DARRON CUMMINGS / AP Enlarge
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - With a full quarter to play in Saturday''s game against No.-7 ranked Ohio State, the Purdue players were dancing out on the field during a timeout. They sensed something historic was taking place, hence the celebratory boogie woogie.
Purdue derailed and then plundered an Ohio State offense that had been stumbling along through the first half of the season, stunning the Buckeyes 26-18.
The Boilermakers forced Ohio State sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor into four turnovers and beat a top-10 ranked Ohio State team for the first time in a quarter century.
"This created a memory we'll have for the rest of our lives," Purdue quarterback Joey Elliott said.
Pryor, who was sacked five times for losses of 44 yards in the game, said the Buckeyes did not match Purdue's intensity and might have been guilty of taking the 1-5 Boilermakers too lightly.
"Every week you've got to fear the underdog," Pryor said. "The underdog took care of us today."
The edge clearly was not there for the Buckeyes, who fall to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten. Ohio State had five turnovers in all and was penalized nine times for 65 yards. The Buckeyes had the ball for four possessions in the critical third quarter when Purdue took control of the game and twice started a series with a penalty and the other two times with a big loss.
"Offensively, we took a step back today, and that's discouraging," Ohio State senior offensive lineman Jim Cordle said. "There were the turnovers, a couple of key penalties - we just couldn't get it done today. It is really frustrating."
The Buckeyes turned the ball over inside their own territory three times, and twice near midfield. Purdue scored six times - four field goals in the group - and its longest drive was 67 yards. Three times the Boilermakers scored on drives of less than 25 yards.
"Any time you give a good team field position like that ... you can't give people scoring opportunities ... you can't have those things, and win," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said.
Pryor was shaky from the start, fumbling the ball away deep in Ohio State territory on the second play of the game. As he dropped back to pass, Pryor got wrapped up by Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan and the ball was stripped loose. The Boilermakers recovered at the OSU 20, but settled for a 32-yard field goal from Carson Wiggs and a 3-0 lead when the game was just two minutes old.
Next time around, that OSU offense that has struggled so much this season took just three plays to go 66 yards and score. Brandon Saine ran 20 yards, then caught a screen pass from Pryor and broke a tackle while racing 40 yards down the sideline to the Purdue six. Pryor ran around right end for the score and a 7-3 Ohio State lead after Aaron Pettrey's extra point kick.
The rest of the first half saw Ohio State's offense mired in muck of its own making. After a fumble recovery by safety Kurt Coleman set the Buckeyes up at the Purdue 44, Ohio State went three-and-out on its next two series before the quarter ended.
When Ray Small fumbled a fair catch on a punt with about 10 minutes left in the first half, Purdue took over at the OSU 13. The Boilermakers got a 27-yard field goal from Wiggs to make it 7-6.
Another opportunity was squandered by the Buckeyes late in the first half after an 18-yard punt by Purdue put the Ohio State offense to work at the Purdue 30. Two straight receptions by DeVier Posey got the ball to the 14, and from there Saine broke a couple of tackles and burst through for an apparent touchdown, but a holding call negated it. Pryor was sacked and fumbled back at the 45 on the next play.
Purdue (2-5, 1-2) nursed enough time out of the clock in the final moments of the first half to give Wiggs a shot at a 55-yard field goal on the final play of the half, and he nailed it to give the Boilermakers a 9-7 advantage.
The nightmare for Ohio State was magnified in the third quarter when Pryor threw interceptions on consecutive possessions. Purdue scored two touchdowns in the period as Elliott got the Purdue passing attack rolling, and the Boilermakers led 23-7 with a quarter to play.
Ohio State got a 24-yard field goal from Pettrey to open the fourth quarter, and a 25-yard touchdown pass from Pryor to Posey with under three minutes left in the game, but Wiggs hit a fourth field goal in between to give Purdue a little more breathing room.
"They played a great game, and there's not really much to say," Pryor said. "I'm not really worried about it, but we've just got to get better. I fumbled the ball and threw interceptions. It just didn't happen for us today."
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