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SUN BOWL

This Time, Purdue Takes Care of Business, 34-24

January 01, 2003|From Associated Press

EL PASO — Purdue didn't have much success in its bowl games the last few years.

Quarterback Kyle Orton wanted to change that. Orton passed for 283 yards and two touchdowns as Purdue overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Washington, 34-24, in the Sun Bowl on Tuesday.

Although Purdue (7-6) has gone to six straight bowl games under Coach Joe Tiller, it had lost its last three before beating the Huskies.

In last year's Sun Bowl, Orton broke three game records with 74 passing attempts, 38 completions and 419 yards. But the Boilermakers lost, 33-27, to Washington State.

"We haven't proved how good we are in our last four bowl appearances, so today we redeemed ourselves," Orton said.

Tiller has never had a losing season at Purdue since taking over for the start of the 1997 season.

"We played well here last year, but came up a little bit short," Tiller said. "But we were not to be denied this year."

John Standeford caught 10 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown and Taylor Stubblefield caught seven passes for 92 yards for Purdue, which had 400 yards of offense to the Huskies' 316.

"We got behind, but we never rolled over," Tiller said. "In an era where many teams do, we did not."

Cody Pickett completed 25 of 54 for 272 yards with one interception and two touchdowns for Washington (7-6).

The Huskies took a 17-0 lead after the first quarter but did not score again until the fourth quarter.

"I can't explain why we played so poorly," Husky Coach Rick Neuheisel said.

"We weren't clicking, but it was OK because Purdue hadn't caught their stride. But once they caught their stride, the game got away from us."

Purdue started its rally with 5:09 left in the second quarter when Orton threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Standeford.

The Boilermakers scored again with 35 seconds left before halftime on a bit of luck. Brandon Jones fumbled on the one-yard line, but Ray Williams recovered the ball in the end zone to cap a 66-yard drive and make it 17-14 at the break.

After a 22-yard field goal by Berin Lacevic tied the score, Purdue took its first lead with 3:33 left in the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run by Joey Harris to make it 24-17. Harris led the Boilermakers with 93 yards in 23 carries.

"It was a disappointing year, we have to get back to work," Neuheisel said. "To get back to the upper echelon. Not only in our conference but in the national picture. This is not what I envisioned for the Washington Huskies."

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