Purdue rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit and appeared to take the lead against Minnesota late in the fourth quarter on Friday night before a controversial call wiped out a potential game-winning touchdown. In the end, it it likely cost the Boilermakers a win as the Gophers escaped with a 34-31 victory in a Big Ten West showdown.
The play in question came on first down for the Boilermakers with just under a minute to play after they drove inside Minnesota's 20-yard-line while trailing by three points. Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer delivered a perfect strike to the corner of end zone which was reeled in by tight end Payne Durham. One official visible in the TV shot signaled a touchdown, but another official saw something different.
Durham was whistled for offensive pass interference -- though there was no visible contact on the live broadcast -- and the touchdown was wiped off the board. Plummer threw an interception on the following play to seal the outcome, and Minnesota improved to 2-3 with the win while Purdue dropped to 2-2.
Purdue coach Jeff Brohm made his displeasure with the pass interference call immediately evident on the sideline, and revealed after the game that he was not given an appropriate explanation from the officials.
"I did not get a good explanation. Your guess is as good as mine," Brohm said.
What?— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) November 21, 2020
The controversial ending took away from a great night for the Purdue offense, which outgained Minnesota 492-394. Plummer completed 35 of 42 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns. His only interception came on the play after the erased touchdown.
Star receiver Rondale Moore made his season debut for the Boilermakers and finished with 15 receptions for 116 yards, plus added in three carries for 20 yards and a touchdown.