(Saturday, October 3rd)
Final Score: Northwestern 27, Purdue 21
West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Mike Kafka threw for 224 yards and also ran in the go-ahead touchdown for the Northwestern Wildcats, who notched a 27-21 win over the Purdue Boilermakers in a Big Ten clash at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Zeke Markshausen hauled in 10 catches for 56 yards for Northwestern (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten). Arby Fields also added a rushing touchdown, though he wasn't able to get a whole lot going in the run game and finished with 43 yards on 18 carries.
Purdue (1-4, 0-1) quarterback Joey Elliott completed 20-of-28 passes for 313 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Keith Smith had seven catches for 101 yards and a TD, while Aaron Valentin also finished with 101 yards and two scores on four catches. However, the Boilermakers simply weren't able to overcome five lost fumbles in the game.
Elliott got the Boilermakers on the board with a five-yard touchdown pass to Smith on Purdue's opening drive.
The Wildcats answered with a 20-play drive that ate up nearly eight minutes, but they had to settle for three points on an 18-yard field goal by Stefan Demos.
Purdue struck quickly on its next drive, as Elliott found Valentin for a 67- yard scoring strike to give the Boilermakers a 14-3 lead.
Those two hooked up again for a five-yard touchdown pass at the 11:52 mark of the second quarter, putting Purdue on top, 21-3.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to 21-10 on a five-yard touchdown run by Fields with 1:31 remaining in the first half.
Purdue had two more possessions in the half but fumbled the ball away on both drives, and Demos turned both of those into field goals for the Wildcats, who went into the half trailing, 21-16.
A 39-yard field goal by Demos accounted for the only points of the third quarter.
Trailing by two midway through the fourth quarter, Kafka led NU on an 11-play, 67-yard drive, which he capped with a two-yard touchdown plunge to give the Wildcats their first lead. They converted the two-point attempt to take a six- point lead with two minutes to play.
Purdue then drove 79 yards in 13 plays, but Elliott's fourth-down pass sailed over Valentin's head in the end zone to seal the Boilermakers' fate.
All but three of Northwestern's points were a result of a Purdue turnover.
10/03 16:16:27 ET