end zone for his second touchdown to make it a 20-7 Purdue lead.
Before the Eagles could escape to the halftime locker room, Purdue added to its lead. With Boston College deep in its own end, defensive lineman Anthony Watts batted down a Brown pass and it ended up in the hands of fellow lineman Kai Higgins, giving the Boilermakers the ball at the BC 6 and setting up a field goal to make it 23-7 at halftime.
The back-breaking touchdown came midway through the third quarter for the Boilermakers. After starting at his own 40, Blough completed a 20-yard throw over the middle to Herdman to move the ball into BC territory. On the very next play, Blough looked deep and found Terry Wright, who had beaten his man on a fly pattern. He hit Wright in stride with a perfect throw for a 36-yard touchdown, making it 30-7.
Player of the Game: Rondale Moore
As he's been so often in his first college football season, Moore was a sparkplug for Purdue. He caught two touchdown passes, giving him six TD receptions and seven total touchdowns this season. He finished with eight catches for 110 yards, giving him three 100-yard performances in his first four games.
Facts and Figures
Purdue beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2011, when it defeated No. 23 Illinois 21-14. The Boilermakers are 1-3 against ranked teams under Jeff Brohm. ... Despite a 1-3 record, Purdue now has a positive point differential this season. ... Boston College has not started 4-0 since 2007, when Matt Ryan was the quarterback. ... After setting a Purdue record with 572 passing yards last week, Blough went 21 of 28 for 296 yards and three touchdowns. ... Higgins' interception was his second of the season, giving him the team lead, a rarity for a defensive lineman. ... Purdue outgained Boston College 373-229, including 200-37 in the first half. Boston College had negative-14 yards in the second quarter. ... Dillon came in averaging 7.3 yards per carry, but had just 59 rushing yards and averaged 3.1 per carry. ... Terry Wright didn't have a touchdown catch in his Purdue career until last week, but has two in his last two games. ... Former Bishop Dwenger defensive back Antonio Blackmon intercepted a Boston College pass in the end zone, his second career interception and first since Nov. 5, 2016 against Minnesota. ... Purdue forced four turnovers in the game after totaling just two in its first three games. Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown came in with nine touchdowns and no interceptions this season, but threw four picks in the game.
The Boilermakers are back in action on Sept. 29 against Nebraska (0-3) in Lincoln at Memorial Stadium. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. It will be the first road game of the season for Purdue after four straight home games to start the year. Nebraska is coming off a blowout loss to No. 19 Michigan and is looking for its first win under new head coach Scott Frost.