Balanced Attack Buries Gophers

Sept. 23, 2006

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -Curtis Painter passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns to help Purdue beat Minnesota 27-21 on Saturday.

Running back Jaycen Taylor gained 110 total yards and scored twice and Dustin Keller had six catches for 119 yards for the Boilermakers (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten), who will take a seven-game winning streak into next week's game at Notre Dame.

Amir Pinnix led Minnesota (2-2, 0-1) with 173 yards on 28 carries and Bryan Cupito passed for 205 yards and two touchdowns.

Both teams finished with 421 yards.

Purdue led 10-7 at halftime and opened the third quarter with a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Taylor scored on a 14-yard run to extend Purdue's lead to 17-7.

On Minnesota's next possession, Purdue's Anthony Spencer sacked Cupito, forced a fumble and recovered it. That led to Chris Summers' 36-yard field goal that extended Purdue's lead to 20-7 with 4:35 left in the third quarter.

Minnesota drove to the Purdue 1 before linebacker George Hall stopped Pinnix on third-and-goal. On the last play of the third quarter, Cupito executed a perfect fake handoff to his running back before connecting with tight end Matt Spaeth for a 1-yard touchdown pass that cut Purdue's lead to 20-14.

The Boilermakers responded with a 93-yard touchdown drive. Taylor scored his second touchdown on an 18-yard pass from Painter to increase Purdue's lead to 27-14.

For the second time in the game, Cupito threw a touchdown pass on a fourth-and-goal. This time, he found Logan Payne for a 3-yard touchdown pass that cut Purdue's lead to 27-21 with 6:21 to play.

Minnesota stopped Purdue and got the ball back, but defensive tackle Alex Magee sacked Cupito at the Minnesota 37 to force a punt. Purdue appeared to have a first down at the Minnesota 33 on a run by Painter, but the call was overturned. On fourth-and-1, Kory Sheets ran 5 yards and Purdue ran out the clock.



Minnesota opened the game with a scoring drive that took nearly seven minutes. A 1-yard touchdown run by fullback Justin Valentine capped a 16-play, 83-yard drive and put the Golden Gophers up 7-0.

Purdue's defense stopped Minnesota's early momentum. On a third-and-3 from the Minnesota 45, running back Jay Thomas was awarded a first down, but Purdue coach Joe Tiller challenged the spot and the call was reversed. The result forced Minnesota to punt on the last play of the first quarter. Minnesota went scoreless the rest of the half.

Magee blocked a Minnesota field-goal attempt with 3:57 left in the second quarter and the Boilermakers recovered at the Gophers' 42. Three plays later, Painter found Dorien Bryant on a 27-yard touchdown pass that put the Boilermakers up 10-7.

Minnesota drove to the Purdue 4 in the final minute of the first half, but cornerback David Pender tipped a Cupito pass and Hall intercepted it in the end zone with 22 seconds left.


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