Well, the seniors ended their final Beaver Stadium game on a high note for the 8th straight year but like most of our games this year, we didn’t pick up the victory without a few headaches. Where to begin? How about the disastrous start to the game with Dorien Bryant taking the opening kickoff the distance to put us in an immediate 7-0 hole. We followed that up nicely by driving all the way from our own 10 yard line to inside Purdue’s 10…only to have Andrew Quarless false start in a 3rd and 2 situation, forcing us to throw which ended up in an incompletion and merely a field goal for us.
The defense was getting absolutely shredded by Purdue’s offense in the beginning and was on the brink of going down 17-3 when Sean Lee saved the day by forcing a fumble at the goalline which we recovered. To me, that was the most clutch play of the game, if Purdue scores that TD we spend the rest of the game trying to desperately rally back, which could’ve led to further disaster. Instead, we eventually parlayed Purdue’s self-inflicted shotgun blast to the foot by taking a 13-10 halftime lead.
Purdue did not go away though in the 2nd half as we couldn’t immediately tack on to our halftime lead and Purdue ended up kicking back-to-back field goals to re-take the lead at 16-13. The defense was again looking a little shaky, giving up too many 3rd down conversions, although it seemed we got more aggressive regarding blitzes with the linebackers, not to mention the fact that Maurice Evans carried the D-line in terms of sacking Curtis Painter or forcing Painter to make bad throws on the run.
Once we were trailing again, the team woke up on both sides of the football as Kinlaw and Royster ran all over Purdue’s increasingly tired defense, thanks to our own defense forcing back-to-back three-and-outs on Purdue’s offense. D-Will would eventually score the go-ahead TD on a brilliant reverse play. Unfortunately, we weren’t quite finished with the miscues as we picked an absolute worst time to botch an extra point snap, keeping the lead at 19-16.
The defense continued to hold its own ground, and eventually our offense put us up 26-16 with a TD run by Evan Royster, who replaced Rodney Kinlaw after Kinlaw gave up a critical fumble inside Purdue’s 10-yard line on a previous drive.
Purdue managed to put together a decent drive but ultimately was held to a field goal to cut the lead to 26-19 with less than 2 minutes to play. Despite not recovering the onside kick, they managed to get a decent Hail Mary shot at the end zone which we fortunately batted down as time expired.
Overall, when you look at the final stats it was a good performance and the team certainly did an excellent job to overcome what could have been an utter disaster of a game, the last thing we needed was another message board meltdown like we’ve had a few times this season.
- Morelli ended his Beaver Stadium career with a 12-2 record and put together solid numbers: 22/35 for 210 yards, 1 TD
- “Rodan Kinster” (Kinlaw and Royster) combined for 210 yards on 33 carries and 1 TD
- For all the flack that D-Will has gotten over his career, he put together arguably his best performance on the year as a receiver: 10 catches for 95 yards and a TD
- Why did Purdue only hand the ball off to Kory Sheets 8 times? He picked up 43 yards on those 8 carries and he was doing his share of damage early to our defense. Unless I missed something and Sheets got injured (I was watching the game at a restaurant so there was no audio for me) this was not a good coaching decision by Purdue
- Congrats to Dan Connor who is now PSU’s all-time leading tackler, talk about ending your final home game on a high note…
- Both teams “racked-a-disaprin”: PSU had 13 penalties for 88 yards while Purdue suffered 9 penalties for 82 yards.