The Purdue Boilermakers opened their home season today, hosting Vanderbilt and hoping to rebound from a heartbreaking comeback loss last week at Nevada on opening night.
The game started with both teams’ defenses playing strong but Vandy struck first with a long first down that led to a rushing TD almost exactly halfway through the first quarter but Purdue fired back quickly with a TD of their own.
On the next drive, though, the Commodores struck a few long plays to land in scoring position but the Boilers’ defense stayed strong and forced a punt, that was bobbled by WR Rondale Moore but saw him reach daylight to put Purdue in good field position.
While Vanderbilt played strong defensively on the ensuing drive, the penalties got the best of them- an offsides call offsetting a monstrous sack and a defensive holding call canceling out another big play. A few plays later, they intercepted Senior Boilers QB Elijah Sindelar but a double penalty of offsides and roughing the passer saw their gorgeous, jump-ball pick disappear quicker than Antonio Brown in Oakland.
The Boilermakers capitalized strong on the Commodores’ mistakes, hitting a FG on the following drive and a TD on the next, while holding the opposition to just a FG of their own before halftime.
The second half saw Purdue coming out hot, with Sindelar hitting a 50-yard TD to WR Jared Sparks to take a 21-10 lead and came right back with a Dedrick Mackey interception to put Purdue back on the offensive but the Vandy defense fired back with a pick of their own and Junior QB Deuce Wallace taking over the reins for the Commodores.
The second half continued to be all Boilers as Vandy just couldn’t seem to catch their stride as the game went on. The Purdue offense continued to expose the weaknesses in the Vanderbilt secondary as Rondale Moore finished with over 200 yards receiving and Sindelar finished with an insane 509 yards and 5 touchdown passes, leading to a dominant 42-24 victory and making a statement for the rest of the Big 10 Conference.
The Boilermakers, improving to 1-1, return to action next Saturday, facing TCU (1-0) at home while Vanderbilt (0-2) has next week off as they prepare for things not to get any easier as they take on LSU on Sept. 21.
-Reggie Edwards; Photo by Chris Shaw