Purdue-Minnesota football score: Recap, score, analysis for Week 6 game (October 7, 2017)
Purdue used a late, 12-yard touchdown by Markell Jones and a pick 6 from Ja’Whaun Bentley to secure a wild 31-17 win over Minnesota on Saturday. Jones’ score with 1:17 left capped a four-play, 56-yard drive that pushed the Boilermakers to 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in the Big Ten.
The game featured an 88-minute weather delay and the Boilermakers overcame an eight-point halftime deficit.
Minnesota’s entered off a loss to Maryland, while the Boilermakers licked their wounds on a bye week after a Week 4 loss to Michigan. Purdue honored recently deceased former coach Joe Tiller throughout the game, and Minnesota wore wear a special helmet decal in his honor.
Below, find our live updates featuring big plays and analysis from the game.
Purdue-Minnesota football score, live updates
Purdue 31, Minnesota 17: On a 4th down and the game on the line, Purdue linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley picked off Minnesota QB Conor Rhoda and took it back for a 76-yard touchdown return to ice the game.
Purdue 24, Minnesota 17 (1:17 4Q): Purdue goes back ahead in a hurry. Markell Jones scores a 12-yard rushing touchdown to give the Boilermakers a lead, and they add a 2-point conversion to go up by seven points. The potential game-winning drive went 56 yards in just four plays.
Minnesota 17, Purdue 16 (2:26 4Q): Minnesota retook the lead as kicker Emmit Carpenter hits a 38-yard field goal. Minnesota capped a lengthy, 17-play drive.
Purdue 16, Minnesota 14 (9:58 4Q): Purdue takes the lead with a 19-yard field goal. The Boilermakers couldn’t quite punch it in, getting the ball to the 2-yard line. After the field goal a weather delay was called as a storm heads toward West Lafayette.
Play is set to resume at 7:50 p.m. ET and the game is “likely” to switch to ESPNNews.
Minnesota 14, Purdue 13 (1:40 3Q): Purdue misses a 52-yard field goal that would have given the Boilermakers the lead. The Gophers maintain their slight advantage late in the third quarter.
Minnesota 14, Purdue 13 (10:38 3Q): The Boilermakers opened the second half with a touchdown. Backup QB Elijah Sindelar is in the game for Purdue and found D.J. Knox for a 22-yard touchdown to make it a one-point game.
Minnesota 14, Purdue 6 (HALF): Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks are leading the way, with Brooks at 76 rushing yards and Smith at 62 yards. The Boilermakers also have 4 turnovers after only two quarters.
Minnesota 14, Purdue 6 (12:13 2Q): Minnesota has taken advantage of two David Blough interceptions, turning them into scores as the Gophers lead. On the ground, Minnesota is picking up plenty of yards. Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith have combined for 122 yards. But QB Conor Rhoda has finished off drives, throwing a pair of TD passes.
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Purdue-Minnesota preview, picks
Purdue and Minnesota are two of the Big Ten’s rapidly improving programs, and Saturday’s game could be a treat for fans and an important part of the Big Ten West race. Both teams are led by new head coaches. Purdue has Jeff Brohm, and Minnesota has first-year firebrand P.J. Fleck, who came to the Gophers after they let Tracy Claeys go following his support of players after a sexual assault scandal.
Both teams are coming off losses. Minnesota suffered its first loss in Week 5 to Maryland, while Purdue fell 28-10 to Michigan for its second defeat of the year. Purdue is coming off a bye week, but the Boilermakers still have a lot of injury questions.
Purdue will be getting RB Markell Jones back, though the extend of Jones’ role is not yet clear. QB David Blough is coming off a shoulder injury suffered against Michigan, but Brohm is hopeful he will be back for this game. Purdue’s coach was not as optimistic about RB Tario Fuller, who Brohm said is “a little more of a longshot” to see action against Minnesota, so Jnes’ return comes at the right time for the Boilermakers. Minnesota’s major injury heading into Saturday is Antoine Winfield Jr., who is questionable for this game.
Minnesota’s strength is its defense, so this will be another interesting challenge for Purdue. The Gophers won’t present quite the challenge Michigan, a ferocious defense that limited Purdue to 189 total yards, did, but they’ll be a challenge nonetheless. Minnesota limited Buffalo, Oregon State and Middle Tennessee State to 4 yards per play before suffering a slight letdown and letting Maryland get 5.5 yards per play.
This is also the second time Purdue plays another team that’s truly on its level in 2017. The Boilermakers weren’t a fair match for Michigan. Ohio and Missouri have all been bad or awful this season, so Louisville in Week 1 is probably the most even matchup they’ve had yet, even if no one realized it at the time.
We’ll all have a better idea of what the Boilermakers are after this game, and it should have implications for the Big Ten West playoff race. Both Purdue and Minnesota could still be contenders in the championship race in a division without any clear No. 2. Wisconsin will be the heavy favorite to secure the top spot in the division, but should the Badgers slip up, one of these teams could be waiting in the wings. Purdue gets Wisconsin next week, while Minnesota draws the Badgers on the final Saturday of the season.
Minnesota and Purdue play again next November, and as Big Ten West teams, will face off every season. As long as Brohm and Fleck are coaching these squads, this promises to be an exciting matchup.
Purdue-Minnesota football TV channel
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.