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Purdue Gives Michigan the Boot, 32-31

Big Ten: Dorsch's 33-yard field goal lifts Boilermakers to dramatic victory in battle of the Drews.

October 08, 2000|From Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue kicker Travis Dorsch suffered long enough.

So on Saturday, Dorsch finally alleviated some of his angst.

His 33-yard field goal with four seconds left, gave Purdue a 32-31 victory over No. 6 Michigan and finally afforded Dorsch some solace.

"It's a good feeling," said Dorsch, whose first game-winning kick at Purdue brought the Boilermakers their first victory over Michigan since 1994. "I think, you know, the one last week is looked at as the kick that lost the game for us. This one you can look as the kick that won the game for us."

The kick a week ago, at Penn State, had been the most recent failure on Dorsch's resume.

He also missed a 43-yard attempt against Georgia in overtime of the Outback Bowl, had another potential game-winner blocked at Ohio State late last season and this week was removed as the punter after Purdue had given up 37 points to its last three opponents.

And with 2:11 left Saturday, it looked like Dorsch might suffer yet another setback--when he missed a 32-yard attempt wide left.

But Purdue, 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten Conference, forced a punt, and Drew Brees quickly guided the Boilermakers back into field-goal position, providing Dorsch with a second chance. When Dorsch saw that the kick was good, he gestured obscenely to the Purdue fans who had been heckling him a short time before, then pointed at them.

The Wolverines (4-2, 2-1) and Boilermakers combined for 960 yards in offense.

Brees completed 32 of 44 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 80 yards. He also broke Chuck Long's Big Ten record for touchdown passes and Mark Herrmann's school record for passing yardage; Brees now has 76 touchdowns and 10,054 yards.

Purdue rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit.

"Our team was playing with confidence as the game wore on," Purdue Coach Joe Tiller said of a defense that limited Michigan to 79 yards in the second half.

Michigan's Drew Henson completed 26 of 35 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns and Anthony Thomas ran 21 times for 120 yards and one touchdown.

But things changed dramatically after Michigan took a 28-10 halftime lead.

"The biggest difference was the fact we stopped ourselves on a couple of drives in the fourth quarter," Wolverine Coach Lloyd Carr said. "We had an opportunity with great field position at the Purdue 25 and we had to settle for a field goal."

Purdue didn't. It scored on all but two second-half possessions, getting a one-yard run from Steve Ennis and a 16-yard run from Montrell Lowe to make it 28-23.

Michigan extended its lead to 31-23 when Jeff Del Verne made a 34-yard field goal with 11:55 left.

But Purdue responded with another touchdown drive and then failed on its second two-point conversion, making it 31-29.

With 2:11 to play, Dorsch got his first shot from the left hash mark, but missed.

Only 1:03 later, Dorsch was back for the game-winner.

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