Cincinnati 42, Purdue 7: Munchie Legaux threw a touchdown pass and rushed for another to help the host Bearcats make a winner of coach Tommy Tuberville in his debut at the school.
Tuberville didn't announce a starting quarterback until just before kickoff, giving Legaux the nod over Brendon Kay who was limited by a sore passing shoulder. Legaux responded by throwing for 145 yards and running for 55 more to help spoil coach Darrell Hazell's first game with the Boilermakers, who were doomed by four turnovers.
Ralph Abernathy, Hosey Williams and Tion Green all rushed for touchdowns in the second half as part of 35 unanswered points for Cincinnati (1-0), which had 221 yards on the ground in its inaugural game as a member of the American Athletic Conference. Purdue (0-1) quarterback Rob Henry struggled in his first start since 2010, completing 18-of-35 passes for 161 yards and two interceptions, including one that was returned 41 yards for a touchdown by Adrian Witty to put the Bearcats up 28-7.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Legaux scored on a 10-yard run a little more than a minute into the second quarter to put the Bearcats on the board. Purdue recovered a fumble at the Cincinnati 12 to set up an 7-yard touchdown run by Henry to tie it at 7, but Legaux found tight end Blake Annen for a 15-yard touchdown for a 14-7 lead just before halftime.
Both the Tuberville and Hazell eras got off to rough starts, with the teams swapping interceptions on their opening possessions. Purdue then put together a 13-play drive only to miss a field goal, and the Boilermakers did not convert another third down until the fourth quarter.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Kay (4-of-5, 59 yards) took over the game following Legaux's second interception.. … A crowd of 36,007 broke the attendance record at 89-year-old Nippert Stadium (35,106 vs. Illinois on Nov. 27, 2009). ... The Boilermakers completed only 4-of-12 third down conversions.