The Purdue Boilermakers recovered well from their crushing road loss to Marshall on the season’s opening week by routing Indiana State 38-14 on Military Appreciation Day, Saturday, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, IN. Purdue quarterback Austin Appleby completed 20 out of 34 passes for 289 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
“I think it shows where I’m at from a mental aspect,” Appleby said. “I trust in my guys, we work so hard. We put up a career high for me last week. There are four or five throws I’d like to have back, sure, but I’m not going to look back. We are wiping the slate clean, controlling the controllables, that’s all you can do.”
The Boilermakers dominated the Sycamores in every statistical category of the game. Despite winning the turnover battle, 3-2, Indiana State were out gained by 178 yards. Sycamore quarterback Matt Adam completed 18 out of 37 passes for 194 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while also carrying the ball 19 times for 88 yards.
Purdue also ran the ball down Indiana State’s throat. Running back D.J. Knox rushed for 91 yards on 16 carries while Markell Jones 67 yards and a touchdown on the ground while adding 32 more yards from the receiving end. Even Appleby added 50 rushing yards of his own.
“I think our staff did an excellent job of getting us prepared,” Jones said. “As far as the speed of the game goes, I think in the preparation you are able to slow that down in your head and let what happens, happen.”
Even then, there was the chance of the Sycamores going into halftime down only 10 points with some sort of hope of staging a comeback in the third quarter. That all went away when Appleby connected with receiver Dan Monteroso for 51-yard, Hail Mary touchdown pass in the final play of the first half.
“Our offensive line did a great job giving me a second to let those guys get down the field and get open,” Appleby said It starts with those guys, especially on a play like that. I was able to move around a little bit, and I just tried to throw it as high and far as I could.”
“I got really hyped after that,” Monteroso said, “I’m not going to lie.”
Purdue was also a menace on special teams as well, especially senior cornerback Anthony Brown. Brown was instrumental in blocking an Indiana State field goal and ran a key fake punt.
“The field goal block was a huge thing for me,” Brown said. “I take a lot of pride in our unit. That was a big turnaround for the game not giving up any points. It was a sudden change and that is huge for us, it gave us the momentum. The ball went just over my hand if I’m not mistaken.
“[The fake punt] brought back memories from high school,” Brown said. “We had been practicing the play for a while and finally had a chance to execute it. I was a little dizzy after, but I’m good.”
Purdue’s offensive performances in both weeks has built them confidence for their season’s seminal moment when they host ACC contender Virginia Tech next week. The Hookies may have lost to Ohio State, but have shown through their 42-3 beat down of Furman that they are no slouches.
“We have confidence no matter what,” Appleby said. “No reason to get gun shy. I trust my teammates with everything and they trust me too. We’ve got talent top to bottom.”