Purdue’s loss at Rice last week was painful for the Boilers, but it may have been even worse for Southeast Missouri.
The Boilermakers took out the frustrations of last weekend’s lost in Houston on the Redhawks. Purdue hammered Southeast Missouri 59-0 at Ross-Ade Stadium, Saturday, to improve to 2-1.
It is the most points Purdue has scored under head coach Danny Hope and the shutout is the Boilermakers first since 2004.
“We played about as well as I thought we could have,” said Hope. “Our goal this week was two things; we wanted to get better and we wanted to win. Period.”
Ricardo Allen gave the Boilermakers’ defense some early momentum when he intercepted his first pass of the season. The 5’9” sophomore cornerback snagged the ball away from 6’6” Chantae Ahamefule on the Redhawks first play from scrimmage.
Purdue gave the ball right back on an O.J Ross fumble, but the defense came up big again on the ensuing Southeast Missouri drive, stopping the Redhawks on fourth and one.
The Boilers turned that defensive stand into three points on a 19-yard-field goal by Carson Wiggs.
Purdue gave up just 153 yards on defense, after surrendering an average of 406 in its first two games against Middle Tennessee and Rice.
“We absolutely had to come out here and win this game. We had to show them we are Purdue,” said defensive tackle Bruce Gaston. “I think we really came together as a team today, not just because of the shutout, but because of the way we played, the enthusiasm on the sideline, everybody was getting into it.”
The Boilermakers found the end zone in the first quarter when Akeem Shavers scored on an eight-yard run, the first of two on the day for junior running back.
Shavers finished the game with 75- yards on eleven carries. He was the leading rusher in Purdue’s most prolific offensive game in the Danny Hope-era. The Boilers racked up 393-yards on the ground and 627-yards total.
Shavers got the start because Hope suspended Ralph Bolden for a quarter due to academic issues.
Shavers said getting the bulk of the carries early help him getting going.
“I have not lag time. I go out there and get warm and get my momentum going. It’s a lot easier,” he said of starting. “That loss to Rice had us kind of down in the dumps and we didn’t like that feeling so we came out and had to change that.”
Two other Purdue running backs also found the end zone twice. Bolden scored a pair of touchdowns (1,7) in the second quarter, picking up right where Shavers left off, and freshman Akeem Hunt ran it in twice(13, 3) in the fourth quarter.
Purdue’s aerial attack was no slouch, either. Caleb TerBush started at quarterback and went 14-17 for 143 yards. The Boilermakers also got to see Robert Marve in game action for the first time in almost a year. He tore his ACL against Toledo on September 25th, 2010. Marve, and Boilermaker fans, hoped he’d be ready to play by the 2011 opener, but his recovery took longer than anticipated.
The wait was worth it.
In his first series, Marve went five-for-five for 59 yards and capped it off with a five-yard touchdown pass to Gary Bush. He finished the game 7-8 for 91 yards.
“It was a big confidence booster for us,” said TerBush of the win. “The team took a huge step forward.”
Purdue is off next week and then will host in-state foe Notre Dame, October 1st. It will be the first night game for the Boilermakers this season.