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Big Plays Lead Wisconsin Past Purdue, 31-24, Despite Brees

October 11, 1998|From Associated Press

Picked on all night by record-setting Purdue quarterback Drew Brees, freshmen cornerbacks Mike Echols and Jamar Fletcher made the big plays when it mattered most for Wisconsin.

Echols intercepted Brees' pass in the end zone and Fletcher returned an interception 52 yards for a score as No. 12 Wisconsin withstood the Boilermakers' passing attack for a 31-24 victory Saturday at Madison, Wis.

The Badgers (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) are off to their best start since their Rose Bowl season of 1993, while the Boilermakers fell to 3-3 and 1-1 despite Brees' big game.

Brees tied an NCAA record with 55 completions--18 to Randall Lane--and set an NCAA record with 83 attempts. He threw for 494 yards but had four passes intercepted.

Badgers defensive end John Favret stopped two other second-half drives with fourth-down tackles inside the Wisconsin 35.

Lane gained 178 yards on 18 receptions and Chris Daniels had 14 receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

No. 1 Ohio State 41, Illinois 0--Joe Germaine threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes to an easy win at Champaign, Ill.

Ohio State (5-0, 2-0) racked up 24 points and 326 yards in the first half as Germaine spread his passes among Dee Miller, David Boston, Reggie Germany and John Lumpkin--with the latter three scoring touchdowns.

"We threw a big goose egg on the board," said linebacker Na'il Diggs, who returned a fumble for a touchdown for the Buckeyes. "We can stay motivated against any team, hard or easy, ranked or unranked."

Germaine completed 17 of 28 passes, and the Ohio State defense limited Illinois (2-4, 1-2) to 57 yards rushing.

No. 13 Penn State 27, Minnesota 17--The Nittany Lions (4-1, 1-1), who rallied for a one-point victory at home last season against the Golden Gophers, broke open a close game at Minneapolis on a Kevin Thompson's 65-yard touchdown pass to Corey Jones late in the third quarter.

"Sometimes it's a little frustrating," said linebacker Brandon Short, who had three sacks. "We realize that the offense is young and just trying to get established. [But] I would never, ever point a finger at anyone on this team, because I remember how it felt to be embarrassed at the end of last year."

Penn State finished with seven sacks, and Anthony King and Derek Fox had interceptions against the Golden Gophers (3-2, 0-2).

Michigan State 38, Indiana 31--Sedrick Irvin's twisting 25-yard touchdown run in the second overtime gave the Spartans (3-3, 1-1) a victory over the Hoosiers (2-3, 0-2) at East Lansing, Michigan.

Indiana's freshman quarterback Antwaan Randle El ran for 134 yards and one touchdown and passed for 147 before suffering a mild concussion late in regulation, and backup Jay Rodgers played the rest of the game.

Michigan State got a 12-yard touchdown pass from Bill Burke to Gari Scott with 5:28 remaining in regulation. Burke then ran for the two-point conversion to tie it at 24.

Rodgers threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Craig Osika on Indiana's fourth play of the first overtime. Michigan State needed only one play to tie it on Bill Burke's 25-yard scoring pass to Plaxico Burress.

The Spartans again scored on their first play of the second overtime on Irvin's second touchdown of the game. The Hoosiers failed to make a first down on their final possession.

Iowa 26, Northwestern 24--Quarterback Randy Reiners, making his first start since the season opener, completed 17 of 30 passes for 249 yards for the Hawkeyes (3-3, 2-1) at Iowa City.

Northwestern (2-4, 0-3) had won its previous three games against Iowa.

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