Purdue QB Aidan O'Connell didn't practice the team's game-winning reverse play against Nebraska
Purdue was without starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar going into the game against Nebraska on Saturday.
The Boilermakers went with Jack Plummer, the backup, to lead the way. Plummer did that and helped get Purdue its win. However, Plummer didn’t finish the game.
Third-string quarterback Aidan O’Connell did. The Boilermakers needed a game-winning drive to defeat Nebraska and O’Connell led the team down the field for a touchdown to win 31-27.
On the game-winning play, Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm went into his bag of tricks and called a reverse for Purdue to run. The reverse worked. The Boilermakers scored and won the game.
And the man pitching the ball to wide receiver David Bell was O’Connell.
Again, O’Connell is the team’s third-string QB. How much did he practice that reverse play during the week leading up to the Nebraska game?
On #Purdue's game-winning TD vs Nebraska. QB Aidan O'Connell didn't run it in practice. It's called a mental rep.
“Sometimes, that’s all you get"
O'Connell rescues Purdue with impressive game-winning drive https://t.co/KJY8nl9R2G via @jconline
— mike carmin (@carmin_jc) November 3, 2019
This is a bit surprising since O’Connell was technically the backup (due to Sindelar’s injury) going into the game. The reverse play isn’t exactly a staple of Purdue’s, though. It’s certainly more of a niche, trick play.
Regardless, well done by O’Connell to perform the play perfectly while only getting “mental” reps throughout the week.