Purdue Ruins Rocket Season Opener

Purdue collected 494 yards of offense and Boilermaker quarterback Curtis Painter threw for four scores and 251 yards on 14 completions as the Purdue offense was too much for Toledo to handle in a disappointing 52-24 loss to open the 2007 season. Jalen Parmele ran for 95 yards and a score in the loss.

TOLEDO - Rockets running back DaJaune Collins opened the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown scamper down the right sideline near the middle of the first quarter, and Toledo capitalized on a Purdue fumble at the start of the second, but missed assignments, penalties and missed tackles led to two long Boilermaker scoring drives near the end of the first half and the Boilermakers rolled Toledo to the tune of 52-24 in the final 30 minutes of play in a season opener that might have provided more questions than answers to the Midnight Blue and Gold faithful.

Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter threw for 252 yards and four scores, including two in the pivotal second quarter, to lead the charge for Purdue. The loss is the first home opener dropped in the Tom Amstutz era of Toledo Rocket football.

"I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to judge my football team by one game," Amstutz said following the 52-24 loss. "I give purdue, though, a lot of credit. Their offense is legit. They were the top unit in the Big Ten last season and they return a lot of their players. I like the way our team started out for a quarter-and-a-half but the game then started to slip away from us a little bit. At the same time, Purdue gained momentum, so now we have to regroup fast with a conference contest next week."

DuJuane Collins put Toledo on top 7-0 with 8:31 left in the opening quarter. With the ball on the Purdue 35-yard line, DaJuane Collins dropped the Aaron Opelt hand-off, but picked the ball back up before sweeping around the right corner and racing 35 yards to the endzone.

However, on the Boilermakers ensuing possession, the Purdue offense kicked it into gear with a 61-yard touchdown drive, all on the ground.

"They had good opportunities and they took advantage of them. We didn't take full advantage of our opportunities to keep the momentum on our side," said linebacker Greg Hay.

After getting the ball back behind a quick defensie stop, Purdue went on top for the first time with an 80-yard touchdown pass from Painter to tight end Dustin Keller.

Jalen Parmele would tie the score with a 4-yard touchdown run, but from that point forward it was all Purdue.

"Our team needs to improve on both sides of the ball," Amstutz continued. "But our defense has to be a lot better and control things more. Also, our offense needs to be more consistent. We have to do a better job of putting the ball on target and making catches. Plain and simple, we need to do a better job in our execution."

Purdue pulled ahead for good towards the end of the second quarter when Painter found tight end Kyle Adams over the top for a 28-yard score. After a quick Rocket three and out, Purdue doubled their lead with a 91-yard drive that was capped off with a five-yard pass to Selwyn Lymon.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Painter connected on his final touchdown pass of the game, an acrobatic catch from wide receiver Greg Orton, from 34-yards out to put the game out of reach.

After a Rocket field goal, Purdue's Dorian Bryant took back the kickoff 91-yards for a touchdown and the teams exchanged scores over the final minutes of play.

Toledo opens MAC play with a critical game at Central Michigan next weekend.


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