WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (Ticker) -- Brandon Hance threw a pair of touchdown passes as 24th-ranked Purdue opened the home portion of its schedule with a 33-14 victory over Akron.
Making his second collegiate start, Hance is taking over the Boilermakers' high-powered offense this season after Drew Brees, the most prolific passer in school history, moved on to the NFL.
Hance got off to a slow start Saturday before warming up. The freshman tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to John Standeford with 39 seconds left in the first half, giving Purdue a 10-7 lead. He also connected with Standeford on a 34-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
"I thought we had a positive advantage by being at home," Hance said. "The home opener at Ross-Ade is always intense. I think we were ready to play on our home turf and it hopefully it showed."
Joey Harris added touchdown runs of 58 and one yard for Purdue (2-0), which was coming off a 19-14 victory over Cincinnati on September 2.
Charlie Frye threw a two-yard TD pass to Matt Zuercher and Brandon Payne scored on a one-yard run for the Zips (1-2).
The heavily-underdog Zips started strongly against one of the Big Ten powers, taking the opening kickoff and driving 60 yards in 10 plays. Frye capped the march with his two-yard toss to Zuercher.
Frye was efficient for much of the contest, completing 14-of-21 passes for 132 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Purdue also got on the board on its first possession as Travis Dorsch kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8:40 left in opening quarter.
The Boilermakers struggled for much of the half offensively but finally found the end zone with 39 seconds to play before intermission on Hance's two-yard TD pass to Standeford.
It did not take long before the Boilermakers opened a 17-7 lead. On the second play of the third quarter, Harris busted through the line for a 58-yard touchdown run.
"In the second half, the offense really came to play," Harris said. "We were more focused and my stats were just a product of everyone working together and that's what helped us win the game."
"Our offense showed a lot of progress as the game went on," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "It was key to take the first drive of the second half for a score."
Things got rolling from there as Dorsch kicked a 44-yard field goal late in the third quater before Hance hooked up again with Standeford from 34 yards 2:44 into the final period, extending the lead to 27-7.
Hance finished the afternoon 21-of-37 for 252 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Standeford was his favorite target with five catches for 96 yards.
Payne scored on a one-yard run for the Zips with 8:41 remaining before Harris capped the scoring just under four minutes later by plunging over from one yard.
Purdue finished with a lopsided 471-266 advantage in total yards.