Legaux leads Cincinnati over Purdue 42-7

Munchie Legaux regained his job as the starting quarterback and

had a solid showing on Saturday, throwing for a touchdown and

running for another in Cincinnati’s 42-7 victory over Purdue – the

Boilermakers’ worst opening loss in 17 years.

Legaux’s dual-threat performance highlighted a game featuring

two new coaches and a new league – Cincinnati (1-0) in the American

Athletic Conference. The Bearcats celebrated all the newness by

introducing all-white uniforms and helmets for their first time on

the field under Tommy Tuberville, who came from Texas Tech to

replace Butch Jones.

Legaux was back at quarterback because incumbent Brendon Kay has

been limited by a sore passing shoulder. Given a second chance, he

played one of his best games before a crowd of 36,007, the biggest

ever at Nippert Stadium.

The senior was 13 of 20 for 146 yards with a touchdown and an

interception. He also ran six times for 55 yards and a

touchdown.

Purdue (0-1) got a whole new offense under Darrell Hazell, who

came from Kent State to try to get the Boilermakers moving up in

the Big Ten. The first time out, the offense couldn’t get out of

its own way.

It was Purdue’s worst season opener since a 52-14 loss at

Michigan State in 1996.

The Boilermakers had false-start penalties and a delay of game.

Fifth-year quarterback Rob Henry got run over by a pulling guard,

causing a fumble. One time, Henry turned to hand the ball off and

there was no one there with open arms. Another time, he fumbled the

snap and had to fall on it.

Then there was his severe overthrow to Shane Mikesky that Adrian

Witty ran back 41 yards for a touchdown that made it 28-7 midway

through the third quarter.

Oops.

By contrast, Legaux was smooth in his second season opener.

The Louisiana quarterback with the distinctive nickname and

dreadlocks looked a lot different this time. The dreadlocks are

gone. So was his penchant for missing open receivers and forcing

throws. His first pass was tipped and intercepted, but things got

much better from there.

The dual-threat quarterback picked his spots to run and

completed a lot of short throws that prolonged drives. He went 10

yards on a draw for Cincinnati’s first touchdown, then led a

75-yard drive that closed the half and gave Cincinnati the lead. He

ran 32 yards on another keeper, and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass

to tight end Blake Annen with 17 seconds left in the half for a

14-7 lead.

Early in the third quarter, he completed the type of pass he

often missed last season. He hit Max Morrison in stride on a

crossing route, setting up a 40-yard gain. Ralph David Abernathy IV

spun out of Ryan Watson’s tackle attempt and went the final 3 yards

for a 21-7 lead.

Legaux lost his job to Kay midway through last season because of

his low completion percentage and his penchant for interceptions.

Kay was the incumbent starter until his passing shoulder acted up

during camp, giving Legaux another chance to start.

Kay got into the game late in the third quarter for a series

that ended with Hosey Williams bouncing outside on a fourth-and-1

play and going 30 yards for a touchdown that made it 35-7 early in

the fourth quarter. Kay finished the game.

Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay