Purdue Stuns No. 7 Ohio State
Sunday, October 18, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Oct. 17 -- Former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees had a simple message for current Boilermakers signal caller Joey Elliott.
"Drew Brees texted me last night and said: 'Hey, go out there and shock the world, have fun. I'll be watching,' " Elliott said Saturday.
Elliott did as he was told and led Purdue to its biggest upset in years. He threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and the Boilermakers stunned No. 7 Ohio State, 26-18.
It was another ugly day for the Buckeyes' offense. But unlike last week when the defense and special teams provided enough points for Ohio State (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) to beat Wisconsin, the struggles of quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Co. were too much for the Buckeyes to overcome.
"Yeah, it hurts," said Pryor, who threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles. "Right now, we've just got to be worried about the Big Ten because the national championship is gone."
The Buckeyes lost to an unranked team for the first time since Illinois upset Ohio State at home in 2007.
"They did the things you need to do to win a good Big Ten ballgame," Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel said. "We felt we could play better than we did, but the true test of a team is how you handle difficult situations."
The Boilermakers (2-5, 1-2) had some painful losses during their five-game skid, including 38-36 at Oregon and 24-21 to Notre Dame on a last-minute touchdown. But finally, Purdue was able to close the deal for first-year Coach Danny Hope.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," defensive end Ryan Kerrigan said. "I'm speechless. There's no words to describe how good this feels. It's a new season now."
Just as Purdue fans started giving up on the team, as evidenced by half the crowd being dressed in Ohio State red, the Boilermakers pulled off their first win over a ranked team since 2003 and first victory over the Buckeyes since 2004. The Boilermakers hadn't beaten a ranked Ohio State squad since Brees led them in 2000.
Ohio State failed to tie the Big Ten record of 17 straight conference road wins and fell behind Iowa in the conference standings.
Pryor passed for 221 yards, but was held to 34 yards on 21 carries as the Boilermakers ripped what statistically had been one of the nation's best defensive teams. Purdue gained 361 yards and controlled the ball for 36 minutes.
Keith Smith caught 12 passes for 125 yards, his fourth straight game with at least 100 yards. Aaron Valentin added 10 catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns for the Boilermakers.
Carson Wiggs made four field goals for Purdue, including a 55-yarder at the end of the first half and a 49-yarder in the fourth quarter.