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Associated Press
Penn State’s Brandon Moseby-Felder lands on his head after making a catch against Purdue’s Ricardo Allen during the first half Saturday in West Lafayette.

Boilermakers’ season running out of steam

– It’s a new month, but the same dismal result for the Purdue football team.

The Boilermakers dropped their fifth straight game, falling to Penn State 34-9 in front of 40,098 fans Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium.

A large portion of that crowd had already headed for the exits when the Nittany Lions’ Matt McGloin completed a 41-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Moseby-Felder with 8:28 remaining in the third quarter to give Penn State a 34-3 lead.

McGloin finished with 321 passing yards and two touchdowns as the Boilermakers (3-6, 0-5 Big Ten) suffered their fourth blowout loss in five conference games.

“It’s not about fiery speeches or coaching tricks. We have to go out there and coach better, play better and execute better,” Purdue coach Danny Hope said.

“It’s not about some speeches or tricks right now, it’s about execution.”

Purdue went 0 for October. And November is off to an equally rough start.

“It’s been like a roller coaster,” said Purdue quarterback Robert Marve, who went 22 for 39 for 138 yards as he replaced Caleb TerBush as the starter.

“As a team, it’s been not what we want. I don’t know how to put it into words. It hurts, I know that.”

It was another disappointing performance for a team that began the conference season with hopes of contending for the Leaders Division title.

And it was a bad ending to a seven-day stretch that included athletic director Morgan Burke’s statement on the program, saying “currently, our performance has kept us from reaching our goals.”

“Obviously, we are disappointed with where we are at,” Hope said. “We haven’t come through during the clutch games, the big games. That’s why we are at where we are at.”

When asked if he was concerned whether he would be fired, Hope said, “No, I’m not concerned about that one bit.”

Purdue scored the game’s first points when Sam McCartney made a 21-yard field goal. It was the fourth consecutive game Purdue had scored on its opening drive.

Purdue had great field position early. Three of the first seven drives started at the 50, but the Boilermakers couldn’t produce.

The Nittany Lions (6-3, 4-1), on the other hand, had 506 total yards.

“From the defensive standpoint, there are a lot of big plays we left out there,” senior defensive tackle Kawann Short said.

Penn State scored 34 consecutive points, which included two rushing touchdowns from Michael Zordich. His second TD gave Penn State a 20-3 lead just before halftime.

McGloin threw touchdown passes to Jesse James and Moseby-Felder in the third quarter. Moseby-Felder finished with 129 receiving yards, and Zach Zwinak rushed for 134 yards.

“Purdue has a bunch of great players on their team, but we have a bunch of good players too. I gave my guys the opportunity to make great plays,” McGloin said.

Purdue will try to salvage what’s left of the season in its final three games – at Iowa, at Illinois and home to Indiana.

“You stay as positive as you can,” Marve said.

“We have to win three against teams we feel like we can compete with. But whatever we have to do to turn this thing around we have to do now.”

lpope@jg.net

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