Oct. 14, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -Curtis Painter threw for a career-high 431 yards and two touchdowns, and Purdue beat Northwestern 31-10 on Saturday.
After losing by 14 at Notre Dame and by 30 at Iowa the past two weeks, Purdue went ahead in the second quarter and put Northwestern away late in the third.
The nation's fifth-leading passer, Painter set career-highs with 35 completions and 49 attempts. He was intercepted once.
The junior hit Dustin Keller for a 19-yarder on the first play of the second quarter to put the Boilermakers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) ahead for good, 14-7. And his 1-yard pass to Jake Standeford late in the third made it 24-10.
Greg Orton caught 13 passes for 144 yards, while Keller had six receptions for 91, as Purdue handed Northwestern (2-5, 0-3) its fourth straight loss.
Purdue racked up 510 yards, while the Wildcats managed 251 against a defense that ranked 115th in the nation. The Boilermakers converted 9-of-15 third downs, but they had trouble finishing drives early on, allowing Northwestern to stay close for 2 1/2 quarters.
Tyrell Sutton led the Wildcats with 82 yards on 10 carries after hurting his shoulder in the first quarter. Andrew Brewer completed 7 of 11 passes for 58 yards for 59 yards and ran for 30 more on 20 attempts.
Up 17-10 in the third, the Boilermakers went on an 80-yard drive that culminated with Painter's pass to Standeford with 1:47 left in the third.
Sutton broke off a 55-yard run that put the ball on the Purdue 25 to start the ensuing possession. But with Joel Howells about to attempt a 42-yard field goal, Northwestern got called for back-to-back delay penalties and punted.
It wasn't the Wildcats' first odd sequence.
Trailing 14-10 late in the first half and with the ball at the Purdue 47, the Wildcats called three running plays that basically went nowhere. That led to a punt and boos from the crowd.
What happened next didn't lighten the mood.
The aggressive Boilermakers drove all the way from their 14 to the Northwestern 1, before Chris Summers kicked an 18-yard field goal as time expired to make it 17-10.
Northwestern, which stayed close for a half in blowout losses at Penn State and Wisconsin the previous two weeks, scored the game's first touchdown on a 7-yard run by Brandon Roberson. Tied at 7, Royce Adams set up the go-ahead touchdown when he picked off Brewer at the Purdue 44 and returned it to the 28 late in the first.