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(Saturday, September 29)
Final Score: Purdue 51, Marshall 41
West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Caleb TerBush threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Purdue Boilermakers past the Marshall Thundering Herd for a 51-41 victory in a non-conference shootout at Ross-Ade Stadium.
TerBush completed 27-of-37 passes and threw one interception for Purdue (3-1), which enters conference action next week. Antavian Edison had a team-best 99 receiving yards and a touchdown on six catches. Gary Bush provided TerBush with a red zone target as he reeled in three touchdown receptions and tallied 83 yards. O.J. Ross pulled in a team-high nine catches for 69 yards while Akeem Shavers gained 73 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.
The Boilermakers' defense made a huge impact. Ricardo Allen, Josh Johnson, and Antoine Lewis all made interceptions and Kawann Short made three tackles for loss, forced a fumble, and recorded a sack.
Rakeem Cato led Marshall (2-3) by throwing for 439 yards and five touchdowns on 45-of-68 passing. Cato was sacked twice and picked off three times as he struggled with the athletic Boilermakers' defenders. Tommy Shuler set a school record with 19 receptions which he turned into 200 yards. Gator Hoskins managed to collect three touchdown receptions in the losing effort.
Purdue struck first as TerBush found Bush for a nine-yard touchdown pass at the 9:26 mark of the opening period. The Thundering Herd quickly answered with an 85-yard, 12-play drive which was concluded by a four-yard toss for a score from Cato to Antavious Wilson.
The Boilermakers were set up with great field position on their next drive due to a 35-yard kick return by Akeem Hunt. They took advantage of it as TerBush completed a 41-yard touchdown pass to Edison which put Purdue ahead by a touchdown as the game progressed into the second frame.
Marshall tied it up in the opening minute of the second quarter with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Cato to Hoskins, but Purdue was in the charge for the rest of the half.
The Boilermakers put together a 75-yard, 14-play drive which was punctuated by a two-yard touchdown run by Shavers. Just over two minutes later, TerBush completed a 35-yard pass for a score to Bush.
Allen and Johnson both returned their interceptions for touchdowns to give Purdue a 42-14 lead headed towards halftime.
Marshall finally ended the 28-0 run in the third quarter as Cato found Hoskins in the end zone on a 28-yard pass play. The Thundering Herd's special teams unit brought MU's sideline to life as Jermain Kelson blocked a punt which Derek Mitchell scooped up and returned 35 yards for a score. Justin Haig's successful extra point kick cut Purdue's lead down to 42-28.
The Boilermakers added three points just before the conclusion of the third period as Paul Griggs made a 34-yard field goal. The kick was the first field goal of Griggs' career.
Marshall continued to fight back as Cato led the offense down the field before tossing it to Hoskins in the end zone.
With the Thundering Herd closing in, Purdue's offense ended the threat by marching 78 yards down the field. TerBush was unstoppable on the key drive as he found multiple receivers during the drive before sending a seven-yard pass to Bush for a score.
Marshall added another touchdown as Cato threw a 15-yard pass for six to Craig Wilkins with 3:46 left, but the Thundering Herd ran out of time after falling behind in the first half.
Purdue and Marshall combined for 977 total yards of offense.
09/29 20:40:32 ET