After watching Joe Tiller take Purdue to new heights with his “basketball on grass” offense it was kind of neat to see Purdue beating an opponent with the run game. Ralph Bolden had a great day for the Boilers. He ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He broke a 78 yard run on the third play of the year from scrimmage to start the Purdue scoring. Jaycen Taylor added 81 yards and two touchdowns on the day as well. The running back position seems to be just fine. Joey Elliot looked both good and bad yesterday. He was 17-28 on the day for 220 yards, three touchdowns, but also three picks. Some key drops may have hurt those numbers a bit. He had some passes right on the money that were not caught. A couple balls off of fingertips also went into the other teams hands. Next week will be a good test for both the running and the passing games. Joey will see some real pressure right off the bat I am sure. The receiving corps also had a good day. Both Keith Carlos and Antavian Edison shook off a dropped pass to make their first catch as a Boiler in the end zone. In all eight receivers made a catch on Saturday. None could match the day that Keith Smith had though. He caught eight passes for 117 yards and one touchdown. His lone bad moment occurred near the end of the first half when he was wide open and lost track of the ball. This would have added about fifty some yards and a touchdown to his numbers on the day.
It was that missed opportunity that set up the crazy moment of the day. With just enough time on the clock to run one more play after a Jeff Lindsay catch the Boilers called timeout. I thought that it would be to set up the Hail Mary play. Nobody kicks from midfield. A guy behind me was yelling for the field goal. I immediately thought that this guy was crazy or drunk. Nobody kicks from midfield. There is too much to lose with the possibility of it being blocked and returned. Who can make that kick anyway. The kick team came out, and once again I was shocked. Nobody kicks from midfield. Carson Wiggs set himself, and LaPorte’s own Kris Staats knelt down to hold the ball. I kept thinking why are we doing this. I was still wondering why when the ball was snapped. From the moment it left his right foot though you knew it had enough distance. The only question was whether or not it would be accurate enough. It went between the uprights for a school record 59 yard field goal. I guess that nobody kicks from midfield unless your kicker can make it. Wiggs broke his old record of 57 yards that he set last season at Ohio State. That was a great way to go into halftime.
The defense was the only thing that had me somewhat optimistic heading into this season. They had veterans coming back who I thought might carry this team. They gave up almost 500 yards yesterday. 423 of those yards came through the air. Toledo kept running the same play over the middle with success. It was the only play of its kind that they would run from the set that they were in. The fans knew that a pass to #12 was coming over the middle, but our team did not. They had a rough go of it with many players leaving the field on a cart to get fluids. They did pick off two passes (three if you count the one that for some reason could not be reviewed). None of those were more impressive than the one that is pictured to the right. 6-4″ 310 pound redshirt freshman defensive tackle Kawann Short made a very athletic interception on a ball deflected by Mike Neal. He is shown grabbing the point of the ball just before it hits the turf. It was a great play, and I immediately checked my camera to see if I got the shot. Thank God that I did. Once again we have some work to do before the trip to Eugene next weekend. This was an exciting game to watch though. Danny Hope gets Purdue win #1 in what I hope will be a quick assault on Joe Tiller’s Purdue record. Boiler Up!