Scores

Final

Purdue 45

(4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Minnesota 31

(1-3, 0-1 Big Ten)

Coverage: ESPN2

9:00 PM ET, September 22, 2007

1 2 3 4 T
PUR 17 7 14 745
MINN 3 0 14 1431

Top Performers

Passing: C. Painter (PUR) - 338 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: K. Sheets (PUR) - 21 CAR, 111 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Bryant (PUR) - 12 REC, 150 YDS, 2 TD

Purdue 45, Minnesota 31

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After a sluggish first half, Curtis Painter was nearly flawless in the final two quarters to lift Purdue to a 45-31 victory over Minnesota on Saturday night.

Painter was 17-for-21 for 199 yards in the second half and finished with 338 yards passing and three touchdowns. Dorien Bryant added 12 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns for the Boilermakers (4-0) in their Big Ten opener after easy victories over Toledo, Central Michigan and Eastern Illinois.

Purdue's defense gave up huge chunks of yardage to the Gophers (1-3) in the second half, allowing them to hang around much longer than they should have.

Adam Weber was awful in the first half of his first Big Ten start, but the redshirt freshman played well in the second half to finish 23-of-44 for 237 yards and a touchdown for the Gophers. He also rushed for 63 yards and a score.

The game would have been much more interesting had the Gophers not turned the ball over four times in the first half, including a fumble by Jamal Harris on a blocked field goal at the end of the first half.

Leading 24-3 with 41 seconds to play in the half, Purdue lined up to kick a field goal. Mike Sherels burst through the line and blocked Chris Summers' kick. Harris scooped up the ball and had nothing but green turf in front of him as he headed toward the end zone.

But as he neared the Purdue 20, Harris appeared to try to switch the ball from his left to his right hand and dropped it.

Purdue holder Jared Armstrong hustled from behind and pounced on the ball.

The Gophers took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched right down to score, cutting Purdue's lead to 24-10.

The Boilermakers dropped five passes in the first half and committed four penalties, hardly looking like the high-flying team that entered the week leading the conference in scoring, passing offense and total offense.

The game turned into a track meet in the second half, with both offenses racing up and down the field against woeful defenses.

The two teams combined for 49 points in the second half, but the Gophers again dug themselves too big of a hole. They trailed by 21 points at halftime for the third time in four games this season, and the Gophers have lost all of them.

Purdue's Desmond Tardy returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and defensive end Cliff Avril made a brilliant leaping interception that he returned 43 yards for a score to stake the Boilermakers to the big halftime lead.

Minnesota scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the second half and Purdue scored on its first three tries after halftime, which should come as no surprise in this series.

Entering the game, the combined score averaged 66.7 points per game in the last 10 contests.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PUR
MINN
1st Downs2825
Total Yards504469
Passing338237
Rushing166232
Penalties6-462-15
3rd Down Conversions6-137-17
4th Down Conversions0-13-5
Turnovers14
Possession33:2226:38

Passing Leaders

PurdueC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Painter33/483387.031
MinnesotaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Weber23/442375.411

Rushing Leaders

PurdueCARYDSAVGTDLG
Sheets211115.3122
Dierking7415.9017
MinnesotaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bennett78111.6144
Weber20633.2119

Receiving Leaders

PurdueRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bryant1215012.5234
Sheets7608.6120
MinnesotaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Wheelwright58116.2046
Decker77911.3121

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPURMINN
TD14:46Desmond Tardy 95 Yd Kickoff Return (Chris Summers Kick) 70
TD04:46Kory Sheets 16 Yd Pass From Curtis Painter (Chris Summers Kick)
Drive: 13 plays, 87 yds, 5:54
140
FG02:25Chris Summers 24 Yd
Drive: 4 plays, 3 yds, 1:27
170
FG01:14Joel Monroe 34 Yd
Drive: 8 plays, 41 yds, 1:06
173
SECOND QUARTERPURMINN
TD14:51Cliff Avril 43 Yd Interception Return (Chris Summers Kick) 243
THIRD QUARTERPURMINN
TD13:18Duane Bennett 4 Yd Run (Joel Monroe Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 66 yds, 1:42
2410
TD09:37Dorien Bryant 4 Yd Pass From Curtis Painter (Chris Summers Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 80 yds, 3:41
3110
TD07:10Jay Thomas 1 Yd Run (Joel Monroe Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 60 yds, 2:27
3117
TD03:27Kory Sheets 3 Yd Run (Chris Summers Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 90 yds, 3:38
3817
FOURTH QUARTERPURMINN
TD14:09Eric Decker 15 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Joel Monroe Kick)
Drive: 12 plays, 88 yds, 4:08
3824
TD12:53Dorien Bryant 16 Yd Pass From Curtis Painter (Chris Summers Kick)
Drive: 6 plays, 64 yds, 1:09
4524
TD08:50Adam Weber 2 Yd Run (Joel Monroe Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 65 yds, 4:03
4531