Author: Dan Vietor
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists
It wasn't pretty but is was effective. Purdue didn't need much offense and it didn't need it. All phases of the game contributed to a win.
Penn St Purdue
1 S20 S20 3- 0 punt S29 S20 7-29 TD
1 S20 P47 5-33 punt P14 P47 8-33 punt
1 S12 S28 4-16 punt P35/S36 8-29 miss FG
2 S36 P00 9-64 TD P20 P37 6-17 punt
2 S22 S22 1- 0 INT S30 S25 4- 5 FG
2 S20 S18 3--2 punt --- --- ---- punt ret TD
2 S17 S23 3- 6 punt P46 S16 7-38 INT
2 P06 P00 2- 6 TD P20 P19 1--1 half
3 P20 P26 3- 6 punt
3 P49 P48 3- 1 punt P12 S15 14-73 FG
3 S19 P47 8-39 punt P24/P38 4-14 punt
4 S20 S18 3--2 punt S42 S00 8-42 TD
4 S20 P40 6-40 INT P15 P33 6-18 punt
4 S29 50 5-31 fumble S39 S24 6-15 downs
4 S24 S13 4--11 downs/game
The special teams or maybe I should say Chambers helped early and often. After a Penn State punt, Chambers returns the ball 41 yds to the Penn St 29 to set up Purdue's first drive. Jerod Void, the starting RB was injured on the first play with a high ankle sprain and never played again. Jones, his replacement more than filled in. Brandon Jones who was the #2 runner last year behind Harris lost the starting position to Void when Harris became academically ineligible. A steady diet of runs by Jones and Orton led to the first Purdue score. Its was Purdue's 6th score in 6 games on their opening drive and they lead 7-0.
Penn State, who started Michael Robinson for the second straight game filling in for an injured Zach Mills, came out firing. Robinson's strong point is the long pass and it didn't take long to see that in action. On the second play, Robinson completes a 33 yd pass to Maurice Humphrey to get Penn St into Purdue territory at the 47. But after a sack, Penn State was forced to punt. Purdue starting deep in their territory and gets a couple of first downs but the drive stalls when a short pass to Jones comes up a few yards short. After a Penn St punt, Purdue starts another drive. After a 12 yd pass to Williams and 6 yd completions to Williams and Stubblefield gets Purdue to the PSU 42, the drive stalls when a couple of runs up the middle comes up short of a first down at the PSU 36. Jones then tries a 53 yd FG which was wide left and the score remains 7-0 early in the second quarter.
Starting in good field position at the 36, Penn State goes to work with their best drive of the day. After a couple of runs to the PS 49, Purdue gets hit with a 15 yd pass interference penalty. Then Robinson breaks a run for 11 and Tony Hunt runs for another 11 to get to the Purdue 14. Then Purdue's defense tightens and forces a FG attempt. But the attempt was a fake and Chris Ganter runs for 8 yds to the Purdue 4. Hunt then scores easily on the next play to tie the game at 7.
Purdue's next drive stalls after a holding call and Purdue punts back to Penn St. But it takes little time for Purdue to get the ball back. On the first play, Robinson is intercepted by Gilbert Gardner and returned to PS 30. But Purdue does nothing forcing a 42 yd FG that Jones hits to make the score 10-7 Purdue midway through the second.
After a 3 and out, special teams strikes again. Chambers breaks a couple of tackles and returns the punt 76 yds for a TD to put Purdue up 17-7. Penn State goes 3 and out again and Purdue takes over at their 46 after a fair catch personal foul on Penn St. Purdue manages their best drive of the half getting deep into Penn St territory. Two short Jones runs and a pass to Stubblefield gets the ball to the PS 42. Jones catches one for 9, Williams catches one for 10 and Stubblefield one for 7 to get the ball to the 16 with about a minute to play in the half. But the well went dry there when Orton throws the next pass right into the hands of Alan Zemaitis who runs it back 90 yds to the Purdue 6. Two plays later, Robinson completes a pass to Smolko in the back of the endzone to make the score 17-14 at the half.
