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2017 Week 2 Recap: Brohm's Boilermakers bully Bobcats, 44-21

Ohio's defense no match for upstart Purdue program

Ohio v Purdue Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Ohio left West Lafayette listless after an encounter with a new brand of Purdue football.

Through the air, on the ground, Purdue reigned superior in almost every area of the game when the clock read triple zeros under the lights of Ross-Ade Stadium. The Boilermakers, who collected nine total wins in four seasons, left their home turf with one of the most convincing victories Purdue fans have witnessed in years.

In a 44-21 victory over Frank Solich's Ohio Bobcats (1-1), Purdue (1-1) finished with 558 total yards — 295 passing and 263 rushing.

After just 51 rushing yards in a close loss to Louisville, the Boilermakers unleashed a never-before-seen rushing attack on Ohio's defense. Sophomore halfback Tario Fuller led the way, accumulating a career-high 142 yards (previous high 29) on his way to one touchdown.

In the passing game, Elijah Sindelar earned the starting job, but his teammate David Blough took over and torched the Bobcats' secondary. Blough completed a phenomenal 11-of-13 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns — all without an interception, an element of his game he previously struggled with.

Ohio's defense particularly struggled containing the outsides of the field on both rushing and passing play calls. Just six days after shutting out an FCS opponent, Ohio had no answer to Jeff Brohm's revolutionized offense at Purdue.

The game-opening drive for the Boilermakers resulted in a field goal. They quickly established an effective running game to move down the field and kicker Spencer Evans added three points thanks to his leg.

Ohio started Quinton Maxwell over Nathan Rourke, a decision that would quickly be reversed. Maxwell played two series, finishing 1-of-6 with 12 passing yards. The Bobcats' ineptness on offense greatly benefitted Purdue in the first half.

The Boilermakers' receivers were open all game. Several egregious drops plagued the team in the early-going but once the receivers' hands connected with the ball, Purdue was unstoppable. Sindelar led the offense to a 10-0 lead with a 17-yard pass to tight end Brycen Hopkins.

Ohio showed hope after the early double-digit deficit. On the ensuing possession, Solich's team quickly responded under the leadership of Rourke. Junior wide receiver Papi White earned 46 receiving yards on this drive, setting up running back A.J. Ouellette to punch it in the end zone on the ground from several yards out. Purdue led 10-7 at this point, and there was still hope on the Ohio sideline that the Bobcats could hang tight with the home team.

Hope faded quickly.

Fuller and Hopkins led Purdue down the field once again, bouncing the football out to the perimeter, an area of the field that was unreachable by hopeful Ohio tacklers. Fuller would score from one-yard out to reclaim a 10-point lead over the reigning MAC East champions.

After the Ohio offense failed to gain any momentum, Purdue pulled off the play of the game: In shotgun formation, Blough took the snap. Running back D.J. Knox received the handoff and he instantly pitched it to wide receiver Jackson Anthrop running in the opposite direction. Anthrop ultimately pitched it back to Blough who found an extremely wide-open Cole Herdman. The tight end, with nobody in green and white with yards of him, trotted to an easy flea-flicker 62-yard touchdown. Purdue led 24-7.

Ohio's bleeding wouldn't stop in the first half. Two consecutive fumbles by Ohio running backs were recovered by the feisty Purdue defense. The Boilermakers converted these turnovers into an easy 10 points in the waning minutes of the second quarter. The final possession, another one-play scoring drive for Purdue, started and finished with Blough finding a wide open Anthony Mahoungou in the end zone to lead 34-7.

Ohio actually won the second half. The Bobcats slowly but surely made it down the field in 10 plays to score their second touchdown of the night. Purdue responded with a touchdown drive, led by Fuller, Herdman, and finishing with Jackson Anthrop in the end zone. The Boilermakers jumped out to a game-high 44-14 lead in the fourth quarter off of another Evans field goal. But the Bobcats would strike last, scoring once more before falling 44-21 to Brohm's improved Purdue.

This marks the end of Purdue's three-game losing streak against the Mid-American Conference. The Boilermakers played a near-perfect game on offense, capitalizing on a great percentage of offensive possessions and failing to commit a turnover.

Ohio's defense was not on its game Friday night. Solich must regroup the unit and improve coverage and tackling before the conference slate opens in a few weeks.