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. . . and They're Winging It in the Big Ten

Purdue: Brees passes for three fourth-quarter touchdowns in 31-27 victory over Ohio State to keep Boilermakers in Rose Bowl driver's seat.

October 29, 2000|From Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — All Drew Brees wanted was a second chance.

"I stepped into the huddle and told the guys this is the way it is supposed to be. We will be successful," said Brees, who teamed with a trio of receivers on Saturday to carry Purdue one step closer to the Rose Bowl.

Brees tied his career worst by throwing four interceptions, but he passed for 455 yards and three fourth-quarter touchdowns as the No. 16 Boilermakers beat No. 12 Ohio State, 31-27. With two more victories, Purdue would be assured of its first trip to the Rose Bowl in 34 years.

"I didn't know it would happen like it did, but it happened, didn't it?" Brees said. "It's hard not to think about the mistakes, but I guess I redeemed myself."

The Boilermakers, 7-2 overall, 5-1 in the Big Ten, trailed, 27-24, with just over two minutes to play after Brees' fourth interception set up a two-yard touchdown run by Jerry Westbrooks.

But on the second play after the kickoff, Brees passed to Seth Morales, who got behind the Ohio State defense and went in for the winning 64-yard touchdown play with 1:55 to play.

The Buckeyes (6-2, 3-2), who had not lost to Purdue since 1988, fumbled a bad snap on their next possession, and Purdue ran out the clock as fans poured onto the field to celebrate.

Morales had seven receptions for 115 yards, Vinny Sutherland had 10 catches for 142 yards, and Tim Stratton had a career-high 12 receptions for 100 yards.

"It wasn't designed to go to me," Morales said of the game-winning touchdown. "Drew looked at Vinny, and he looked at Stratton, and he just came to me. You kind of talk to yourself, 'Just catch the ball, just catch the ball.' "

Mike Doss, who had two of the interceptions off Brees, was the defender Morales beat for the touchdown.

"I just blew the coverage," Doss said. "I knew they could throw for a score at any moment. I looked back at the No. 1 receiver and they threw over the top of me. That was it.

"Drew Brees is a great quarterback. If you intercept him four times, you'd think you would win the game."

Ohio State led, 20-10, but the Boilermakers moved 73 yards on their next series, scoring on a five-yard pass from Brees to John Standeford early in the fourth quarter.

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