Eastern Michigan took advantage of one mistake after another by Purdue to defeat the Boilermakers 20-19 on a soggy Saturday afternoon at Ross-Aid Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind.
Kicker Chad Ryland connected on a 25-yard field goal on the final play of the game to give the Eagles (2-0) the win. The Eagles had been 1-38 all-time against the Big Ten, with their first win coming last year on the road against Rutgers.
Iowa graduate transfer Tyler Wiegers drove the Eagles 72 yards in 15 plays on the final drive, with a lot of help from the Boilermakers. A costly penalty on a sack and an interference call against Purdue kept the drive alive.
Wiegers also completed a 23-yard pass to Arthur Jackson III on a fourth-and-15 to give the Eagles a chance at the upset.
Eastern running back Breck Turner ran 9 yards to put the Eagles up 17-12 midway through the fourth quarter. But Purdue (0-2) stormed back with D.J. Knox rumbling 45 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 6:41 to go.
Purdue wanted to try a two-point conversion, but another mistake — Knox’s penalty for celebrating — forced the Boilermakers to kick the extra point from the 35-yard line.
Purdue had a sizable advantage outrushing Eastern, 341-68 yards. But the Boilermakers were unable to hold onto the ball, fumbling five times and losing two.
Wiegers completed 20 of 28 passes for 312 yards and one touchdown. He was picked off once.
For the first time in nearly 16 years, the Boilermakers had two runners rush for more than 100 yards. Knox finished with 152 yards on 21 carries. Markell Jones also had 109 yards on the ground and a touchdown on a 7-yard shovel pass.
On the first play after the extra point that gave Purdue a 19-17 lead, Kai Higgins intercepted Wiegers’ screen pass attempt after Giovanni Reviere tipped the ball.
Purdue tried to work the clock but was unable to move the ball and Spencer Evans missed a 38-yard field-goal attempt, giving Eastern Michigan another chance with 4:40 left.
After Purdue threw three interceptions in a season-opening loss to Northwestern on Aug. 30, Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm benched Elijah Sindelar as Saturday’s starter.
Redshirt senior quarterback David Blough got the start after rallying Purdue to 27 straight points in the loss to Northwestern. But Blough couldn’t move the Boilermakers offense and Brohm turned back to Sindelar.
Sindelar drove the Boilermakers to their only first-half touchdown on a nine-play, 87-yard drive late in the second period. He went 5-for-5 for 70 yards and culminated the drive with a 7-yard shovel pass to Markell Jones.
The extra-point attempt was no good and Purdue led 12-7.
—Field Level Media