Blough led the Boilermakers to touchdowns on their first three drives in a 35-3 victory.
“David played very well. He was very efficient,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “Made plays, made some plays with his feet, didn’t turn the ball over. I see improvement.”
Purdue (2-1) uses a two-quarterback system, and Elijah Sindelar started the first two games. Blough’s strong showing in last week’s victory over Ohio earned him the start at Missouri. He made the decision look smart, completing 22 of 28 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for Purdue’s first touchdown, carrying 5 yards for the only points the Boilermakers needed.
Purdue opened the game with methodical touchdown drives of 75, 87 and 96 yards.
“It’s just a title, it doesn’t define anything for me,” Blough said of getting the start. “I would have been ready if I played the second quarter. It feels good when you walk down the field, score a couple of touchdowns on the first couple of drives.”
Sindelar was efficient, too, completing 4 of 6 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.
“We’re going to need them both at some point in time,” Brohm said
Nine Purdue players had at least one rush, with Tario Fuller carrying 19 times for 90 yards and a touchdown.
As well as Purdue played offensively, its defense was even better, holding Missouri (1-2) to just 203 yards. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock completed 12 of 28 passes for 133 yards with two interceptions. The Tigers looked like an offensive powerhouse in a season-opening 72-43 victory over Missouri State but have scored a combined 16 points in two games since.
“I feel like we got lined up, covered down and made them earn everything they got,” Brohm said. “Because of that, they didn’t earn a lot. We didn’t give them cheap plays. I thought it was a dominant defensive effort from the beginning to the end.”
The Tigers’ only points came on Tucker McCann’s 29-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. That cut the Purdue lead to 28-3.
Any thought of Missouri carrying momentum to the second half ended when linebacker Markus Bailey intercepted Lock’s sideline pass on the first drive after halftime. Blough capped that drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Richie Worship.
Purdue shut down running back Damarea Crockett, who entered the game with 299 yards rushing, averaging 8.3 yards per carry. The Boilermakers held him to 19 yards on 10 carries.
“We didn’t have much room to run up front,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said. “It didn’t matter much what back was in there.”
A few sequences summed up the Tigers’ listless performance. In the second quarter, Missouri committed penalties on four straight plays — three false starts and a holding infraction. Late in the fourth quarter, Lock threw what appeared to be a touchdown pass to J’Mon Moore, but Purdue cornerback Kamal Hardy wrestled it away from Moore for an interception.
“I think we all know how much potential this team has,” Crockett said. “To see us come out there like that . reality smacked us in the face.”
PURDUE: The Boilermakers spread the offensive wealth. Nine players got at least one carry, and 13 receivers caught a pass. Jackson Anthrop led the receiving corps with six catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.
MISSOURI: The only positive for Missouri was the play of Corey Fatoney, who averaged 48.2 yards per punt and killed four of them inside the Purdue 20-yard line.
From 2005-14, under coach Gary Pinkel, the Tigers made bowl games in nine out of 10 seasons and posted double-digit win totals in five of those seasons. After going 4-8 in his first season and starting this year 1-2, Odom’s Tigers appeared lost.
Odom conducted a fiery, lectern-smacking press conference after last week’s 31-13 loss to South Carolina. The next day, he fired defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross, citing “philosophical differences.” The move was surprising, since Odom calls all the defensive signals and is considered the de facto defensive coordinator. The defense struggled again against Purdue, and afterward Odom was somber and subdued.
“We’ve got decisions to make about what we’re going to be,” he said. “Like I’ve done since I’ve been a head coach, we’ll have very hard, frank and open discussions. Sometimes they’re really hard to do when you deal in truth and fact and honesty. That’s where we’re at.”
TIME AFTER TIME
Missouri, which runs its offense at one of the fastest paces in the nation, isn’t interested in winning the time-of-possession battle, but this was ridiculous. Purdue had the ball for 43:43, compared to Missouri’s 16:17.
PURDUE: The Boilermakers travel to Michigan for their Big Ten opener.
MISSOURI: The Tigers return to Southeastern Conference play with a home game against Auburn.
— Associated Press —