4:30 PM ET, October 9, 2004
Beaver Stadium, UNIVERSITY PARK, PA
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Kyle Orton wasn't convinced the new play Purdue had been practicing was a keeper, but Taylor Stubblefield made him a believer by turning it into a 40-yard touchdown.
Stubblefield had seven catches and became the Big Ten's career receptions leader as Purdue (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) held on to beat Penn State 20-13 on Saturday night.
Stubblefield's 40-yard sprint down the left sideline on the first possession of the second half put the Boilermakers (5-0, 2-0) up 17-10. After that, it was all Purdue could do to hold on to the lead.
"Actually, we hadn't executed it that well in practice, so I was kind of worried when we called the play," Orton said. "But we executed it real nice ... and Taylor did a good job getting into the end zone."
Penn State (2-4, 0-3) had a second-and-1 on the Purdue 7, but had to settle for Robbie Gould's 27-yard field goal that made it 17-13.
Purdue's next possession ended when Calvin Lowry intercepted Kyle Orton's pass, Orton's first interception and Purdue's first turnover of the season. That left Hawaii as the only NCAA Division I-A team without a turnover.
A 33-yard pass to Terrance Phillips gave the Nittany Lions a first down on the Purdue 11, but again Penn State couldn't convert. Quarterback Zack Mills ran on a fake field goal on fourth-and-6, but was tackled by Stanford Keglar short of the first down.
"I thought we had it. We had practiced it all week, and they had given us a look, and I thought we had it. It would have given us a chance to score," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. "Obviously, if it works, it's a great play. If it doesn't, you're a dummy."
Two plays later, Orton threw his second interception, this one to Anwar Phillips. But Gould's 45-yard field-goal try was wide left.
Purdue went up 20-13 when Ben Jones kicked his second field goal, a 46-yarder with 2:48 left.
"That was a big drive," Tiller said. "We wanted to get in the end zone, but just the idea that we could get on the board -- as a matter of fact, we made the comment upstairs 'Get the wristbands on and get the overtime chart out,' because we have a whole strategy for overtime, and at least that would put us in the position that the worst we'd be playing for is overtime."
Rodney Kinlaw's 64-yard kickoff return gave the Nittany Lions a short field, but Mills couldn't complete any of his four passes. Penn State appeared to have a first down when Sean Petty was flagged for pass interference on third down, but the flag was waved off.
After holding the Boilermakers to three-and-out, Penn State had one last chance, but Anthony Morelli's desperation pass fell incomplete.
Stubblefield finished with 63 yards and 271 career catches, including a 3-yarder to break the record. Fellow Boilermaker John Sandeford set the previous record of 266 last year.
"It's nice," Stubblefield said of the record, "but it's better being 5-and-0 than having any record."
Kyle Orton completed 24 of 35 for 275 yards, with two interceptions and one touchdown. He was sacked three times, as many times as he'd been sacked all year.
Mills completed 29 of 49 for 293 yards and one touchdown in a performance Tiller said was reminiscent of Orton in last season's Capital One Bowl.
"Great performance by Zack Mills. That was like our guy down in Orlando last January," Tiller said. "Gutsy, gutsy performance."
Purdue went up 3-0 in the first quarter on Ben Jones' 50-yard field goal.
Then, with the wide receivers covered -- Purdue had just 41 yards passing in the first quarter -- Orton went to tight end Charles Davis over the middle to set up Purdue's first touchdown. Defenders bounced off the 6-foot-6, 263-pound Davis, who went 55 yards to set up Purdue's first touchdown. Three plays later, Brandon Jones scored on a 2-yard run to make it 10-0.
Mills threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Golden, who made a diving catch in the end zone to pull within 10-7. It was just the second catch of the season for Golden, and the first touchdown of his career.
Purdue's next drive ended when Ben Jones missed a 51-yard field goal wide left, and the Nittany Lions drove to the Purdue 21 before settling for Gould's 38-yard field goal, tying it at 10 going into halftime.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-15||5-16|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-3|
|FG||5:57||BEN JONES 50 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 7 yards.
|TD||9:56||BRANDON JONES 2 YD RUN (BEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 86 yards.
|TD||7:30||TERRELL GOLDEN 37 YD PASS FROM ZACK MILLS (ROBBIE GOULD KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 62 yards.
|FG||0:24||ROBBIE GOULD 38 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||11:00||TAYLOR STUBBLEFIELD 40 YD PASS FROM KYLE ORTON (BEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||4:00||ROBBIE GOULD 27 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 61 yards.
|FG||2:48||BEN JONES 46 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 44 yards.