Northwestern Wins Another Thriller

EVANSTON, Ill. -- In typical Northwestern fashion the Wildcats defeated Purdue 27-24 on a 32-yard field goal by junior Brian Gowins with :04 remaining. It was Northwestern's fifth victory in 1996 by four points or less. After falling behind 14-0 in the first six minutes, Purdue rallied to tied the score at halftime. The big play was Rick Trefzger's 36-yard touchdown pass to Brian Alford with just :05 remaining in the half. Gowins added a 20-yard field goal and Darnell Autry scored from seven yards out to give the Cats a 24-14 lead after three quarters. Trefzger found Alford again for a 35-yard scoring strike as Purdue pulled to 24-21 with 11:05 remaining. After Northwestern went three plays and out, Purdue drove 79 yards on 11 plays to tie the score at 24-all with 4:35 to go. Again, the Wildcats went three and out. Purdue began on the 20-yard line and moved to its own 45 before Eric Haddad fumbled with 2:00 left to set up the game-winner by Gowins. Purdue held statistical leads in total yards (395-305) and first downs (20-18) but four turnovers were the difference (Northwestern had none).

GAME NOTES: Purdue outrushed (151-119) and opponent and lost for the first time in 1996...Brian Alford caught seven passes for a career-high 186 yards (previous high was 172 yards receiving vs. Minnesota in 1995). It also tied the fourth-highest receiving game total in Boilermaker history.

NORTHWESTERN 27, PURDUE 24

Game 10, Nov. 16, 1996
(Attendance -- 41,178)
SCORE BY QUARTERS   
Northwestern    14   0  10   3  --  27
Purdue           0  14   0  10  --  24
SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
    NU: D. Autry 3-yard run (Gowins kick), 12:26
    NU: Bates 39-yard pass from Schnur (Gowins kick), 9:16
Second Quarter
    PU: Alford 27-yard pass from Trefzger (Ryan kick), 10:24
    PU: Alford 36-yard pass from Trefzger (Ryan kick), :05
Third Quarter
    NU: Gowins 20-yard field goal, 9:30
    NU: D. Autry 7-yard run (Gowins kick), 1:23
Fourth Quarter
    PU: Alford 35-yard pass from Trefzger (Ryan kick), 11:05
    PU: Ryan 24-yard field goal, 4:35
    NU: Gowins 32-yard field goal, :04
TEAM STATATISTICS              PU        NU
First Downs                    20        18
Net Yards Rushing          41-151    37-119
Net Yards Passing             244       186
Passes (Att.-Comp.-Int.)  27-14-2   28-18-0
Total Net Yards            68-395    65-305
Possession Time             28:37     31:23
Punts                      5-40.4    5-50.2
Penalties                    8-38      5-31
Third Down Conversions       6-14      8-16
Total Turnovers                 4         0
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Rushing--Purdue: Matthews 18-88, Watson 15-42, Trefzger 6-16, Sanders
1-7, Haddad 1-(-2). Northwestern: D. Autry 28-112, Beazley 1-20, A.
Autry 4-3, Hughes 1-2, Schnur 3-(-18).
Passing--Purdue: Trefzger 27-14-2 (3 TDs), 244. Northwestern: Schnur
25-15-0 (1 TD), 169; Hughes 3-3-0 (0 TD), 17.
Receiving--Purdue: Alford 7-186, Watson 3-26, Tillman 1-7, Jewell
1-6, Brown 1-14, Matthews 1-5. Northwestern: Bates 7-99, McGrew 5-38,
Musso 2-14, Drexler 2-15, Leary 1-15, Wacerman 1-5.
Tackle Leaders--Purdue: Brown 11, Hagins 8, Coleman 8, Okeafor 7.
Northwestern: Fitzgerald 14, Gardner 10, Collier 5, Barnes 5, Ismaeli
5.