Final Minute TD Lifts Bowling Green Over Purdue, 35-28
During the first quarter of Saturday’s Purdue-Bowling Green matchup, things didn’t look promising. Right out of the gate, the Falcons executed an uninterrupted 14-play drive that put the team up seven points just four minutes into the game.
However, Purdue answered back. Junior linebacker Andy Garcia recovered a fumble, beginning a drive that culminated with quarterback David Blough -- who'd taken over as the starter for the turnover-prone Austin Appleby - plunging into the end zone to tie the game.
It was a pattern repeated throughout the entire game: the Boilermakers displayed enough hustle to keep up with the Falcons’ offense, but never enough to take the lead.
And, with just nine seconds left on the fourth quarter clock, BGSU running back Travis Greene scampered 12 yards to paydirt, sealing a 1-3 nonconference record for the Boilermakers.
The drive, which started at the Bowling Green 20, was aided by two personal foul penalties -- on Purdue defensive linemen Jake Replogle and Antoine Miles -- giving the visitors 30 free yards.
In the end, it was the Falcons who got the better of a rough game. Purdue was called for four personal fouls in the fourth quarter, which may have been retaliation for a roughing the passer penalty assessed to BGSU and a targeting penalty which saw defensive back Eilar Hardy -- a transfer from Notre Dame -- ejected from the game before the half. The Boilers also saw a Danny Ezechukwu interception return for a touchdown called back by a pass interference penalty.
The repeated flags overshadowed a good day from Blough, who completed 28 of 38 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns. His lone interception came deep in Purdue territory as the home team tried to mount an improbable drive, needing 75 yards and a touchdown in the game's final nine seconds just to send the contest into overtime.
Senior kicker Paul Griggs' struggles also continued as he missed a field goal near the end of the second quarter. Then, with a chance to put Purdue ahead late in the fourth quarter, Griggs missed another kick and Bowling Green scored the winning touchdown on their next drive.
The Boilers' schedule only gets tougher next week as the team heads to Michigan State to take on an unbeaten Spartan squad ranked second in the nation.