The crowd at Faurot Field erupted in cheers late in the first quarter. A 65-yard punt by Corey Fatony had hung high in the air before it was downed at the Purdue (2-1) four-yard line. That was the loudest the Missouri (1-2) faithful would get for the entire game.
It was mostly boos from then on. The Tigers looked that bad, and the Boilermakers looked that good in their 35-3 win over Mizzou on Saturday. “We came up short on both sides of the ball,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said.
Allowing 477 total yards and five touchdowns certainly isn't the improvement fans expected after the firing of former defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross earlier this week. The defense arguably played worse than it did in the Missouri State scare.
Missouri's offense was similarly inept against a Purdue team not known for its defense. The Tigers went 2-for-11 on third down, picked up only 10 first downs to 26 for Purdue, and were held to 203 total yards.
Drew Lock posted his worst stat line of the season: 12-28, 133 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Damarea Crockett didn't see the field until 10 minutes into the game and ran the ball only 10 times for 19 yards.
“I don't think he's (Crockett) 100 percent, but he's close to it,” Odom said. “We didn't have much room to run up front no matter which back was in there.”
David Blough was nearly perfect for the Boilermakers, completing 22 of 28 passes for 187 yards, passing for a touchdown, and rushing for a touchdown. Elijah Sindelar threw for 85 yards, a score, and a pick.
In the first half alone Purdue outgained Missouri 370-91 and took a 28-3 lead into the break. Purdue, known to be a pass-heavy team, found early success against Mizzou on the ground and finished with 205 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Blough froze Terry Beckner Jr. on a pump fake before slipping past the lineman for a 5-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the game. Following a quick Missouri three-and-out, Purdue appeared to score again on a short pass that Terry Wright Jr. took 55 yards for a touchdown.
The play was called back on a penalty, but it didn't matter much. The Boilermakers put the points right back on the board two plays later on a 36-yard scamper by Tario Fuller.
Early in the second quarter, spell back Richie Worship punched in a 3-yard touchdown and extended the Purdue lead to 21. Missouri caught a break when the Boilermakers missed a field goal following a muffed punt by Richaud Floyd, but next came one of the most embarrassing sequences of the season.
False start. False start. Holding. False start. The Missouri offensive line committed four consecutive penalties and quickly evaporated any hopes of coming away with points on the drive.
Purdue answered by subbing in Sindelar who completed a 54-yard pass to Cole Herdman on his first throw of the game. Sindelar would then find Jackson Anthrop wide open in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown to make the Purdue lead 28-0 and the blowout of Missouri official.
By the fourth quarter the majority of the fans had filed out of Memorial Stadium. Even the student section was almost entirely empty. “If we go and win games, there will be more fans. If we don't, there won't,” Odom said.
Last week against South Carolina it was drops, special teams miscues, and offensive red zone inefficiency that doomed the Tigers. This week, it was everything.
“It's time to produce some results, and time to carry over what we've done and worked for the last few months,” Odom said. “We've got to find a way to get it done on the field.”
Missouri will have that chance on Sept. 23 against No. 15 Auburn (2-1). The last time these two teams met was in Auburn's 59-42 SEC Championship victory in 2013. Kickoff will either be at 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m and the game will air on SEC Network or ESPN2.
“The group in the locker room was affected by it, obviously.” Odom said when asked about the morale of his team following the loss. “It stung them pretty good. We have to regroup and build on it and find out where we're going from here.”
Missouri has plenty to fix, and fast, or the Tigers won't be going anywhere this season.