WEST LAFAYETTE — Penn State made no bones about its desire to assert itself.
The Nittany Lions ran up 265 yards of total offense in the first half alone and scored a crippling touchdown just before haftime en route to a 34-9 win at Purdue Saturday afternoon.
On a day where the atmosphere at Ross-Ade Stadium was just as gloomy as the play for the Boilers, Penn State basked in the glow of a stellar afternoon on both sides of the ball.
Penn State held Purdue on four of five attempts on fourth down and the Boilers converted just seven of 21 third down tries in an abysmal show on offense. Purdue gained just 87 yards on the ground, 37 of which came on a first quarter rush by Akeem Shavers. That rush had Purdue at the Penn State four, but the Boilers had to settle for a Sam McCartney 21-yard field goal, its only points and subsequent lead of the game.
Penn State would run off 34 unanswered points, and did so running and throwing the ball with precision. A 42-yard pass from Matt McGloin to Bradon Moseby-Felder, who finished the game with six catches for 129 yards and a touchdown, put Penn State at the Purdue six. One play later, Michael Zordich rushed for the final six yards to give Penn State a 10-3 lead. Purdue would never get any closer.
While Purdue continued to stick around in the first half, a Zordich five-yard touchdown with 1:16 left in the half was a backbreaker as Penn State went into the lockerroom up 20-3.
“We had a tough time today,” said Purdue head coach Danny Hope. “We didn’t make plays. We probably had 10 drops. We had good field position three times and didn’t do anything with it. When they came out in the second half, they manufactured some drives that put the game out of reach.”
Zordich would finish with 33 yards in the game, but combined with the 134 from Zach Zwinak, the Lions (6-3, 4-1 Big 10) more than doubled Purdue’s rushing output. McGloin would finish his day 22-36 for 321 yards and two touchdown passes, one to Moseby-Felder and one to Jesse James.
Penn State outgained Purdue 506-375 on the day, and the Boilers had the only turnover of the day on a fumble.
Caleb Terbush and Robert Marve combined for 288 yards passing for the Boilers (3-6, 0-5) while Antavian Edison had nine catches for 93 yards and the only touchdown, which came on the final play of the game.
“We don’t have a lot of choice, we have to practice really hard and need to make a comeback, guys need to rededicate themselves,” Hope said. “We still have a chance to win the rest of our ballgames and put ourselves in position for a chance at a bowl game.”