Penn State holds off Purdue 23-18
Swirling winds had flags swirling atop Beaver Stadium with hot
dog and candy wrappers blowing all over the field.
Purdue kicker Carson Wiggs wasn’t going to use the weather
conditions as an excuse after missing a 44-yard field goal and
extra-point attempt, and sending a kickoff out-of-bounds in a 23-18
loss Saturday to Penn State.
Special teams miscues overshadowed Purdue’s offensive showing
against Penn State’s solid defense and helped thwart the
Boilermakers’ efforts to spoil homecoming weekend in Happy
”I know a lot of guys were talking about it, coaches were
talking to the quarterbacks about it. I really don’t worry about
it, just relax, have a good time, take my mind off it,” Wiggs said
about the wind. Penn State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) said the wind gusts
were over 40 mph around campus.
”No matter what the conditions are, I mean, I’m still going to
have a warmup so I’ll figure it out then,” Wiggs said.
It wasn’t all bad news for Purdue (3-3, 1-1) on special
Raheem Mostert’s 71 yard kickoff return to the Penn State 26
helped set up Caleb TerBush’s 14-yard touchdown pass to O.J. Ross
with 4:02 left in the third quarter to draw within 13-12.
But after missing the 44-yarder in the first quarter, Wiggs’
tough afternoon got worse.
His extra-point attempt banged off the right upright, preventing
a tie. Wiggs said afterward he thought he heard a whistle before
the kick, potentially from the student section.
”So I don’t know, it’s a little bit of a distraction on my way
to the ball, but there’s no reason,” Wiggs said. ”I should’ve
been able to put that in.”
The ensuing kickoff from Wiggs landed out-of-bounds for a
penalty that gave Penn State the ball at its own 40. Matt McGloin,
coming on in relief again for Rob Bolden in the Nittany Lions’
two-quarterback system, set up Redd’s third-quarter touchdown run
with three straight long passes for first downs to the 9.
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. He finished with 131 yards on 28
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.
Chaz Powell returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to the 3, but
an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushed Penn State back, and the
Nittany Lions settled for field goal with 6:24 left and a
Coach Danny Hope said he needed to look at film on special
”I don’t think it was all of special teams, just some guys on
special teams,” Hope said. ”Coming into the ball game, I thought
special teams would be our edge. If we were to win today, I thought
it would be our advantage. But it wasn’t.”
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
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