Sophomore wide receiver Rondale Moore is the biggest talking point of the Purdue football team. Following his breakout freshman season, where he led the Big Ten in multiple categories — including all-purpose yards and receiving yards — and became the Big Ten’s first true freshman consensus All-American, he caught the eyes of many.
Those eyes are watching him more than ever this season.
Moore’s name has even been tossed into the Heisman Trophy Award mix as a dark horse candidate. With all the national attention and defenses specifically planning against him, he couldn’t put up those numbers again, could he?
In Purdue’s (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) Week 1 game versus University of Nevada (1-1, 0-0 Mountain West), Moore caught the ball 11 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. He had a few highlights, shifting around defenders and breaking tackles to extend plays for the Boilermaker offense.
Moore’s game was impressive, but could he really follow it up with an even better game, and a win?
The Boilermakers then traveled home to West Lafayette and prepared for their home opener against Vanderbilt University (0-2, 0-1 Southeastern). After the loss to Nevada, fans were expecting a big game to make up for it.
The fans got their money’s worth that Saturday as the Boilers battled the Commodores.
Moore came back with a bang, catching 13 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown as Purdue defeated Vanderbilt 42-24. Moore’s playmaking ability was on full display, as his longest reception went for 70 yards.
He also shined on special teams, almost returning a kick for a touchdown before being tackled within the five-yard line. That return did not count toward his stat line, though, as the Boilers were charged with a penalty on the return.
His first two games have gained Moore and the Boilermakers national attention, but can he and the whole team continue to do more against Texas Christian University this weekend?