Penn St. 23, Purdue 18
Silas Redd ran for 131 yards and a touchdown and Penn State took
advantage of Purdue’s special teams miscues to hold on Saturday for
a 23-18 win.
Akeem Shavers had a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:08 left but
Purdue was stopped on a 2-point conversion attempt to keep the
deficit at 20-18. A missed field goal and extra-point attempt
earlier in the game also haunted Purdue (3-3, 1-1 Big Ten) on a
Chaz Powell returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to the 3, but
an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushed Penn State (6-1, 3-0)
back, and the Nittany Lions settled for field goal with 6:24 left
and a five-point lead.
Nate Stupar’s interception of a tipped pass at the Purdue 19
with 1:59 left finally sealed the game for Penn State.
The homecoming weekend crowd breathed a collective sigh of
relief following an otherwise uncharacteristically porous
performance for the defense. Behind a strong running game, Purdue
gashed Penn State for 344 yards – roughly 90 more than the Nittany
Lions’ season average entering the day.
Coach Joe Paterno’s worries of a letdown following an emotional
13-3 win last week over Iowa nearly came true. Still recovering
from an injured right shoulder and pelvis suffered after getting
bowled over in practice Aug. 7, Paterno coached from the press
Besides Redd (28 carries), the two-quarterback offense moved the
ball sporadically, while the defense came up with three
interceptions to hold off the Boilermakers.
Anthony Fera’s 69-yard punt to the 2 put Purdue in a tough spot
for a potential game-winning drive with 2:36 left. Forced to go for
it on fourth down, a tipped pass from Caleb TerBush was snagged by
Stupar for the linebacker’s second pick of the day.
TerBush finished 12 of 25 passing for 162 yards with two
interceptions, while Ralph Bolden led the Boilermakers’ ground game
with 97 yards for 13 carries. Shavers added 54 yards on 13
The former pass-happy school has found success this season with
a run-first mentality. It was nearly enough to give Coach Danny
Hope’s crew its first victory over the Nittany Lions since a 20-13
win in 2004.
Good call by Hope, too, to run the ball given winds at Beaver
Stadium that had hot dog and candy wrappers swirling all over the
field all day.
But the Boilermakers couldn’t contain Penn State’s own running
game. Redd scored from 9 yards out with 2:37 in the third on a
bruising run, backing over a defender and bowling him over at the
goal line for the touchdown.
Devon Still and the Nittany Lions front line turned up the heat
in the red zone to hold Purdue to two first-half field goals by
Carson Wiggs, who otherwise struggled on the afternoon. He missed a
44-yard field goal, and his extra-point attempt following O.J.
Ross’ 14-yard touchdown catch banged off the right upright with
4:02 in the third quarter.
Under pressure, Purdue’s other quarterback, Robert Marve threw a
wobbly pass intercepted by Stupar – his first pick – and returned
24 yards with 14 seconds left in the first half, helping to set up
Fera’s 29-yard field goal for a 10-6 lead.
Fera hit again from 29 following Powell’s long return in the