Friday, December 13, 2002
Penn State 22, No. 19 Purdue 20
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State, off to its worst start in 36 years, took
advantage of three special teams errors by Purdue and beat the No. 22 Boilermakers
22-20 on Saturday.
Travis Dorsch missed a 46-yard field goal that would have given Purdue the lead with
2:32 left, allowing Penn State to defeat a higher-ranked opponent for the first time since
Earlier, two botched punts by Dorsch led to two short Penn State touchdowns drives.
Drew Brees tied the Big Ten record with his 74th touchdown pass and also caught a
touchdown, but failed to beat Penn State for the third time. His desperation pass fell
incomplete as time expired.
Purdue (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) hasn't beaten Penn State since 1951.
The unranked Nittany Lions (2-4, 1-1) took the lead for good on a 1-yard TD run by Paul
Jefferson that made it 15-13 with 2:15 left in the third quarter. The extra point attempt
A 3-yard TD run by quarterback Rashard Casey built the lead to 22-13 at the end of the
Both of those two drives -- 11 and 6 yards -- were set up when Penn State's Derek Wake
came through the middle and prevented punter Dorsch from kicking the ball as tacklers
Brees, the Big Ten's career leader in attempts and completions, tied Iowa's Chuck Long
for the conference record for touchdown passes on a 39-yard TD pass to Vinny
Sutherland that cut it to 22-20 with 11:30 left in the game.
Brees also caught a 5-yard TD pass from Sutherland that gave Purdue a 13-6 lead
minutes into the third quarter. He finished 23-of-49 for 281 yards and rushed for 43 yards.
Penn State avoided its first 1-5 start in 69 years. The Nittany Lions wore No. 43 on the
back of their helmets to honor Adam Taliaferro, a freshman cornerback who sustained a
severe spinal cord injury against Ohio State last week.
Penn State took a 3-0 lead on Ryan Primanti's career-best 46-yard field goal about two
minutes into the game.
It was the first time the Nittany Lions scored on their opening possession this season,
and it gave them a lead for the first time since a 67-7 victory over Louisiana Tech three
Eric McCoo ran for 106 yards on 16 carries, and Casey was 11-of-25 for 109 yards and
Dorsch had field goals of 44 and 25 yards in the first half.
On its second possession, Penn State used the shotgun formation for what might have
been the first time in Joe Paterno's 35 years as coach. Casey, though, was sacked for a
7-yard loss. He then gained 9 yards rushing on third-and-16, and Penn State didn't use
the shotgun again.
|Rashard Casey is unable to elude Purdue's pass rush on this play, but the Lions' quarterback led Penn State to the upset victory.|