Photo Credit: Keegan Shaw

The Boilermaker Train Flattens Ohio Football

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Ohio Football left Peden Stadium last Saturday after a 59-0 thrashing of the Hampton Pirates but apparently forgot to get on the bus to West Lafayette, Indiana, where they were dismantled 44-21 by the Purdue Boilermakers.

The Bobcats quickly felt the force of Purdue’s ground-and-pound attack at Ross-Ade Stadium. the Boilermakers rumbled for 263 yards on the ground, highlighted by Tario Fuller’s 16 attempts for 142 yards and his first career touchdown.

The Bobcats struggled throughout the night as Purdue out paced them but that didn’t seem to faze senior Ohio linebacker, Chad Moore.

“They’re human beings just like us. We can tackle them. They were nothing special, we just couldn’t execute,” Moore said in his postgame interview.

Nathan Rourke replaced Quinton Maxwell at quarterback early in the first quarter and provided a spark to the offense. That allowed senior running back A.J. Ouellette to find the end zone for the first time this season, making it a 10-7 game in favor of Purdue. It felt like the momentum had shifted a little bit for head coach Frank Solich’s squad.

Unfortunately for the green and white, a gassed Ohio defense wasn’t able to stop the dynamic run game of Purdue. Fuller continued to race down the field with ease, making the game 17-7 after a 1-yard rushing touchdown. Ohio began a decent drive of their own, but the first fumble of Ouellette’s career brought it to a screeching halt.

With that, the Boilermakers dusted off their book of tricks and Purdue quarterback David Blough found Cole Herdman for a 62-yard score off a double flea-flicker, making it a 24-7 game.

Towards the end of the first half, Dorian Brown committed the second Ohio fumble on the night, setting up Purdue with decent field position and 29 seconds to play with.

21 more than they needed.

Blough hit a crossing Anthony Mahoungou to make it 34-7, putting the game on ice before halftime. The junior completed six-of-seven passes for 172 yards in the first half alone and finished the night 11-for-13 through the air for 235 yards and three scores.

While the offense was having a hard time finding chemistry, it’s hard to stop a team that establishes the run like Purdue did.

“Once they got the running game going, and we were not able to control that at all, that led to everything else going pretty good for them,” Solich said in his postgame comments.

The one bright side for the Bobcats was quarterback Nathan Rourke who looked solid throughout the night. The sophomore broke several tackles and picked up first downs on plays that had no business staying alive. The Canadian finished the game 16-for-23, with 236 yards passing and a late touchdown to redshirt freshman wide receiver Cameron Odom. One could argue that Rourke earned an opportunity to start next week for the ‘Cats, but it’s not on his radar:

“I’m not really worried about that. I’m more worried about getting better,” Rourke said outside the locker room following the game.

The Bobcats have an extra day of rest ahead of next Saturday’s matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks, a team they beat 37-21 last year. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium.