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Miscues, penalties, and turnovers cost the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday afternoon at Ross-Ade Stadium as they lost to Eastern Michigan 20-19. The Boilermakers had trouble hanging onto the ball on a rainy afternoon as they had five fumbles while losing two of them. The remnants of creating penalties hurt and cost them on several occasions.

The first one came when Purdue scored with 59 seconds left on a 7-yard shovel pass from Elijah Sindelar to Markell Jones. It gave the Purdue the lead at 12-7 when kicker Spencer Evans hooked the PAT wide right to keep the Boilermaker lead at five. On the Eagles ensuing possession, they were able to go 65 yards in five plays but had to settle for a field goal from 27 yards out by Chad Ryland to cut the score to 12-10 right before halftime.

The 3rd quarter flew by quick as both teams were unable to muster much offense as both teams were scoreless in the quarter. Purdue did have an opportunity but was stuffed when DJ Knox was tackled after a 1-yard run on 4th and three from the EMU 45 with 31 seconds left to go in the quarter.

With the 4th Quarter commencing, Eastern Michigan was forced to punt after a three and out. Purdue had decent field position when on the second play of the drive, Markell Jones fumbled the ball after a 13 yard run which was recovered by the Eagles Calderon. Fortunately, the Boilermakers forced another punt, but then Purdue was forced to punt after a three and out themselves.

After a 30-yard punt from Joe Schopper gave EMU great field position, they were able to capitalize on a four-play drive when Breck Turner scored untouched on a nine-yard run to give the Eagles the lead back at 17-12 with 7:56 left to go in the game.  However, it didn’t take the Boilermakers long to regain the lead. A four-play 64 yard drive was converted by DJ Knox on a 45-yard run. Unfortunately, Knox committed an unsportsmanlike penalty when he slid out of end zone forcing Purdue to convert the PAT from 38 yards to make the score 19-17 with 6:41 left in the game.

Eastern Michigan’s next possession was short lived when Kai Higgins deflected Wiegers pass and was able to corral it in for the interception. With Purdue in excellent field position, the drive stalled after replay confirmed that Sindelar’s pass to Jared Sparks was ruled incomplete. It was due to Sparks barely having a foot out of bounds on which would have been a sensational catch that would have been a touchdown if his foot was inbounds! Disaster struck for the Boilermakers as Evans hooked a 38-yard field goal attempted wide right with 4:51 left.

After the missed field goal it would be the last time Purdue would have the ball in the game as EMU went 72 yards in 15 plays. During the drive, there was a controversial penalty when Cornel Jones sacked Wiegers on third and eight on the Eagles 35, but Jones was flagged for a Personal Foul for knocking Wiegers down as he was getting up after the sack. After a sack by Jones and Markus Bailey to create a fourth and 15, Wiegers hit Arthur Jones for 23 yards to keep the drive alive for Eastern Michigan.

A false start pushed the EMU back to the Purdue 35 when Wiegers tried to hit Jones again but pass interference was called on Dedrick Mackey which pushed the ball to the Boilermaker 20. Ian Eriksen had runs of 2, 3, and 10 yards to get the ball to the five when Wiegers lost two yards centering the ball in the middle of the field at the seven-yard line and clocked the ball with four seconds left when Chad Ryland calmly kicked a 24-yard field goal to win the game for the Eagles.

The Boilermakers fall to 0-2 and have no easy task next week when Missouri tries to avenge a 35-3 drubbing last year from Purdue. The Eagles move to 2-0 and travel to Buffalo.

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