It was a sensational debut for freshman quarterback David Blough, but Purdue suffered another heartbreaking defeat on Saturday.
Blough, in his first start taking over for Austin Appleby, had the Boilermakers neck and neck with high-scoring Bowling Green. But a missed field goal that could have given Purdue a lead led to a game-winning drive for Bowling Green, which scored with nine seconds remaining to send the Boilermakers to a 35-28 loss in West Lafayette.
Blough completed 29 of his 39 passing attempts for 340 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was a remarkable revelation for the Purdue offense, which amassed 426 total yards against Bowling Green’s defense.
The Falcons entered with one of the most prolific offenses in the country, quarterback Matt Johnson the nation’s leading passer. But the Boilers answered nearly every Falcons score. Blough tied the game at 7 with a touchdown run in the first quarter. He hit DeAngelo Yancey for a 45-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 in the second quarter.
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Down, 21-14, at the half, Blough set up a five-yard touchdown run for Jarrett Burgess to tie the game at 21. And Blough immediately answered a go-ahead Johnson touchdown toss with a 62-yard touchdown pass about halfway through the fourth quarter.
After that quick drive, Purdue’s defense forced a Bowling Green punt, and Blough led a more than four-minute drive down to the Bowling Green 15-yard line. But, for the second time in the game, Purdue kicker Paul Griggs missed a short field goal — this one 32 yards, the first 19 — blowing the opportunity to give his team the lead.
Bowling Green responded with a two-and-a-half-minute touchdown drive that ended with a short touchdown run with just nine seconds remaining.
Bowling Green ended up hanging 539 total yards and 402 passing yards on the Purdue defense.
It was yet another crushing defeat for Purdue, which blew a late lead in the season-opening loss to Marshall and was hammered last week by Virginia Tech. Saturday's loss knocks the Boilers to 1-3.
There are plenty of silver linings here, though, most namely Blough, who had a sensational day in his first start as the Boilers’ No. 1 quarterback.