WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — When Jeff Brohm left Western Kentucky for a struggling Purdue program, he promised to bring an entertaining, high-scoring offense to a Boilermaker team that was 9-39 during the past four seasons.
Brohm didn’t disappoint Friday night during his first home game, watching the new-look Boilermakers amass 558 yards.
David Blough led Purdue on a 24-0 first-half run and the Boilermakers pulled away for a 44-21 victory over Ohio for Brohm’s first program victory.
Sophomore Elijah Sindelar started at quarterback and helped Purdue (1-1) take a 10-7 lead. But Blough took over with 11:07 remaining in the second quarter and produced 24 points in four possessions, including a 62-yard touchdown pass to Cole Herdman and a 31-yarder to Anthony Mahoungou.
Blough had six completions in seven attempts for 172 yards in the first half. He added a 5-yard TD pass to Jackson Anthrop in the third and finished 11-for-13 passing for 235 yards and three scores.
“Tonight was huge,” Blough said. “Coach Brohm is so big on just a one-game season, and this was the next one up. We had to win this one. Having a good team in Ohio that is supposed to win their conference come in and play hard in front of our crowd, this was the most fun I’ve had playing football in about two years.”
Tario Fuller led Purdue with 16 rushes for 142 yards and his first career touchdown. He had just eight carries for 29 yards last week against No. 17 Louisville.
“There’s nothing better than having confidence and knowing that you know what you are doing,” Fuller said. “I got out there, and it did not matter what Ohio was bringing. I’m going to pick it up, and that helps us.”
Brohm said Fuller’s effort was the perfect complement to Blough and Sindelar.
“Tario has a great attitude, and he came ready to play,” Brohm said. “He got yards after contact. I know he was happy with his performance. Good football teams have balance, and that takes pressure off the quarterback. We have two solid quarterbacks.”
The Bobcats (1-1), who opened the season with a 59-0 victory against Hampton, closed to within 10-7 on A.J. Ouellette’s 4-yard run with 27 seconds left in the first quarter, but the second quarter was all Purdue. The Boilermakers ran 35 first-half plays for 360 yards.
“Offensively, they have balance,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said of Purdue. “They are capable of beating you with the running game or the throwing game. There is a lot of imagination in the offense.”
A crowd of 45,633 attended Purdue’s first night game with the new permanent lights.
Ohio: Like Purdue, the Bobcats play two quarterbacks, although Nathan Rourke and Quinton Maxwell struggled against a Boilermaker defense that forced two first-half turnovers, leading to 10 Purdue points.
Purdue: Blough appears to have the upper hand to make the start on Sept. 16 at Missouri. Sidelined for two weeks in August with a right shoulder sprain, Blough was precise and in a rhythm.
DOUBLE QB ACTION
Brohm said he’ll continue to use Sindelar and Blough.
“I know it can be risky, but we have two solid quarterbacks. David came in tonight and got hot, but we will be better if we have two guys that can play the position.”
Purdue leads the series 8-0 and has outscored the Bobcats 264-47.
Ohio hosts Kansas on Sept. 16.
Purdue plays at Missouri on Sept. 16.