Purdue looks as if it found its quarterback. It still just hasn’t found a way to win.
In his first career start, redshirt freshman David Blough finished 29-of-39 for 340 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. But Purdue still couldn’t overcome several critical mistakes in a 35-28 loss to Bowling Green.
Paul Griggs, the Boilermakers’ kicker, missed field goals of 20 and 32 yards. The Falcons drove for touchdowns following both misses.
The Boilermakers' biggest mistake might have been their last. With the score tied at 28. Bowling Green found itself on the Purdue 37 with a third-and-8 with about a minute to play. But Purdue was stung with a facemask penalty tacked on to a 13-yard run, and Bowling Green scored a touchdown the very next play.
The Falcons now have beaten two Big Ten teams this season – Maryland and Purdue – and might end up with more B1G wins than some B1G teams.
Purdue falls to 1-3 with the loss, while Bowling Green improves to 2-2.
What the loss means for Purdue: The Boilermakers are the worst team in the Big Ten. By far. That’s what this loss showed. Purdue will be an underdog in the rest of the games this season, and it could very well go the rest of the year without a win. At least it beat Indiana State earlier this season.
What the win means for Bowling Green: The Falcons could win the conference title, and they have to feel pretty good about grabbing two wins against B1G teams during their nonconference slate. First came a 48-27 victory over Maryland, and now this. Coach Dino Babers has turned Bowling Green into a team to watch, and he deserves a lot of credit.
Player of the game: Bowling Green QB Matt Johnson. Stats don't always tell the story, but they do in this case. Johnson produced most of the Falcons' offense, as he finished 43-of-59 for 402 yards, one TD and one interception. He kept Purdue's secondary guessing and completed passes to eight different targets.
Top play: Midway through the fourth quarter, Blough attempted a play-action fake, Bowling Green bit, and then Blough quickly tossed the ball to a wide-open Gregory Phillips. The receiver ran into the end-zone untouched for a 62-yard touchdown. It was Purdue’s longest play from scrimmage this season.
The game turned when …: Purdue watched a potential lead dissolve into a deficit late in the first half. The Boilermakers offense had first-and-goal from the 6-yard line, had to settle for a field goal and then somehow missed a 20-yard attempt. Bowling Green responded by marching 80 yards in 79 seconds for the touchdown. Bowling Green then led 21-14 and never trailed from that point.