The half was dominated by big plays. Purdue's 3 scores came off of two big runbacks and an INT. Penn State's scores came off a fake FG and an INT return. Outside of that, both defenses were playing well and neither offense was moving the ball effectively. Purdue had 155 yds of offense to Penn State's 110.
With Penn State carrying the momentum into the second half, it was critical that Purdue so something to swing it back. After trading 3 and outs, Purdue starts another nice drive. Starting at the 12, Brooks runs twice and Orton scrambles up the middle for a first down at the 27. Orton then completes an 18 yd pass to Standeford to get to the 45. Stubblefield goes for 5 on a reverse and Brooks and Jones run for a first down at the PS 43. Orton then runs for 9 and Jones for another 14 to the PS 20. But the drive stalls there and Jones hits a 32 yd FG to put Purdue up 20-14 with 5 to play in the third.
Penn State returns the favor with a decent drive. Robinson completes a 10 yd pass to Gerard Smith to the Purdue 33. Hunts breaks a run for 16 to the Purdue 42. But then a pair of penalties, a Purdue pass interference and a Penn State clipping on Robinson ends the drive. Purdue takes over at the 24 on their next drive. After a 10 yd Brooks run, the drive stalls after Williams is caught in the backfield on a broken run play. After a Penn St 3 and out, Purdue takes over at the Penn St 42. Jones breaks a run for 12 to the 30. Then after 2 incompletes and a 9 yd pass to Stubblefield, Purdue decides to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 21 instead of kicking a FG to go up 9. In a play that worked most of the day, Jones runs around the left side for 19 to the 2 yd line. After two failed runs up the middle, Jones tries the left side and scores with ease to put Purdue up 26-14. Orton hits Stubblefield for the two point conversion to put Purdue up 28-14.
Now with Penn State down 14, there is a aire of desparation. Robinsin hits Humphrey for 10 and then Kranchick for 30 on 3rd and 10. Two plays later Robinson's pass is intercepted by Jacques Reeves at the 15. Purdue now trying to protect the lead and run the clock out, goes to the run. On 3rd and 12, Jones runs around the left side for 22 yds to the 35. But Purdue punts it away 4 plays later. Penn State then manages to move the ball to midfield but Kranchick fumbles the ball back to Purdue. Purdue runs 6 plays and turns the ball over on downs with about a minute to play. Purdue sacks Robinson twice and the clock runs out with Purdue winning 28-14.
Purdue beats Penn State for the first time in 40 years and the first time under Tiller. Purdue ended up with 350 yds of offense. The Boilers ran 51 times for 219 yds. Brandon Jones led Purdue with 149 yds on 29 rushes. Brooks ran 10 times for 34. Orton was 17-28 for 131 yds and one INT. Ray Williams led Purdu with 6 receptions for 45 yds. Stubblefield added 6 catches for 39 yds. Penn State had 204 yds of total offense. Robinson, who was off target most of the day, ended up 10-32 for 98 yds and 2 INTs and 1 TD. Hunt led Penn State with 47 yds rushing. Robinson scrambled for another 40.
Purdue's defense again played well. It was obvious that Robinson's running ability caused some troubles early but the defense adjusted and stopped Robinson in the second half. Purdue's offense really didn't need to do much. The first TD was set up by a Chambers 41 yd runback. The FG was set up by an INT. Then Chambers runs a punt back for a TD. The only real offense came on a 14 play drive for a TD to make the score 28-14 early in the fourth. The running game was initially hurt by the loss of Void but Jones got better as the day went on and ended up with almost 150 yds. Purdue's passing game was again rather anemic. With no deep threat and Orton not looking to throw long, almost all of the passes were of the 3-5 yd variety. Penn State's defense started packing the line but eventually wore out with Purdue's run game.
Purdue now goes on the road at Wisconsin and Michigan. These teams represent the #3 and #2 offense in the Big 10 (Minn #1, Purdue #4) and will be a true test for the Boiler defense. Michigan is the #3 defense but gave up 35 points to Minnesota. Wisconsin's defense is suspect. Purdue also plays 4 of its last 6 on the road and will test to see if Purdue can keep up the momentum they gained starting 5-1.