WEST LAFAYETTE – If anyone was feeling chipper at Ross-Ade Stadium Saturday, likely they were wearing maroon and gold. The Central Michigan Chippewas looked very stout in a 38-17 win at Purdue in a game littered with Boilermaker miscues.
The Boilermakers committed three turnovers, were flagged for a handful of costly penalties, and failed to convert numerous third and fourth-down situations a week after looking very impressive offensively against Western Michigan.
Central Michigan, on the other hand, were up to the task in making its chances count. An interception return by Brandon Greer on Purdue’s first drive covered 43 yards for a touchdown. Two missed tackles on a Cooper Rush pass to Anthony Rice allowed the Chippewa receiver to scamper 65 yards for another score. A fumble by Raheem Mostert allowed Central Michigan add another field goal.
Purdue also committed seven penalties for 69 yards while Central Michigan committed just one penalty for a mere five yards on the afternoon.
“We just were not sharp in any phase, we had too many penalties,” said head coach Darrell Hazell. “We just need to get better in all phases. We had too many bone-headed plays.”
The Chippewas had a great performance from running back Thomas Rawls, who rushed 31 times for 160 yards and two touchdowns. The Boilermakers, which allowed 213 rushing yards to Western Michigan in week one, gave up 195 yards to the Chippewas.
Rush was also efficient throwing the ball, hitting 11 of 16 targets for 172 yards and two scores. The win gives Central Michigan its first victory in the series, spanning six games.
On the other side of the coin, Purdue didn’t have many moments to celebrate but did have a bright spot in changing its quarterback. Starting signal caller Danny Etling struggled throwing the ball, completing 17 of 32 passes for 126 yards, not catastrophic numbers, but Etling was intercepted twice and missed badly on a handful of third-down passes. Austin Appleby was brought in during the fourth quarter.
Appleby’s first pass went for a 23-yard touchdown pass to Danny Anthrop, which awoke the scattered crowd of 36,410 and brought the Boilers back to a 31-17 deficit. Central Michigan, however, would need just two more drives to seal the win, with Rawls finding the end zone from 16 yards.
Appleby was 7-17 for 78 yards and was intercepted late in the game. Etling added 57 rushing yards and a touchdown for Purdue, just one yard off the team lead of 58 yards accrued by Mostert.
“Danny wasn’t in rhythm at all today,” Hazell said. “We gotta figure out why. Austin came in and made a couple plays but we’ll need to get that fixed this week.
“I’m not disappointed in the effort at all,” continued Hazell. “We just made too many mistakes and didn’t execute.”
Central Michigan (2-0) will host Syracuse next Saturday while Purdue (1-1) will look forward to a Saturday night game at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.