EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer threw four touchdown passes in the first half, three to wide receiver David Bell, as the Boilermakers rolled over winless UConn 49-0 Saturday afternoon at Pratt & Whitney Stadium.
After punting on its first possession, Purdue (2-0) scored touchdowns on each of its next five to take a 35-0 lead at halftime.
“While things weren’t as great as we wanted on the first series or two, we found a way to regroup and played well from there,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said.
The Boilermakers, a 34-point favorite by most sports books, scored two more touchdowns with their first two drives in the second half with many second-stringers in the lineup.
Plummer completed 16 of his 20 passes, racking up 245 yards and four touchdowns. Bell caught six of the passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Both were replaced to start the second half.
In their first game under interim coach Lou Spanos, who took over Monday following Randy Edsall’s abrupt retirement, the Huskies advanced inside Purdue’s 20-yard line only once in the game.
“We feel awful. Our team feels awful that we’re not executing. We’re just disappointed for our fans,” Spanos said. “But our players, they’re teammates to each other. We’re getting closer as a team. Now, we’ve got to make sure it transfers on game day. We do good stuff in practice, but we have to do better on game day.”
UConn (0-3) has lost 28 of its last 29 games against FBS competition.
“It was great to see our guys come through and do what we needed to do in this game,” Brohm said. “When you face a team that’s going through some adversity, you have to make sure your guys come ready to play and understand that on any given day anybody can win. That’s college football.”
It was UConn’s most lopsided shutout loss since a 49-0 loss to New Hampshire Nov. 7, 1931.
UConn quarterback Steven Krajewski, making his first career start, completed 14 of his 25 passes for 99 yards. He also ran 11 times for 42 yards.
“Not where it needs to be. There’s a lot of things I can do better and cleaner,” Krajewski said when asked to evaluate his performance. “I’ll get better. My teammates will get better, the coaching will get better.”
PURDUE RB HURT
Purdue running back Zander Horvath left the game in the first quarter with an injury to his left ankle and did not return.
“Looks like Zander will probably be out for a little while,” Brohm said. “We’ll see how long that will be come (Sunday) or Monday.”
UConn honored members of its 2011 Fiesta Bowl team during a halftime ceremony. Some 15 players from that team, including star defensive tackle Kendall Reyes, attended Saturday’s game. A surprise crasher to the BCS party that season, UConn lost to Oklahoma 48-20.
The Huskies have not had a winning season since that 2010-11 campaign.
Purdue: The Boilermakers, making their farthest foray east since a 1947 trip to play Boston University, were able to get their backups nearly a full half of play on the trip.
UConn: UConn still can’t find a way to score. The Huskies have yet to score a point this season against FBS foes. They have been outscored a combined 94-0 in two games.
Purdue returns to play in the state of Indiana next week but in another road game, visiting No. 9 Notre Dame on Sept. 18 in South Bend.
UConn makes the short drive over the New York border to face Army in West Point the same day.