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Boilermakers rack up 558 yards in 44-21 win over Bobcats

Long drive, turnovers lead to big Purdue 2nd quarter


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A 93-yard drive spurred a huge second quarter for Purdue, which ran away with a 44-21 victory against Ohio on Friday night at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Down just 10-7, Ohio threatened to tie or take the lead early in the second quarter when Brendan Cope’s 17-yard catch from Nathan Rourke moved the ball across midfield, but the drive stalled inside the 40, and Kyle Nelson tackled punt returner Jackson Antrop at the 3-yard line.

But the Bobcats (1-1) were unable to take advantage of forcing the Boilermakers (1-1) into bad field position. Tario Fuller got his team out of the shadow of its own end zone with a 22-yard run, and a 38-yard completion from David Blough to Brycen Hopkins on a third-down play eventually led to a 1-yard Fuller touchdown run that was the first of four scores for Purdue in the final 7:04 of the first half.

Blough connected with Cole Herdman for a 62-yard touchdown on the first play of the next Purdue possession to make it 24-7, and A.J. Ouellette fumbled at the end of a 24-yard run into Boilermakers territory on the next Ohio possession. Danny Ezechukwu recovered, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty moved the ball back across midfield.

Glough and Hopkins connected on a 28-yard pass, but Ohio limited the damaged by holding Purdue to a 22-yard J.D. Dellinger field goal that made it 27-7 with just 51 seconds left in the half.

Another fumble, though, gave the Boilermakers enough time to add more points. This time, Dorian Brown loss the ball, which was recovered by Gelen Robinson at Ohio’s 31-yard line with 29 seconds left. On the next play, Blough hit Anthony Mahoungou for a 31-yard touchdown pass to quickly turn what was just a three-point lead into a 34-7 advantage in less than seven minutes.

"We didn't stop the run at all in the first half," Ohio coach Frank Solich said. "We did a better job of it in the second half. Once they (the Boilermakers) got the running game going, everything else worked for them. We never got a pass rush.

"We had a few turnovers on offense. We had a really bad game in those two categories. The offense in the first half wasn't great, but I'm proud of how they bounced back."

Rourke engineered a touchdown pass to begin the second half. Completions of 28 yards to Papi White, 19 yards to Andrew Meyer and 12 yards to Meyer again helped set up a 1-yard Rourke rushing touchdown.

Purdue answered right back, however, with Blough throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Antrhrop, pushing the lead back to 27 points at 41-14.

“Having a good team in Ohio that is supposed to win their conference come in and play hard in front of our crowd, this was the most fun I've had playing football in about two years,” Blough said.

Spencer Evans kicked a 38-yard field goal for the Boilermakers with 6:55 left in the game, and the Bobcats capped off scoring with a 25-yard scoring pass from Rourke to Cameron Odom with 4:27 remaining.

Ohio’s defense stood tough through a quarter and half without much help from a Quinton Maxwell-led offense. Evans kicked a 36-yard field goal on the game’s first possession, and the Boilermakers added to their advantage with an Elijah Sindelar 17-yard touchdown pass to Hopkins with 4:21 left in the fourth quarter. It came one play after a 27-yard pass to Terry Wright.

With Rourke into lead the offense, Ohio got on the board with a 4-yard Ouellette touchdown run in the final minute for the first quarter. A personal foul against Purdue, plus completions of 30 and 16 yards to White, helped set up the score.

But the long drive and two Ohio turnovers helped turn the momentum the way of the Boilermakers in the second quarter.

"Offensively, they have balance," Solich said. "They are capable of beating you with the running game or the throwing game. There is a lot of imagination in the offense."

Maxwell was just 1 of 6 passing for 12 yards and had one carry for 3 yards. Rourke was much more effective, going 16 of 23 passing for 224 yards and a touchdown while adding 36 yards rushing on nine attempts.

Both Ouellette and Brown suffered injuries that were not serious, and Ohio went with the freshman Ross in the second half. He led the team in rushing with 55 yards on nine carries. White had six catches for 98 yards, and Odom made three catches for 46 yards.

Like Rourke for Ohio, Blough provided a spark for Purdue at quarterback by completing 11 of 13 passing for 235 yards and two touchdowns after Sindelar was just 4 of 10 for 60 yards.

Fuller rolled to 142 yards on 16 carries for the Boilermakers, and Brian Lankford-Johnson added 62 yards on nine carries. Herdman’s two catches were good for 87 yards, and Hopkins had four catches for 85 yards.

"Tario has a great attitude, and he came ready to play," first-year Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. "He got yards after contact. I know he was happy with his performance. Good football teams have balance, and that takes pressure off the quarterback. We have two solid quarterbacks."

Purdue wound up with 558 yards of offense, while Ohio put up 396 yards.

Nelson, Grant Cunningham, Chad Moore and Evan Croutch each had seven tackles to lead Ohio’s defense. Linebacker Quentin Poling suffered a hip injury, and his status is uncertain for next weekend.

"We just had miscommunication all around tonight," Moore said. "We just weren't fundamentally sound. Other than that, we just need to get back to basics. Communication is key."

Ohio tries to bounce back when it hosts Kansas at 2 p.m. Saturday at Peden Stadium.








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