2011 Purdue Boilermakers Football
Owls Fly Past Boilers for First Win
Rice – 24 Purdue – 22
Blocked field goals are quickly emerging as a common theme for Purdue in the early stages of the season. The same play that enlivened and exhilarated the Boilers last week left them devastated and heart-broken this week.
Trailing 24-22 with 1:52 left to play, the Boilers had the ball near midfield needing a field goal to improve to 2-0 on the season. With about a minute left to play, Purdue’s offense was able to navigate inside the Rice 20 thanks to three big runs by Ralph Bolden. Purdue pushed as far as the Rice 14-yard-line without taking an aggressive shot at the end zone, proving they were confident in the leg of pre-season All-American Carson Wiggs. A 31-yard chip shot turned disastrous when Owls defender Justin Allen got through the line and blocked the kick, giving Rice their first win over a BCS opponent since 2001.
Purdue must now look at itself in the mirror and wonder how it lost a game to a Conference USA opponent who has dropped its last 22 games to BCS schools. The image is now getting blurry for a team who had envisioned its first post-season appearance since the 2007 season.
Purdue’s defense should have been solid enough to hold down the fort while its offense searched for its identity, especially with Middle Tennessee St., Rice, and Southeast Missouri St. occupying the opening quarter of the Boilers schedule. Giving up 48 points and 812 yards while only forcing two turnovers and struggling to get into the backfield in its first two games makes it apparent that Purdue’s defense has a lot of room for improvement as well.
The Boilers will now travel back home to West Lafayette to try and recuperate against FCS foe Southeast Missouri St. before heading into a bye week. Much improvement will need to be made in these next two weeks, as Ross-Ade Stadium and the Boilers will host in-state rival Notre Dame following the bye week.
Rice will try and build on their upset victory as they head down to Waco, TX and do battle with Robert Griffin III and a very underrated Baylor Bears team.
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