1:00 PM ET, September 10, 2005
Ross-Ade Stadium, WEST LAFAYETTE, IN
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue ran the ball a lot more than usual, and it paid off against Akron.
Jerod Void ran for 101 yards and a score, helping Purdue to a 49-24 victory on Saturday.
Last season, Purdue recorded more than twice as many passing yards as running. Against Akron, the Boilermakers passed for 267 yards and rushed for 211.
"We ran more than we probably really wanted," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "For this game, though, it was a wise decision."
Void's 46-yard burst for a touchdown in the second quarter was a career long. He made the most of his 10 carries.
"I felt I ran well," he said. "The offensive line really opened some holes for me, and I was able to pick up some big gains."
The Boilermakers found immediate success with their new option game, a wrinkle they added in the spring.
On a third-and-short on the opening drive, quarterback Brandon Kirsch got the 1 yard he needed on an option keeper. On a second-and-goal from the Akron 13, Kirsch took the snap out of the shotgun, ran left and delivered a pitch to Ray Williams, who scored just over six minutes in.
The passing game worked well, too. In his first game as the full-time starter, Kirsch completed 22-of-34 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns for the Boilermakers (1-0).
"He did a nice job for the first time out," Tiller said. "He missed some reads, but he made some plays that looked good."
Dorien Bryant caught nine passes for 70 yards, and Dustin Keller caught two touchdown passes.
Purdue led 28-14 late in the third quarter when the Zips got down to the Purdue 5. They were held to a 22-yard field goal by Jason Swiger, however, and Purdue quickly took control. The Boilermakers went 77 yards on their next drive, which culminated with a 3-yard run by Bryant that made it 35-17.
"Purdue is a great team," Akron coach J.D. Brookhart said. "We did the best job we could."
Luke Getsy, getting his first start for the Zips (0-1) after four-year starter Charlie Frye went to the NFL, was 25-for-44 for 283 yards and two touchdowns.
Jason Montgomery caught five passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns for Akron.
The Zips haven't beaten a Big Ten opponent in more than a century and are 1-14 against the conference. Their only win came over Ohio State in 1894.
The Boilermakers converted four third-down situations on the opening drive before Williams took an option pitch 13 yards for a touchdown.
Purdue's Kory Sheets recovered Bernard Pollard's blocked punt and ran 13 yards for a touchdown to give the Boilermakers a 14-0 lead in the final minute of the first quarter.
"The two wings jumped out at Dorien and I, and that freed up Pollard to make the block," Sheets said. "The ball just bounced up, and I was able to get in."
Akron's offense got untracked early in the second quarter. Getsy's 8-yard touchdown pass to Montgomery concluded a five-play, 81-yard drive that trimmed Purdue's lead to 14-7.
Purdue responded less than a minute later when Void broke loose for a 46-yard touchdown run.
Akron running back Brett Biggs completed a 79-yard touchdown pass to Montgomery to cut Purdue's lead to 21-14 with 1:31 left in the first half.
Purdue responded by going 65 yards on six plays. Kirsch's 4-yard touchdown pass to Keller gave Purdue a 28-14 halftime lead.
Though Purdue scored six offensive touchdowns, the Boilermakers fumbled five times and lost one.
"There were signs of greatness, but we obviously didn't play up to our potential or as well as we wanted to play," Kirsch said.
Keller's two touchdowns were a surprise. The tight end caught three passes for 53 yards.
"He's improved," Kirsch said. "He understands the offense better and where he needs to go on the field."
Brookhart was pleased that his offense gained 385 yards against a defense that returned all 11 starters and ranked 15th in scoring defense last season. Still, the 25-point loss stung.
"We did some things in the passing game that we wanted to do, but overall, we have a lot of work to do," he said.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... After holding Akron to a field goal late in the third quarter, Purdue blew the game open on back-to-back TDs.
Gameball goes to... QB Brandon Kirsch, who proved there is life after Kyle Orton. Kirsch ran the offense effectively, completing 22-of-34 passes for 252 yards and 2 TDs.
Stat of the game... 1-14: Akron's all-time record against the Big Ten (The Zips haven't beaten a Big Ten opponent in more than a century. Their only win came over Ohio State in 1894).
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-13||11-18|
|4th Down Conversions||0-3||0-1|
|TD||8:58||RAY WILLIAMS 13 YD RUN (BEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 67 yards.
|TD||0:16||KORY SHEETS 13 YD BLOCKED PUNT RETURN (BEN JONES KICK)||0||14|
|TD||8:59||JASON MONTGOMERY 8 YD PASS FROM LUKE GETSY (JASON SWIGER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 81 yards.
|TD||8:07||JEROD VOID 46 YD RUN (BEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 52 yards.
|TD||1:31||JASON MONTGOMERY 79 YD PASS FROM BRETT BIGGS (JASON SWIGER KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 87 yards.
|TD||0:37||DUSTIN KELLER 4 YD PASS FROM BRANDON KIRSCH (BEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 65 yards.
|FG||2:58||JASON SWIGER 21 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 40 yards.
|TD||11:00||DORIEN BRYANT 3 YD RUN (BEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 14 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||4:12||DUSTIN KELLER 34 YD PASS FROM BRANDON KIRSCH (BEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 34 yards.
|TD||3:10||JASON MONTGOMERY 32 YD PASS FROM LUKE GETSY (JASON SWIGER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||1:19||KORY SHEETS 5 YD RUN (BEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 51 yards.