WEST LAFAYETTE - He helped to lead his team to the majority of their 576 yards on Saturday, but frankly Danny Hope wasn't impressed.
It wasn't that he thought Caleb TerBush wasn't giving effort. He acknowledged that the quarterback dealt with an illness that nearly kept him out of Purdue's game with Eastern Michigan.
"He was out of sorts," said Hope of his quarterback's game-which he 16-of-24 for 158 yards and two touchdowns compared to an interception-which was returned for a touchdown by the Eagles.
in the end, however, it was TerBush's ability to hand the ball off that would prove just as valuable on a day which the Boilermakers showed their greatest offensive threat: Speed.
On four different occasions Purdue broke a play for more than 40 yards for a touchdown-three coming in the first half to turn a close game in the second quarter into an easy 54-16 victory over Eastern Michigan Satuday at Ross Ade Stadium.
It improves Purdue's record to 2-1 on the season after heartbreaking final second loss to Notre Dame last week. But its those major plays that picked up the spirits of the Boilermakers after 60 minutes on Saturday.
"We have a lot of team speed," said Hope of the offese. "We try to get the ball into our fastest player's hands that way we are able to manufacture big plays."
Doing so the most was sophomore running back Akeem Moss, who enjoyed his finest game as a Purdue player to date. He scored on touchdowns of 50 and 56 yards and led the team in rushing with 106 yards on just four carries.
Akeem Shavers had the first major scoring run of 40 yards to put Purdue ahead to start the game while Brandon Cottom followed Moss' first touchdown with an 87-yard dash of his own for a score in the second quarter.
"That's the type of offense that we have," said Moss of the unit's potential for big plays. "We might be able to break one if we put it into a playmaker's hands."
Getting into Moss' finally helped the game break open after a bit of a sluggish middle of the first half. Purdue watched their early 13-point lead get trimmed to four on an interception touchdown by Pudge Cotton and a field goal off a Boilermakers fumble.
But Moss' sprint down the sidelines and into the endzone pushed the lead back to 11 and Purdue was literally off an running from there. Cottom followed soon after with his run in which he broke free from defenders at the line of scrimmage and then raced away from defenders for the score.
It built momentum for the Boilermakers-who would go onto score four more rushing touchdowns on their way to picking up 394 yards on the ground.
"We have a lot of great athletes on this team, all our receivers, all our running backs," said Cottom of why the team has the ability to break big plays. "The lineman are very athletic too. We just have an all-around athletic team.
"Today was a showcase of what we can do."