Banged Up Boilers Roll Over Terrapins
It has been well documented the number of injuries that the Purdue football team has faced this season. Eighteen players that were supposed to be part of the 2-deep roster were out Saturday for the Homecoming game against Maryland, a trend that has become all too familiar with Purdue fans. However, the number of injuries has forced several younger players into roles of prominence on both sides of the ball, and it finally paid off Saturday. Freshmen accounted for all five touchdowns in the game as Purdue rolled Maryland 40-14.
Purdue got off to a fast start, scoring on its first two possessions of the game. After taking a critical sack on second down in the red zone on the first drive, redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Plummer hit freshman receiver David Bell for a 23 yard touchdown pass on third and twenty for a 6-0 lead. On the ensuing Boilermaker possession, freshman running back King Dorue capped off the drive with a four yard touchdown run that gave the Boilers a 13-0 first quarter lead that would never be relinquished.
Maryland cut the deficit to 13-7early in the second quarter after a 21 yard touchdown run by Javon Leake, but the young Boilers had an answer. Plummer hit freshman Milton Wright in stride for a 59 yard touchdown that extended the lead to 20-7. The Boilers capped off the scoring in the first half when freshman cornerback Cory Trice intercepted a pass and returned it 37 yards for the touchdown and a 30-14 lead with just eighteen seconds left in the first half. “It was pretty big,” Trice said of his pick six. “It really gave us momentum going into halftime and the second half.”
The Boilermakers carried that momentum into the second half, especially on the defensive side. The Purdue defense held Maryland scoreless in the second half as Trice picked off his second pass of the game. Bell also scored his second touchdown of the game on an eight yard pass from Plummer in the fourth quarter. Bell finished the game with nine receptions and 138 yards receiving to go with his two touchdowns. “We’re designing plays to get him (Bell) the ball, and he’s making plays for us,” Plummer said of his young receiver. Plummer also had a big game, completing 33 of 51 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. “I feel like the more I play the more comfortable I am out there,” Plummer said. “Things are starting to slow down for me.” This young team will face another test as it travels to Iowa next Saturday to face the Hawkeyes for their Homecoming game.