Purdue 35, Northwestern 17

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Jaycen Taylor ran for a career-high of 157 yards and two touchdowns to lead Purdue past Northwestern 35-17 Saturday.

Taylor, in his second game back after missing four weeks with a broken left arm, gained 114 yards on 15 carries in the second half.

Curtis Painter passed for 182 yards and two touchdowns and Dorien Bryant caught seven passes for 65 yards and a touchdown for Purdue.

Bryant moved to second place on the Big Ten's all-time receptions list. He has 269 catches and trails only Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield, who caught 325 passes from 2001-2004.

Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bacher passed for 208 yards and a touchdown, but he threw three interceptions. He had passed for at least 361 yards in his previous three games, all wins for the Wildcats.

Purdue (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) clinched a winning season and positioned itself to contend for a major bowl bid. Northwestern (5-4, 2-3) missed out on a chance to become bowl eligible.

Amando Villareal made an 18-yard field goal to give Northwestern a 17-14 advantage, its only lead of the game, with 6:56 left in the third quarter.

Purdue came back with a 69-yard touchdown drive. On a fourth-and-1 from the 1-yard line, Taylor scored to give the Boilermakers a 21-17 lead with 11:21 to go.

On Purdue's next possession, a scrambling Painter found Bryant in the back left corner of the end zone. Bryant leaped, then got both feet in bounds to make it 28-17 with 6:24 to play.

Taylor scored again in the final minute, a 1-yard run that gave the Boilermakers a 35-17 lead.

A game many expected to be an offensive show was dominated by the defenses in the first half.

A 33-yard run by Taylor set up Purdue's first score. On a third-and-goal from the Northwestern 1-yard line, Taylor fumbled into the end zone, but teammate Dustin Keller recovered to give the Boilermakers a 7-0 lead with 5:29 left in the first quarter.

Purdue cornerback Terrell Vinson intercepted his second pass of the day with 3:52 left in the first quarter. Painter completed a 1-yard pass to Jeff Lindsay on fourth-and-goal to make it 14-0.

Northwestern's Omar Conteh scored on an 11-yard run with 13:14 left in the second quarter to trim Purdue's lead to 14-7.

Northwestern took advantage of a Purdue mistake to tie the score. When Bacher was sacked, Justin Scott made contact with a Northwestern receiver well after the play ended and drew a 15-yard penalty. On the next play, Bacher completed a short pass to Kim Thompson. He threw a lateral to Eric Peterman, who scored to make it 14-all at halftime.

Purdue forced four turnovers in the first half, but only scored off of one. The Boilermakers committed seven penalties for 65 yards in the first 30 minutes.


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