Don't be alarmed, but Purdue scored 43 points on Saturday.
Yeah. That Purdue.
After a 1-11 finish a season ago and an abysmal offensive attack that ranked last in the Big Ten in just about every category, the Boilermakers exploded in their season-opening game against Western Michigan for 43 points on 407 yards of offense. And they won, which was probably more important.
Now, Western Michigan isn't Alabama. The Broncos went 1-11 last season, too. But it didn't matter who Purdue was playing last season, the points weren't coming. The season-high in points was 36, coming in a 20-point season-finale loss to Indiana and the Hoosiers' porous defense. Outside that game, the next-best output was 24.
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Even in their lone win, which came against FCS foe Indiana State, the Boilermakers only scored 20 points.
Compare that to Saturday, when the Boilermakers had no trouble getting down the field and getting in the end zone.
Raheem Mostert had a breakout game out of the backfield, rushing for 146 yards. As a team, Purdue rushed for 226 yards and three touchdowns.
Go check last year's numbers and let that sink in. Purdue was the worst rushing team in the conference in 2013.
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On top of that, quarterback Danny Etling threw for 181 yards with a touchdown and no picks.
So while Purdue still has plenty of issues — the Boilermakers defense allowed 34 points and 456 yards to a team that went 1-11 last season — this was an extremely positive sign, and it looks like there might have been some real improvement this offseason. We'll know for sure when Purdue sees Notre Dame in the Boilermakers' third game.