11/20/20 Minnesota, Rondale Moore

Purdue's Rondale Moore (4) avoids the tackle against Minnesota's MJ Anderson (3) during the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Moore had 15 catches for 116 yards in Purdue's 34-31 loss at Minnesota.

Two missed field goals and a pair of penalties that prompted heavy backlash for the referees on social media spelled disaster for the Boilermakers, who fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 34-31, Friday night in Minneapolis.

Fifth-year kicker J.D. Dellinger’s blocked field goal at the end of the first half and missed field goal following a turnover on downs brought by redshirt freshman safety Marvin Grant cost the Boilermakers (2-2) the win. Even after the Boilers shrank the lead from 11 to 3 in the third quarter, it wasn’t enough to make up for the 6 missed points.

Head coach Jeff Brohm said kicking was what cost the Boilers the win.

"Anytime you line up for field goals," Brohm said," unless it's a real, real long goal, it should be automatic."

Two controversial calls also stood in the way of a Purdue victory.

With less than a minute in the game, sophomore tight end Payne Durham caught a touchdown in the corner of the end zone. It was called back for offensive pass interference after light contact. Head coach Jeff Brohm was seen yelling in anger from the sidelines.

"I wish I could comment what I really think," Brohm said after the game.

After an interception in the end zone by Minnesota sealed the game for the Gophers, the Purdue Athletics Twitter account and sports media personalities such as Scott Van Pelt denounced the offensive pass interference call.

This came after a previous controversial call when a crucial catch by Bell would have moved the Boilers down the field and put them in field-goal range to possibly give the Boilers a chance at redemption in overtime.

Star sophomore wide receiver Rondale Moore made an unexpected return after a year-long absence. With two touchdowns, Moore’s return kept the Boiler offense afloat.

Moore came on to the post-game press conference and gave a brief statement explaining his games missed, and he didn't take any questions.

"Unfortunately, I reactivated a hamstring (injury) late in camp," Moore said. "I was a distraction. I went to Coach Brohm, and I asked if he could just keep it closed. A lot of people created these narratives about myself (and) about this team, and that's never what I intended."

Sophomore quarterback Jack Plummer replaced junior quarterback Aidan O’Connell to lead the Boilermakers. For most of the game, Plummer was right on target.

The defense had more problems on its side of the ball. The Gopher (2-3) offense’s ability to convert third downs aided them in allowing the team to score on nearly every possession.

"We watched everything on film," senior linebacker Derrick Barnes said. "We just need to come out and play better ball."

Purdue returns to action at 4 p.m., Nov. 28 when it hosts Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights (1-3) host Michigan (1-3) on Nov. 21.

Game Notes

  • Plummer threw 35 completions for 367 yards.
  • The Boiler offense finished with 492 yards.
  • Moore recorded 116 receiving yards.
  • Gophers wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell had 129 receiving yards.
  • Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 102 yards.
  • Gophers offense had 17.6 yards per completion.
  • Junior linebacker Jaylan Alexander finished with 12 total tackles.

Halftime notes

Rondale Moore planted his cleats in the end zone for the first time in more than a year early in the first quarter, led Purdue in passing yards and continued to lead the Boiler offense for the first half.

Minnesota currently leads Purdue 21-10 at halftime in TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Minnesota led Purdue in every offensive category, most notably converting five out of six third-down attempts. The Gopher offense's ability to stay on the field led to more opportunities to score on their end. Minnesota came out fast and scored in the first drive game in fewer than five minutes. Running back redshirt junior Mohamed Ibrahim had the best performance on the Gophers rushing for 75 yards on 16 carries.

Sophomore Jack Plummer started as quarterback, making his season debut, and stepped in for junior Aidan O'Connell who started the first three games as center. Plummer spread the ball around on offense early in the game, in contrast to last week's performance against Northwestern. He completed passes to sophomore receivers Moore, David Bell and Milton Wright, along with sophomore tight end Payne Durham and junior running back Zander Horvath.

Moore made a catch in the corner of the end zone with three seconds left in the half, but it was ruled incomplete. Fifth-year kicker J.D. Dellinger lined up for a field goal, but the attempt was blocked by Minnesota's defense.

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