(Saturday, September 5th)
Final Score: Purdue 52, Toledo 31
West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Ralph Bolden rushed the ball 21 times for 234 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Purdue Boilermakers in a 52-31 triumph of the Toledo Rockets in non-conference play at Ross-Ade Stadium.
It was the first start for Bolden, whose rushing total ranks third in school history. Joey Elliot, making his first start, completed 17-of-28 pass attempts for the Boilermakers (1-0), accumulating 220 yards and three touchdown in the win. He, however, was also picked off three times. Keith Smith was Elliot's favorite target, making eight catches for 117 yards and one score.
Toledo (0-1) was guided by Aaron Opelt, who completed 41-of-67 pass attempts for 423 yards and three scores. Stephen Williams had a huge day with 15 catches for 185 yards and two scores, while Eric Page finished the game with 12 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown.
The Boilermakers got off to a fast start, when Bolden ripped off a 78-yard touchdown run on the opening possession.
Purdue got back on the scoreboard minutes later, when Jaycen Taylor scored on a 43-yard run.
The Boilermakers made it a 21-0 contest early in the second quarter on an 11- yard pass from Elliot to Smith.
Toledo responded on its next possession when Opelt hooked up with Page for a 34-yard touchdown strike.
The Rockets were back on the board minutes later when Opelt and Williams connected for a nine-yard score to make it a 21-14 contest.
Purdue answered the call when Elliot found Carlos Keith from 24 yards out late in the first half to give Purdue a 28-14 lead.
The Boilermakers extended their lead on the final play of the first half when Carson Wiggs drilled a 59-yard field goal to give the Boilermakers a 31-14 advantage at the break.
Purdue continued to roll in the third quarter, as Jaycen Taylor pounded his way in from one-yard out for a touchdown.
Elliot extended his team's lead to 45-14 midway through the third quarter, when he hooked up with Antavian Edison for a 15-yard scoring strike.
Toledo refused to go away without a fight, as DaJuane Collins scored on a five-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.
The Rockets made it a 45-24 game early in the fourth quarter, when Alex Steigerwald drilled a 48-yard field goal.
Toledo got back on the board minutes later, as Opelt hooked up with Williams for a 42-yard touchdown pass.
Purdue responded minutes later with the final score of the game, when Bolden raced in from 14 yards out to secure the 52-31 victory.
The Boilermakers offense was clicking on all cylinders, accumulating 25 first downs on 535 yards of total offense.
Today's game marked the debut of two new head coaches, Tim Beckman of Toledo and Danny Hope of Purdue.
09/05 17:40:54 ET