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Purdue News

Boilermakers Lose Third Straight 37-30

Casey Abbett

What started as a promising season for the Purdue football team with a 2-0 start has gone sour quickly after a 37-30 loss Saturday to a Rutgers team that had lost four straight.

Purdue (2-3) led by ten points at halftime, 23-13, but things really went down hill for the Boilermakers in the second half. Coming out of the break, Rutgers (2-4) scored 21 points in the third quarter, including a 100-yard kickoff return.

“To play that poorly in the second half is more than disappointing,” said coach Jeff Brohm after the game. “Myself, our coaches, our players have to do a lot of soul searching (and) realize that we have a lot of work to do.”

After Rutgers opened the second-half scoring on a 62-yard pass play, the longest play from scrimmage allowed by the Purdue defense this season, the Boilermakers appeared to regain control of the game by answering with a touchdown of its own, an 18-yard scoring pass from starting quarterback Jack Plummer to David Bell.

But the wind was taken out of the Boilermakers’ sails when Aron Cruickshank returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards. Though Purdue still had its lead, 30-27, it was an ominous sign for what followed in the second half. 

Plummer, who made his second straight start, was intercepted by Scarlet Knights linebacker Mohamed Torue.  That set up the score that gave Rutgers the lead for good, 34-30, a one-yard run by Aaron Young.  On the day, Plummer completed 20 of 35 for 237 yards, two touchdowns, and he also ran for a score. 

But Plummer’s only interception cost him dearly.

The Scarlet Knights rushing attack dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half with 113 yards and almost doubled their total of 63 yards from the first half.  Of Rutgers’ final 28 plays, the Scarlet Knights only went to the air twice.  By running the ball, it also allowed Rutgers to control the clock with its time of possession at 35:08 compared to 24:52 for Purdue.

To make matters worse for the Boilermakers, senior linebacker Derrick Barnes was ejected from the game for a targeting call.  In addition to missing the rest of the game, Barnes will also have to sit out the first of Purdue’s next game against Nebraska.

That game on Saturday will be the last home game for Purdue.