In its opening game, the Purdue football team was outscored 27-7 in the second half to lose 34-31 on a last second field goal at Nevada on Friday night.
The Boilermakers (0-1) a 10.5 point favorite, had five turnovers that cost them the game.
Sophomore wide receiver Rondale Moore controlled and senior quarterback Elijah Sindelar the game in the first half. Moore had eight catches for 112 yards and one touchdown at the break. But the All-America candidate was held to three catches and just 10 yards in the second half.
Sindelar finished the game 34 of 52 for 423 yards and four touchdowns. But he threw two interceptions that allowed Nevada (1-0) to get back into the game.
Moore had four receptions on the first drive leading Purdue, down the field. Sindelar, was able to connect with senior tight end Brycen Hopkins for a touchdown to cap off the opening Purdue drive.
Defensively, the Boilermakers came out dominant early,only giving up three total yards in Nevada's first two drives. Junior Defensive End, Derrick Barnes, was even able to come up with a sack on the one yard line.
Purdue quickly marched up the field on its second drive but was unable to score a touchdown in the red zone and instead had to settle for a field goal. Those three points gave the Boilers a 10-0 lead.
The defense once again came up big quickly retiring the Wolf Pack's drive. However, Purdue was unable to capitalize as freshman wide receiver Milton Wright fumbled after a reception resulting in a turnover.
Nevada was not able to score until approximately the four-minute mark. Freshman quarterback Carson Strong threw a dime to receiver Dominic Christian for the touchdown.
Sindelar quickly responded the very next drive. He threw a 38 yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver, Jackson Anthrop, on a signature Jeff Brohm trick play. Purdue took a 17-7 lead with about two minutes remaining in the half.
The Boilers got a quick three and out from their defense setting the offense up for a two minute drill. Sindelar once again took command and capped off another drive with another touchdown throw this time to Moore to end the first half.
Defensively, Purdue continued to man handle Nevada to start the second half. The Wolf pack was only able to move the chains one time before punting the ball back to the boilers. The defensive line was able to consistently put pressure on the quarterback rushing all of his decisions.
Purdue was unable to score their next drive and Nevada began to gain momentum. The Wolf pack recovered a fumble after a botched punt recovery. Nevada scored immediately after on a spectacular grab from wide receiver, Elijah Cooks.
Sindelar quickly put out the fire throwing an 49 yd bomb to freshman wide receiver, David Bell, on a flea flicker for a touchdown. That score gave Purdue a 31-14 lead over Nevada.
The Wolf Pack was unable to score the next drive, but another special teams fumble lead to a Nevada field goal.
After another excellent performance from the defense, a turnover sent them back to the field but they were able to hold up again and force a punt.
Although the Boilers held a lead for most of the game, the Boilers had four turnovers in the game, which came back to bite them, late in the fourth quarter. Nevada put together a touchdown drive making it a one possession game.
Purdue was unable to score the next drive giving Nevada the chance to tie up the game with three minutes remaining. Nevada began to storm up the field making play after play to extend the drive and chew up the clock, in the process. However, the defense came up big again. Sophomore defensive back , Kenneth Major, came up with a near interception to stop a Nevada touchdown that would have tied up the game. Major was also targeted the very next possession and interrupted another touchdown to keep the Boilermaker lead alive. Unfortunately, he went down with an injury and Nevada scored the very next play tying the game at 31.
The turnover bug bit again on Purdue drives as Sindelar through a pick trying to squeeze the ball to Bell. Nevada stormed into field goal position and made a 56-yard kick to win.
The Boilermakers gained 519 yards to Nevada's 404 and led in first downs, 24-19. Purdue had trouble holding onto the ball. It fumbled the ball twice on punt return opportunities and had the two picks. In fact, Purdue had five fumbles and lost three. Nevada did not turn the ball over.
The Boilermakers will return to action at noon next Saturday, hosting Vanderbilt.
• Friday’s game on Aug. 30, marks the earliest start date in Purdue history. The Boilermakers also opened the season on Aug. 30, in 2018, 2014 and 1998.
• This was the furthest west that Purdue has traveled in a season opener since 1998 at USC -- the first game of the Drew Brees era.
• Purdue heads West to play in the Pacific Time Zone for the 18th time in school history, now owning a 5-11-2 record in the time zone. Purdue has never played in the state of Nevada.
• It also marks Purdue's first trip to the time zone in the regular season since a 38-36 loss at Oregon on Sept. 12, 2009.
• The scoring drive on the season's first drive of the year was Purdue's first against a FBS opponent on the season's opening drive since 2009 vs. Toledo.
• Purdue held Nevada to just 99 yards of offense in the first half. Nevada had just two first downs, one coming by penalty.
• Purdue outgained Nevada 340-99 in the first half and held the ball for 17:37 time of possession.
• Nevada had 305 yards of offense in the second half and 17 first downs.
• Purdue was minus-5 in turnover margin, just the third time since 2000 that Purdue had five or more turnovers while its opponent had zero (Cincinnati 2013; Oklahoma State on New Year's Day 2013).
• Purdue's 519 yards of offense were the fifth most in a loss since the 2000 season (614 vs. Missouri, Sept. 15, 2018; 566 vs. Illinois, Oct. 12, 2002; 524 vs. Northern Illinois, Sept. 28, 2013; 524 vs. Michigan State, Nov. 14, 2009)
• Elijah Sindelar
... Sindelar recorded his first career 400-yard passing game by going 34-of-51 for 423 yards; it marked the 24th, 400-yard passing game in school history.
... his 4 TD passes are tied for the most in a season opener in Purdue history.
... has moved into ninth on the career 300-yard games list (3).
... has moved into 15th place on the school's career passing touchdowns chart (24).
... moved into ninth place on the school's career 300-yard games list (3).
• Rondale Moore
... has moved into 20th place on the school's career receptions list (125).
... has moved into 16th place on career receiving touchdowns list (13).
... has moved into seventh place on career 100-yard receiving game (8).
... 7th career game with 10 or more catches, the most for an active player nationally.
• David Bell
... first career catch resulted in a 49-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
• Zander Horvath
... recorded 12 carries for 62 yards in the first half; his previous career highs were five carries for 24 yards.
... finished game with 19 carries for 66 yards.
• Markus Bailey
... has moved into 16th place on career tackles list (323).
• Amad Anderson Jr.
... six catches for 60 yards in the first half, coming in his first career game.
• Brycen Hopkins
... capped off Purdue's opening drive with his 10th career touchdown catch.
... finished the game with six catches for 84 yards; the six catches were a career high.
• George Karlaftis
... recorded first career sack in the first quarter.
• Danny Corollo
... first career punt in the first quarter pinned Nevada at its own 1-yard line.
– Purdue Athletics Communications contributed to this report.