WEST LAFAYETTE (AP) — Indiana State was painfully close to pulling off a huge win against an FBS team.
The Sycamores just made a huge mistake at the wrong time.
Ricardo Allen’s interception with 19 seconds remaining preserved Purdue’s 20-14 win over Indiana State on Saturday afternoon.
Indiana State (0-2) reached the Purdue 36-yard line in the final minute before Allen stepped in front of Mike Perish’s pass and gave Darrell Hazell his first win as Purdue’s coach.
Perish passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns for Indiana State, a FCS program that lost to Indiana 73-35 the previous week. The Sycamores were disappointed with the loss, but hopeful after putting together a much better effort. Indiana State outgained Purdue 295 yards to 284.
“We looked real good, especially in the second half, which is what we needed,” Perish said. “I was proud of our offense and I was real proud of our defense.”
Akeem Hunt returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and ran for 82 yards on 22 carries for the Boilermakers (1-1).
Indiana State played without running back Shakir Bell, who ran for 113 yards in the opener before leaving with a bruised shoulder. The Sycamores ran for just 39 yards on 22 carries against Purdue. Still, their ability to move the ball without Bell left them feeling good about their potential.
“That’s a positive for our offense, because once we get a great player like Shakir back, the possibilities are endless,” Perish said.
The Boilermakers returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. B.J. Knauf fielded the ball at the 2-yard line, then handed off to Hunt, who ran up the left sideline for the remaining 90 yards for the score 14 seconds into the game.
Purdue tried to keep the momentum going, but Hunt was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-1 from the Boilermakers’ 41.