Thanks to more timely offense, Purdue won at Maryland Saturday 31-29.
Purdue took the lead with 3:19 to play, on Payne Durham’s four-yard touchdown catch after Maryland had scored a touchdown but missed the PAT, blocked by Cam Allen (who may have been off-side). Those back-to-back scores were the first points of the second half.
Maryland scored a touchdown with 35 seconds left, but failed on the game-tying two-point conversion after an initial make was nullified by penalty.
Tyrone Tracy recovered Maryland’s last-gasp on-side kick.
Devin Mockobee put the game away with a late touchdown run set up by Durham’s 56-yard catch-and-run as Purdue was trying to salt the clock away. That was Purdue’s longest completion of the season.
Durham caught seven passes for 109 yards. O’Connell threw for 360 yards and two scores.
Three things from the game …
• Clutch offense again by Purdue, breaking a scoring dry spell when It mattered most for the second week in a row.
Aidan O’Connell still does not look like himself and he got very little help today, as his protection broke down too often, he was forced to hold the ball too long at times and wide receiver Charlie Jones was finally stopped by a defense selling out to stop him.
O’Connell accounted for two of Purdue’s three turnovers, one being a fumble and the other an interception thrown behind Jones and deflected.
But they came up big with the game on the line, both with the go-ahead touchdown drive and Durham’s 56-yard catch-and-run to put the game away.
• Purdue’s offense once again left its defense blowing in the wind, failing to capitalize on numerous opportunities to create cushion on the scoreboard.
Yeah, the defense made another colossal end-of-half error, but the offense continues to leave that unit with absolutely no margin to make mistakes.
The offense’s three turnovers very easily could have decided this game. Purdue won despite three turnovers at Minnesota last week, and did so again this week, but that’s not a sustainable way to do things.
Brian Neubert, GoldAndBlack.com