-- Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) December 8, 2017
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The first true road game of the season at SEC foe Missouri. Leading 28-3 after dominating the first half, the Boilermakers kicked off to the Tigers to begin the third quarter. Looking to engineer a comeback on the opening drive, Mizzou quarterback Drew Lock dropped back to pass on second-and-20 looking for a wide receiver along the sideline in the flat ...
... Boilermaker linebacker Markus Bailey read the eyes of Lock as he dropped back into coverage and perfectly timed his jump on the ball. Snagging the interception at the MU 24-yard line, Bailey raced down the sideline towards the end zone before being forced out of bounds at the 2. The Boilermaker offense converted the interception into a touchdown to extend Purdue's lead to 35-3, and end any Missouri comeback thoughts.
So Says Markus
"We were in Cover 4 on my side, so my job was to relate to the No. 2 receiver and eventually get to the flat. Missouri had lined up in the same formation in the first half, so I had a feeling they were going to run the same play. Instead of hanging on the No. 2 receiver like I did in the first half, I quickly got out to the flat where I thought the QB was going to go. I saw him throw the ball, I broke on it, and made the play. I should've scored, though."
What it Meant
Bailey's play headlined Purdue's first dominant defensive effort of the year. The 203 yards of total offense allowed to the Tigers were the fewest given up to an opponent in 2017 and 308.5 fewer than MU averaged per game for the regular season. The 70 rushing yards surrendered to Missouri was the first of five games in which Nick Holt and Anthony Poindexter's defense allowed 100 or fewer yards in 2017. Missouri would go on to win its final six games to finish the season 7-5 and earn a birth in the Texas Bowl.