Penn State blanks Purdue for first shutout in four years

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Tony Hunt ran for 142 yards and Penn State earned its first shutout in four years with a 12-0 win over Purdue on Saturday.

Hunt scored the game's only touchdown in the fourth quarter and helped the Nittany Lions respond to coach Joe Paterno's criticism after they gained just 40 yards rushing the previous week against Illinois. Penn State (6-3, 4-2) held the ball for 35 minutes and finished with 422 total yards.

Purdue (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten) entered the game with the nation's eighth-ranked offense, but was held to 261 yards. The Boilermakers haven't scored for seven quarters.

Purdue hadn't been shut out since Sept. 14, 1996 against Notre Dame. The run of 127 games without being shut out was the third-longest current streak in the nation.

Penn State's last shutout came on Oct. 19, 2002 against Northwestern.

Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter completed 21 of 38 passes for 199 yards with two interceptions. The Nittany Lions held Purdue's top receiver, Dorien Bryant, to 5 yards on 5 catches.

Penn State led 6-0 at halftime, and both teams went scoreless in the third quarter. Hunt finished a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 12:36 left in the game to increase the Nittany Lions' lead to 12-0.

Penn State took the ball 74 yards on 12 plays in the game's opening drive, but the Boilermakers held the Nittany Lions to a 29-yard field goal by Kevin Kelly that gave Penn State a 3-0 lead.

The Nittany Lions threatened again early in the second quarter, but a third-down sack by Purdue's Cliff Avril pushed the Nittany Lions back, and Kelly missed a 50-yard field goal attempt with 12:20 left in the first half.

Early in the second quarter, it appeared that Avril forced Hunt to fumble. Purdue's Justin Scott recovered and returned it to the Penn State 28. After review, the call was reversed, taking a prime scoring opportunity from the Boilermakers.

Penn State drove down the field late in the first half, and after a 14-yard run by Hunt, Kelly made a 44-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give the Nittany Lions a 6-0 lead.


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