Freshman Brandon Talton kicked a 56-yard field goal as time expired to give Nevada a 34-31 upset of Purdue on Friday night in Reno, Nev.
The Wolf Pack (1-0) trailed the Boilermakers 31-14 late in the third quarter but rallied behind the passing of freshman quarterback Carson Strong while also taking advantage of five Purdue turnovers in the game.
Strong finished 30 of 51 for 295 yards and three touchdowns, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Cooks with 52 seconds left to tie it at 31, capping an 87-yard, 11-play drive.
Purdue quarterback Elijah Sindelar, who passed for 423 yards and four touchdowns, was then intercepted by Daniel Brown at the Nevada 49 with 38 seconds to go, but a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty forced the Wolf Pack to take over on their own 34.
Five plays later, Strong hit Cooks with a 17-yard pass to the Purdue 39 to set the stage for Talton’s dramatic game-winner.
It was just the second time in school history that Nevada defeated a Big Ten opponent.
Purdue All-America wide receiver Rondale Moore caught 11 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown but also fumbled two punts.
The Boilermakers lost despite finishing with a 519-404 edge in total yards.
Sindelar completed 34 of 52 passes including touchdown throws of 2 yards to tight end Brycen Hopkins, 38 yards to Jackson Anthrop, 39 yards to Moore and 49 yards to freshman David Bell. He was picked off twice.
In the first half, Sindelar was 21 of 28 for 268 yards and three touchdowns as the Boilermakers built up a 24-7 halftime lead.
It was the eighth 100-yard receiving game for Moore in 14 career games. Zander Horvath led the Purdue ground game with 66 yards on 19 carries.
Purdue took its largest lead, 31-14, on the touchdown pass from Sindelar to Bell on a flea flicker with 6:19 left in the third quarter.
Nevada, which got a 34-yard field goal by Talton to make it 31-17 late in the third, then closed within 31-24 with 6:56 remaining in the game on a 7-yard touchdown run by Toa Taua.
–Field Level Media