Defense, Blough shine as Purdue throttles Missouri 35-3

Boilermakers win back-to-back games for the first time since 2012

Mike Carmin
Journal & Courier
Sep 16, 2017; Columbia, MO, USA; Purdue Boilermakers running back Tario Fuller (25) scores a touchdown as Missouri Tigers safety Thomas Wilson (8) defends in the first half at Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the first time since 2012, Purdue has won back-to-back games.

And win No. 2 was more impressive than the first one against Ohio last week at Ross-Ade Stadium.

The Boilermakers scored on its first three possessions and the defense shut down Missouri’s high-powered offense en route to a 35-3 victory at Faurot Field. Purdue hadn't won consecutive games since the end of the 2012 regular season when it beat Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. 

"I think it's a huge win," coach Jeff Brohm "An SEC team on the road in this fashion, I couldn't be prouder. I knew we had a chance to win; I didn't think we would win in this dominant of a fashion." 


With two wins in the first three games, Purdue is ahead of a pace most fans expected heading into Big Ten schedule.

Before the season, winning on the road against a program from the Southeastern Conference wasn’t believed to be possible for this program, knowing the roster limitations. But what Jeff Brohm has put together in the first three weeks has been nothing short of impressive.

The offense improves each week and Saturday’s performance by the defense was as good as it’s been in recent years. Based on the first three games and a handful of winnable games on the schedule, it’s not out of the question that the Boilermakers could land in a bowl game, based on the current play.  

"Biggest one since we’ve been here," quarterback David Blough said.  


On its second possession, D.J. Knox burst through the middle of the line and had the ball knocked out. The ball scooted ahead about 10 yards and receiver Gregory Phillips recovered.

Three plays later – following two penalties on the Boilermakers – Tario Fuller scored on a 36-yard run. In fact, Fuller accounted for the final 61 yards on the drive after Purdue faced second-and-21. The game easily could’ve swung in Missouri’s favor, but the Boilermakers overcame their own mistakes to increase the lead to two touchdowns.

"Coach Brohm trusts us to bounce back in those situations," Blough said. "The guys didn’t even flinch." 



Defense, defense and more defense. The Boilermakers put the clamps on an offense that was averaging more than 600 yards in the first two games. The Tigers had 91 at halftime and finished with 203 yards. Markus Bailey had an interception, setting up Purdue’s third-quarter score. Missouri’s only effective drive was 39 yards on four plays to end the first half.

Blough, who made his first start of the season, was nearly perfect. He was 15 of 17 in the first half – one drop and the other incompletion was thrown away – for 147 yards. He finished 22 of 28 for 187 yards and one touchdown.

"I thought David played very well," Brohm said. "Very efficient. Made plays, made a few plays with this feet. Didn’t turn the ball over and those are the things that you want. I see improvement." 

Fuller gave the offense another strong rushing effort, gaining 90 yards on 19 carries. Overall, 13 different players caught passes from Blough and Elijah Sindelar.


Not much.

Two potential key injuries – linebacker T.J. McCollum and cornerback Da’Wan Hunte 0 are worth tracking. They didn’t return.

Brohm said McCollum suffered an injury in practice and tried to go Saturday. 

"I don’t think it’s real serious but if it’s a hamstring or an upper hamstring, I don’t know how long it will take," Brohm said. 

Sindelar’s interception went through the hands of tight end Brycen Hopkins and was caught by Thomas Wilson, setting up a field goal to close out the first half. J.D. Dellinger missed two field goal attempts.

Otherwise, the Boilermakers controlled this game from start to finish.


The last time Purdue played Missouri, quarterback Mark Herrmann completed 22 of 28 passes in the Liberty Bowl victory. On Saturday, Blough was 22 of 28.  


Purdue’s Jared Sparks and Missouri’s Adam Sparks did line up against each other early in the fourth quarter. Jared was playing receiver and Adam played cornerback.

"We were both focused but after the play, after the whistle was blown, we gave each other a pat on the back and gave a little chuckle to let each other know we were there," Jared said.  

Later, Jared Sparks played quarterback with his younger brother on the field. 



Purdue welcomes Michigan for Homecoming next week. It’s the Wolverines’ first appearance at Ross-Ade Stadium since 2012. Michigan is 3-0 after Saturday’s victory over Air Force.