WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Late in the fourth quarter, as Purdue prepared to celebrate the biggest win in recent team history, Tyler Trent joined the party on the field at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Trent, a 20-year-old Purdue student battling terminal bone cancer and in hospice care, was wheeled onto the field. He pumped his fist as Boilermakers fans saluted him and danced along to music played during timeouts. "This one's for you!" a fan shouted to a smiling Trent as he was wheeled up the tunnel toward Purdue's locker room. Several fans held "Tyler Strong" signs, and a "Cancer sucks" chant went up in his honor.
Purdue beat No. 2 Ohio State 49-20 on Saturday.
"The fact that he was so strong to be here, and he's been so strong, the last couple months and the last couple years, going through what he has, is inspirational to all of us," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. "It really goes to show you what you can do if you put your mind to it, if you have a great attitude, you have a lot of positive energy in you and you want to do something special."
Despite his condition, Trent vowed to attend the Ohio State game and predicted that the Boilermakers would upset the second-ranked Buckeyes.
"I just want to say Boiler Up," Trent said after being asked to open Brohm's postgame news conference. "I'm super happy that my prediction came true."
In the locker room, Brohm called Trent one of the team's new captains.
"You guys know 'Tyler Strong' means something," Brohm told the team. "This young man has been strong. His family's been strong. We're happy as heck to support him and to have him as our team captain. For him to even be here is remarkable. The guy never makes excuses. He never complains. Huge smile on his face every day, he's got a great attitude. He's about giving back to other people.
"That's what being a Boilermaker is all about."
Proud to be a boilermaker. Love you family 🖤💛🚂— Tyler Trent (@theTylerTrent) October 21, 2018
Trent then addressed the team, saying, "Thanks for leaving your heart out on the field and for showing the nation what being a Boilermaker is all about."
Trent has endured several bouts with cancer but vowed to attend Purdue. He announced last month that he would be withdrawing from school because his condition has worsened.