With a minute remaining in the game, sophomore safety Ryan Brandt stripped the ball from sophomore quarterback Andrew Hobson to win the spring game for the Purdue defense 45-42.
Purdue held their spring game, a scrimmage between the offense and defense, on a cold windy day Ross-Ade for a handful of fans that braved the 39 degree-weather and 12 mile-per-hour wind gusts.
The scoring system was modified to award the defense points for defensive stops and turnovers.
Fifth-year Austin Burton, the most experienced quarterback on the roster after sixth-year Aidan O’Connell, came out at quarterback after O’Connell was stopped on the first drive.
While O’Connell is the assumed starter for next year, head coach Jeff Brohm has options at the backup quarterback position: sophomore Michael Alaimo, freshman Brady Allen, who was the 2021 Indiana Mr. Football, and Burton
O’Connell started the game and was followed by Burton.
Burton completed five passes in 13 attempts for 52 yards, and he threw one touchdown and an interception.
“Burton gives us a little bit of mobility in the pocket and some experience,” Brohm said after the game.
Alaimo was the third quarterback to enter the game and ended the day completing five passes in 11 attempts for 57 yards and one touchdown.
Allen was the fourth quarterback to enter the game and completed four passes in eight attempts for 57 yards and one touchdown.
“(Allen’s) got a good arm, he's got good size,” Brohm said after the game. “It's been great that he's coming to spring because he's had 15 practices against college football players, and the speed of the game is something that he's had to get adjusted to learning the terminologies and adjustment.”
O’Connell only completed one pass for six yards in six attempts and threw one interception.
The offense didn’t score a single point in the first half.
“Overall, we struggled a little bit today in the QB room,” O’Connell said after the game. “Maybe a little rusty a little cold, whatever it may be, but we have a talented group of guys who are smart, guys who are great football players.”
In his first drive, Burton did not complete any of his first three passes. Junior wide receiver Tyrone Tracy, although listed as a wide receiver, had a nine yard gain on a handoff on a jet sweep.
Tracy, who transferred from Iowa earlier this year. Tracy lined up at several different spots throughout the game, switching between the backfield, slot receiver and outside wide receiver.
“I think the main thing I showed is that I can play multiple positions,” Tracy said after the game. "My skill set is (made up of a) variety of things. (I can play) running back. I can play inside and outside. I think I also earned their respect with how physical I am when I do get the ball.”
Tracy ended the game with two catches for 60 yards and one touchdown.
Alaimo came out at quarterback after Burton, and his first pass was slightly overthrown to an open wide receiver deep. He threw his second pass behind Tracy, who was unable to reach back and corral the pass. His third pass was a 15-yard completion to a receiver running towards the sideline for a first down.
Brohm tried out several different players and several different schemes throughout the game.
Purdue ran a trick play, where O’Connell threw a backwards pass to freshman wide receiver Preston Terrell on the left side of the field, who then threw it to Tracy, who was running deep on the right side. Tracy caught the ball over the defender, bobbling the ball but managing to come down with it for a first down.
The defense got out to an early 10-0 lead off of two defensive stops and two fourth down stops.
Allen’s third pass hung in the air, allowing the defensive back to get back to the ball and break up the pass, which he likely would have been able to intercept had the receiver not cut him off.
Burton came in next to try a flea flicker, which did end in an interception by fifth year safety Chris Jefferson.
O’Connell threw an interception to sophomore safety Antonio Stevens which put the defense ahead 25-0. Freshman defensive end Yanni Karlaftis picked up a sack on the next drive, contributing to a fourth down stop put the defense ahead 28-0 at halftime.
“Depth is good to have but at the same time, there’s only 11 guys on the field and the 11 on the field have to beat the other team’s 11, “Brohm said after the game. “We just want playmakers to emerge to go along with depth.”
During halftime, Brohm and the team gave jerseys to the departing seniors, as well as welcoming a few returning alumni, which included super bowl champion Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brycen Hopkins.
After starting at their own 30-yard line, In the midst of the battle for backup quarterback, Terrell completed his second pass of the day for a touchdown to sophomore tight end Ben Buechel.
Terrell ended the game with more yards than all of the quarterbacks despite throwing just two passes.
The defense struck back, after junior defensive end Joe Anderson scored a 61-yard defensive touchdown off of a fumble.
Allen threw a 22-yard touchdown to freshman wide receiver Zion Steptoe. The first Purdue touchdown for the two early enrollees. Alaimo immediately responded with a 30-yard pass to Tracy for a touchdown.
The offensive surge continued as Allen and Steptoe connected for an 11-yard pass. Burton strung together a few passes for first downs to lead Purdue on a drive that started at the opposing 30-yard line and went 55 yards before being replaced by Alaimo.
Purdue also ran a few speed option plays with Burton that each went for about five yards.
Alaimo scored off of a play where he faked a handoff and kept the ball, fooling the defense and allowing him to walk into the endzone untouched.
After being ruled down on the one yard line on the previous drive, sophomore running back Caleb Lahey ran for a 20-yard touchdown.