MINNEAPOLIS — A bad season appeared to get worse for the Gophers and their struggling defense on Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium, when Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer connected with tight end Payne Durham on what appeared to be a go-ahead 19-yard touchdown pass with 52 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The touchdown would have given Purdue a 37-34 lead after the Boilermakers had trailed most of the game. But the Gophers, who gave up 492 yards of offense, got some much-needed relief in the form of a pass interference call on Durham for apparently using his right arm to create separation with cornerback Phillip Howard at the 3-yard line.
“I really couldn’t see it,” Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said of the call. “I was blocked from it. But you watch the replay and they called a penalty. … When I saw the replay, it could have probably went either way. But there’s a lot of contact. You look at it, it’s a penalty. There are some other things (on) our side that you don’t think are a penalty at times, but it’s a bang-bang play and those things get called. It happened to swing towards our favor, if it happened to be a penalty. I didn’t get a great look at it, and even in the replay, I didn’t get a great, great look at it because it only showed the end. I don’t have a lot of information for you on that one.”
Purdue coach Jeff Brohm was livid on the sideline but was careful with his words afterward. “I think you know what I think,” Brohm said when told no one liked the call, at least on the Purdue side. “I don’t like it a lot. But I can’t really comment on it, it’s part of the game and we’ve got to move forward. But, yes, I didn’t like it at all.”
The call moved the ball to the Gophers’ 34-yard line and Plummer’s next pass was picked off by Josh Aune at the 13 to give Minnesota a 34-31 victory. It was the Gophers’ second win of the season.
You can see the replays of the call below to decide for yourself.
Here's the angle with the extended arm they appear to have considered a push off pic.twitter.com/Q9QXr0zwzL
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) November 21, 2020