Mikey Keene hit Erik Brooks with a 22-yard touchdown pass with 59 seconds left Saturday, lifting Fresno State to a wild season-opening 39-35 win over Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.
Playing their first game under new coach Ryan Walters, the Boilermakers took a 35-32 lead with 4:36 left on Devin Mockobee's 11-yard touchdown run. That came two plays after Keene was intercepted on the left sideline by Dillon Thieneman.
But Keene, a transfer from Central Florida, bounced back on the final drive to go 6 of 6 for 76 yards. He finished the day 31 of 44 for 366 yards with four touchdowns and the interception as the Bulldogs earned a 487-364 advantage in total yards.
Brooks caught nine passes for 170 yards and two scores in Fresno State's 10th straight win dating back to last year.
Hudson Card completed 17 of 30 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in his first game for Purdue. But the Texas transfer misfired on a fourth-and-2 pass at the Boilermakers' 44 with 31 seconds remaining to quash his team's final chance.
Tyrone Tracy scored two touchdowns for Purdue, including a 98-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
The first half was dominated by the passing game. Purdue initiated scoring 3:20 into the day when Card threw a short pass to Deion Burks. He broke a couple of tackles and zipped 84 yards for the first of his two scores, starting a string of alternating touchdowns that lasted nearly the entire half.
Keene found Brooks for a 29-yard touchdown pass at the 7:26 mark of the first quarter, followed by Tracy's 1-yard plunge to start the second quarter. Fresno State equalized less than 2 1/2 minutes later when Keene hit Jalen Moss for an 8-yard score.
Card and Burks connected for a 17-yard touchdown with 9:05 left to make it 21-14 Boilermakers. The Bulldogs took momentum into halftime when Dylan Lynch bombed a 52-yard field goal as time expired.
—Field Level Media