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Blough suffered a dislocated ankle, a small break in the fibula and ligament damage with 12:27 remaining in Saturday’s 29-10 victory. Coach Jeff Brohm said Blough will have surgery on Tuesday and will be out six to nine months.
“When the medical staff got out there, they put the ankle back in and were able to make him a little more comfortable, but it’s going to require surgery,” Brohm said Monday. “He will miss spring ball, but hopefully he will be back by the summer. I think he can recover from it.”
Hit on a scramble by safety Stanley Green at the Illinois 8-yard line, Blough was carted off the field and taken to a hospital by ambulance, pumping his fist on the cart ride.
“I went out there, and he actually was very calm,” Brohm said. “He was under control and just wanted us to go win the game. For him to say that and want that exemplifies what he is truly all about. We’re going to miss having him the rest of the year.”
At the time Brohm was 16 of 24 for 194 yards in his second consecutive start ahead of sophomore Elijah Sindelar, who will try to guide Purdue (4-5, 2-4 Big Ten) to at least two wins in its final three games in a bid to become bowl eligible.
The Boilermakers play at Northwestern, at Iowa and then at home against rival Indiana on Nov. 25. Sindelar will be backed up by redshirt freshman Jared Sparks, who also plays wide receiver.
Brohm has used Blough and Sindelar in a two-quarterback system almost all year and he said it pays off having two guys ready.
Sindelar will enter the Northwestern game 80 of 150 for 939 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Blough finishes his season 102 of 157 for 1,103 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
Led by a vastly improved defense that held Illinois to 91 total yards and no points during the final 30 minutes, Purdue snapped a three-game skid on Saturday. The Boilers will likely rely more heavily on its stable of running backs, who rushed 44 times for 209 yards against Illinois, tight ends Cole Herdman and Brycen Hopkins, and the defense led by linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, who made 12 tackles including 2.5 sacks on Saturday.
“After our run game gets going, they have to focus on both more,” Hopkins said. “Now, we have to forget about the Illinois game and don’t let it blow up our heads because we’re not where we want to be. We just have to move on to Northwestern.”
Bentley said he loves the way the Purdue defense is playing.
“The closer teams get to the end zone, it actually gets hard for them because guys are a lot tighter, we close to the line of scrimmage, and we have an aggressive style.” Bentley said.
Brohm said his players have tried to fight through its struggles this season. Purdue is still in the mix to land a bowl bid with the road trip looming against the Wildcats (6-3, 4-2).
“Sometimes, it wasn’t pretty, but we got better as the game went on,” Brohm said. “Certain guys stepped up, and it was a big win for us.”