Purdue's Freshman Moore Dazzles in spite of Loss to Northwestern
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Freshman Rondale Moore set a new single game all purpose yardage record in Purdue's 2018-19 season opener Thursday night against Northwestern.
It would not be enough as Purdue suffered a heartbreaking 31-27 loss to the Wildcats.
Purdue struggled early on thanks to the passing prowess of Clayton Thorson. He led the Wildcats to a 14-0 lead in the game's first ten minutes.
But, the Wildcats had not yet been properly introduced to freshman wide receiver Rondale Moore, who provided a spark on a 37-yard kick return to set up Purdue at their own 40.
Junior quarterback Elijah Sindelar, who got the start over senior David Blough, decided to stick with Moore's heat. He hit the freshman over the middle on the drives third play for Purdue's first touchdown of the season.
Moore was not done though. After the Boilermaker defense forced a three-and-out, Purdue tied the game up on a 76-yard break from Moore.
That cutback to break loose was filthy 😯 pic.twitter.com/YoiQ18w44W
— ESPN (@espn) August 31, 2018
Moore would finish the first half with 302 all purpose yards, third most by a Purdue player for a single game all-time. Keep in mind this was Moore's first game ever in a Purdue uniform.
As good as Moore's half went, Purdue's seemed to do the opposite. Northwestern was able to capitalize with 21 points off three interceptions thrown by Elijah Sindelar, putting the Wildcats up 31-17 at halftime.
DJ Knox got Purdue within striking distance on a 49-yard run early in the second half which set up his 2-yard touchdown run cutting it to 31-24. Later, David Blough and the Purdue offense drove 14 plays for 76 yards setting up a 27-yard field goal by Spencer Evans.
This series of good fortune also secured the all-time single game all purpose yardage record for Rondale Moore, passing Otis Armstrong's record from the Old Oaken Bucket Game against Indiana in 1972.
The score now 31-27 to start the 4th quarter, Purdue had held Northwestern scoreless so far in the second half. However, Northwestern's clock management proved key down the stretch.
On the game's final drive, the Wildcats ran the ball back and ran down the clock. Purdue Head Coach Jeff Brohm had exhausted his three timeouts.
Purdue stopped the Wildcats on 3rd down with 2:43 left in hopes of giving themselves one final shot for the win. Those hopes were killed when a personal foul was called on DT Lorenzo Neal as the play as a final 3rd down run was ending from Jeremy Larkin.
The automatic first down sealed the win for Northwestern.
— Kurt Darling (@WIBCKurtDarling) August 31, 2018
(PHOTO: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)