Penn State 33, Purdue 15
Tony Hunt ran for 129 yards and Kevin Kelly booted four field goals as No. 11 Penn State defeated Purdue 33-15 on Saturday to remain on top of the Big Ten.
Rodney Kinlaw set up BranDon Snow's touchdown with a dazzling 58-yard kickoff return and Hunt had some key fourth-quarter rushes for Penn State (8-1, 4-1). Hunt bulled over numerous Purdue defenders as the Nittany Lions went to the running game to thwart a late comeback by the Boilermakers (2-6, 0-5).
Redshirt freshman quarterback Curtis Painter had a 24-yard touchdown run for Purdue before being replaced by senior Brandon Kirsch to start the second half. Kirsch added a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Boilermakers, who started the season in the top 25, lost their fifth straight.
Penn State inched closer to its first Big Ten title since 1994, though it must beat Wisconsin next week in a showdown of conference leaders at Beaver Stadium. The Badgers defeated Illinois on Saturday.
Kinlaw took the kickoff to start the second half just inside the end zone, sidestepped and slipped away from some tacklers before being pushed out of bounds at the Purdue 42.
Four plays later, Hunt turned a screen pass into a 23-yard gain before Snow bull-rushed his way into the end zone on his two-yard run. Snow, who had another touchdown late in the game, leaped into the arms of teammate Charles Rush as the homecoming crowd roared its approval.
Kirsch, who started the first six games for Purdue, had some success after coming into the game. He led Purdue on a 58-yard drive, thanks in part to 23-yard catch by Dorien Bryant, before Kirsch ran for his first score of the year. Bryant ran for a two-point conversion to cut the Penn State lead to 23-15.
But on the next drive, Hunt, Michael Robinson and Justin King had long runs to help Penn State drive to the Purdue 5. Kelly nailed a 22-yard attempt for a 26-15 lead.
Calvin Lowry intercepted Kirsch's throw down the right sideline on Purdue's next play to seal the win. Kirsch was 11 of 21 for 102 yards. Painter was 6 of 17 for 60 yards.
Penn State's only touchdown of the first half came after Robinson hit Deon Butler over the middle for a 43-yard gain and Jordan Norwood ran a reverse for 17 yards to put the Nittany Lions at the Purdue 2. Several run plays were stuffed, but the Boilermakers were foiled by two penalties, and Robinson scored from 1 yard to give Penn State a 13-7 lead.
Robinson finished with 19 carries for 96 yards, while also going 13 of 29 for 213 yards.
On a seasonably cool afternoon, a disputed call caused Paterno and his assistants to have a heated discussion with referees in the second quarter. The ball slipped out of Robinson's hands as he was tackled from behind, but the referees initially ruled Robinson was already down. The play was ruled a fumble after a replay, which irritated Paterno.