HARTFORD, Conn. — Fueled by four touchdown throws by Jack Plummer, three scoring catches by David Bell, and a stout performance from the defense, the Purdue football team improved to 2-0 on the year with a 49-0 win on the road at Connecticut.
It was Purdue’s first shutout since a 59-0 win against Southeast Missouri in 2011. It was UConn’s most lopsided shutout loss since a 49-0 decision against New Hampshire in 1931.
“For our defense to come out and shut them down and hold them scoreless was tremendous,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “You have to win games that you’re supposed to (win) and it’s good to get this one under our belts.”
In just one half of play, Plummer went 16-of-20 for 245 yards and four touchdowns, as Purdue put up 563 yards of total offense. Bell tallied his 12th game of more than 100 receiving yards with six catches for 121 yards.
The Boilermakers extended their streak of games with at least 20 points to 12, after pouring on 35 points in the first half. While the defense held UConn to just 168 yards in the first half, Purdue’s offense struck on five straight possessions.
Plummer connected with Bell three times on strikes of 30, 59 and eight yards, and added a 17-yard toss to Payne Durham. King Doerue scored his first rushing touchdown since 2019 on a one-yard power up the middle in the second quarter.
Bell’s three scoring catches are tied for second in Boilermakers football history. He tied Rondale Moore with 153 career receptions for 14th all-time. The Indianapolis native also moved up to second in program history with 100-yard receiving games, his 12th time over the century mark in 20 career games and ninth out of his last 11. He now has 18 career touchdowns, good for eighth by a Boilermaker, moving up from 12th at the start of the day.
“It was good to see him make some plays after the catch. We did a good job blocking on the perimeter for him, so that was great to see,” Brohm said. “He works hard, he’s dependable, reliable, does everything we ask and our quarterbacks threw to him quite a bit. While we want to spread the ball around ... David has the ability to come through on one-on-one matchups and our quarterbacks feel very comfortable throwing to him.”
Aidan O’Connell stepped under center for the first two drives of the second half to toss scores of 15 and 5 yards to Mershawn Rice and TJ Sheffield, respectively.
The Boilermaker defense held the Huskies to just 223 total yards and 99 through the air. Purdue finished with six tackles-for-loss and never allowed UConn into the redzone until late in the fourth quarter.
Seventeen different Boilermakers recorded multiple tackles, as the Huskies went just 6-of-16 on third downs and 0-of-2 on fourth.
The Purdue defense was in UConn’s face all afternoon with eight quarterback hurries and a pair of forced fumbles. George Karlaftis finished with four solo tackles, two pass breakups and his second career forced fumble. Zane Greene closed the game out with his first career interception with a minute to play in the fourth quarter.
Steven Krajewski got the start at quarterback for the Huskies and completed 14 passes for 99 yards while rushing for 42 yards on 11 carries.
Aaron Tuner led the Huskies with three catches while Robert Burns added 35 yards on the ground.
Jackson Mitchell led UConn on the defensive side of the ball with 14 tackles while Ian Swenson and Travis Jones each recorded a sack.
OTHER GAME NOTES
• Durham pulled down a touchdown in his second straight game.
• Purdue used four different quarterbacks in the win – Plummer, O’Connell, Austin Burton and Michael Alaimo.
• Plummer’s four touchdown tosses were the most by a Purdue quarterback since Elijah Sindelar’s five against Vanderbilt in 2019.
• Purdue is now 2-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2006-07. Last season, the Boilers opened the season with wins against Iowa (24-21) and Illinois (31-24).
• Branson Deen picked up his first career forced fumble.
• Purdue’s 49 points were the most since the win against No. 2 Ohio State in 2018 (49-20).
After a six-year hiatus, the Purdue-Notre Dame rivalry will be renewed for its 87th game Sept. 18 in South Bend. The Battle for the Shillelagh Trophy kicks off at 2:30 p.m. on NBC. The Huskies will hit the road Sept. 18 to square off against Army for a noon kickoff.