COLUMBIA, Mo. — Purdue quarterback David Blough started his first game of the season Saturday against Missouri. He played like he never wants to give up the role.
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 five 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 one-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.”