Purdue’s record fell to 0-2 in the Big Ten and 1-4 overall after the Boilermakers lost 35-7 against Penn State (5-0, 2-0) in Happy Valley.
The Boilermaker's inability to keep players on the field was again a major factor in today’s game. The first player to go down was cornerback Jordan Rucker, who was injured on the opening kickoff. Next, freshman safety Cam Allen was ejected from the game after getting flagged for a targeting hit on Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford. Later, linebacker Cornel Jones was injured and finally, defensive tackle Anthony Watts went down with what looked like an arm injury. Only Cornel Jones returned to the game.
The offensive line struggled to protect quarterback Jack Plummer. The Nittany Lions had a near record day as they were one sack shy of tying the school record for sacks in a game with 10. The defensive line tandem of Shaka Toney and Yetur Gross-Matos combined for five sacks and harassed quarterback Jack Plummer all day. Nine different players saw the field for Purdue’s offensive line, but no combination led to much of a change.
Purdue struggled in the first half defensively as they gave up 28 points in the first 20 minutes, but they rallied and only gave up 7 points in the last 40 minutes. Ben Holt led the team in tackles with 11, and Jaylen Alexander had a team high three tackles for loss. Purdue played much better defensively in the second half as it got some pressure off the quarterback and got off the field on 3rd down. Simeon Smiley had the team's only interception and George Karlaftis had the team’s only sack of the afternoon.
Despite what the scoreboard says, Purdue managed to win the turnover margin 3-1 by forcing two fumbles and grabbing an interception. The team also kept the time of possession close as Penn State held the ball for a little over 33 minutes and Purdue had it for just over 25 minutes. Penn State converted 24 first downs but struggled to make plays on third down as it went 8-15.
Penn State had its way on offense for the most part as it put up 465 total yards and scored five touchdowns. The Lions ran the ball for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Noah Cain led the way with 105 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Quarterback Sean Clifford was efficient as he completed 68% of his passes for 264 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Purdue on the other hand struggled offensively. The offense only managed to put up 93 total yards and a touchdown. They managed to lose 30 yards in the rushing game, but most of that was due to sacks. Freshman King Doerue led the way for Purdue with 26 yards on 11 carries. Jack Plummer made his second consecutive start and completed 48% of his passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. In the receiving game, Jackson Anthrop led the team in receptions, seven, and David Bell led the team in yards, 56. Amad Anderson only caught one pass for 15 yards, but it ended up going for the team's only score of the afternoon.
Purdue returns to West Lafayette at noon Saturday to play the Maryland Terrapins who are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten.