Late Rally Falls Short As Purdue Falls to Indiana 27-24

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Curtis Painter looks downfield as he rolls out of the pocket against Indiana on Saturday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Curtis Painter looks downfield as he rolls out of the pocket against Indiana on Saturday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 17, 2007

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Kellen Lewis ran for two touchdowns, and Indiana held off a frantic Purdue rally Saturday when Austin Starr made a 49-yard field goal with 30 seconds left to hang on for a 27-24 victory.

The win gives the Hoosiers (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten) their first bowl bid in 14 years, fulfilling the promise late coach Terry Hoeppner made to fans when he was hired three years ago.

Indiana delivered this one almost the way Hoeppner drew it up. Playing in front of the first home sellout of the season, Marcus Thigpen ran for a career-high 140 yards, Lewis kept Purdue's defense off balance with a nifty mix of run and pass and Starr made a career-long field goal for the winner.

Curtis Painter was 28-of-45 for 279 yards and one TD, but Purdue was limited to 69 yards rushing - minus-12 in the first half - and lost for the third straight week.

Indiana won for only the second times in 11 games against its biggest rival and the victory set off a wild celebration that included Hoeppner's wife, Jane, hugging Starr on the field.

It appeared Indiana had the game wrapped up after Lewis ran 9 yards for one score, threw 8 yards to James Hardy for the second and scooted 8 yards to make it 24-3 early in the second half.

Purdue rallied with two 1-yard TD runs from Kory Sheets and finally tied the score at 24 after taking advantage of Thigpen's late fumble. Painter followed that with a 5-yard pass to Jake Standeford, who was wide open in the end zone with 3:39 to go.

Then Lewis drove the 45 yards to set up Starr, whose field goal just cleared the crossbar.