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The 3-2-1: Purdue's win at Minnesota

Coach Jeff Brohm posted his second win against Minnesota.
Coach Jeff Brohm posted his second win against Minnesota.

PDF: Purdue-Minnesota statistics

After a disappointing 2-2 start, Purdue punched back in a big way on Saturday, winning at previously unbeaten Minnesota 20-10, exorcising one of Its Big Ten West demons from recent years.

The Boilermaker defense held Minnesota down all game long, then sealed with the win with Cam Allen's interception in the final minutes, his second of the game. It was the last of the three turnovers the Boilermaker defense generated.

Devin Mockobee ran for 112 yards and carried the offensive drive that essentially put the game away, breaking off a 68-yard run, then scoring the touchdown Minnesota allowed him to, putting Purdue up 10. It was the Boilermakers' only touchdown of the second half.

All 10 of Purdue's second half points came in the final five minutes of the game.

Three things from the game ...

• Exceptional game from Purdue's defense without much help from the offense for virtually this entire game. The Boilermakers held up very well against the sort of really physical Big Ten running game that you had to wonder about how they'd stack up.

They sold out to stop the run, but remained solid against the pass.

• Aidan O'Connell played this week after missing the FAU game, but he didn't have his A game. His two first-half Interceptions did hold Purdue back when it was given every opportunity to really control this game. Didn't look like O'Connell had the same zip on his passes as usual and missed practice time is never helpful for quarterbacks.

O'Connell was 27-of-40 for 199 yards and two interceptions, but he did guide the go-ahead field goal drive prior to Mockobee's touchdown and he did convert a really important third down with his legs on that drive.

• Purdue simply must get more points on the board during first halves. After averaging 11 points in the first halves of losses to Penn State and Syracuse and the narrow win over FAU, the Boilermakers opened the game with a superb touchdown drive, then next to nothing else. They're only other three points came off a reckless fourth-down failure by Minnesota deep in its own territory.

The Boilermakers were asking too much of this defense, which held Minnesota to 16 first half rushing yards, came up big in the red zone and grabbed two INTs — one of them, albeit, being dumb luck off a Minnesota dropped touchdown — and Purdue came out with just a 10-3 halftime lead to show for it.

The defense, though, put up an extraordinary 60 minutes.