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Purdue beats Ohio State, 26-23

November 13, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Ohio State entered its game at Purdue on Saturday favored and on a hot streak, just like in 2009.

And just like two years ago, the Buckeyes found themselves dodging jubilant Purdue students at game's end. Robert Marve's 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak in overtime gave the Boilermakers a 26-23 win.

Purdue (5-5, 3-3 Big Ten) improved to 5-1 at home and now needs just one win to become bowl eligible. The Boilermakers have a home game against Iowa and one at Indiana remaining.

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"Our goal is to make it to a bowl game, and that's what we're destined for," Marve said.

About a third of the fans at Ross-Ade Stadium were draped in Ohio State's red, and many of them probably wondered if they witnessed a replay. Two years ago, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 7 in the nation and the Boilermakers had a losing record. A sea of red converged on the Purdue campus, fully expecting victory, but Purdue won 26-18 and killed any chances the Buckeyes had at a national title.

This time, Ohio State (6-4, 3-3) wasted an opportunity to become a factor in the Leaders Division. Penn State lost to Nebraska on Saturday, so a win by the Buckeyes would have trimmed Penn State's lead to one game, with the Nittany Lions playing at Ohio State next Saturday.

Instead, the Buckeyes' win streak ended at three games.

"There's a rollercoaster of emotions, but ultimately, it's disappointing," Ohio State safety/linebacker Tyler Moeller said. "We were excited and ready to go out there and win the game. But when you don't get what you want, it's disappointing, especially in a game like this. With the season nearing an end, it's a heartbreaker.

Ohio State took the ball first in overtime, and Drew Basil's 33-yard field goal gave the Buckeyes a 23-20 lead.

Marve completed a 14-yard pass to Gary Bush on a third-and-12 from the 15.

"I have to give all of the credit to No. 6, Gary," Marve said. "He was hauling butt across the field. I saw him at an opportunity that it was a non-risk throw, I thought."

Marve then scored the game winner on the next play. He almost didn't get the chance.

Ohio State drove down the field trailing 20-14 in the final minutes. On a fourth-and-3 from the Purdue 13, Braxton Miller scrambled and found Jordan Hall behind the secondary for a touchdown to tie the game, but Purdue's Bruce Gaston blocked Basil's extra point try, leaving the score tied.

Marve threw an interception in the final minute and felt fortunate to have a chance to redeem himself.

"It was frustrating with the interception because I felt like I played good the whole game," he said. "I got a little greedy. I wanted it now, I didn't want to make it to overtime. I was really hoping they would stay with me and give me another shot. I thought I played solid and I wanted to prove to the team that I was there for them."

Marve completed 10 of 13 passes for 94 yards, and Ralph Bolden ran for 80 yards on 18 carries for the Boilermakers.

Purdue's starting quarterback, Caleb TerBush, completed 15 of 24 passes for 140 yards. Purdue coach Danny Hope said TerBush got "banged up" late in the game, and that was one of the reasons he went with Marve.

The win was sweet for the Boilermakers because it followed losses of 36-14 at Michigan and 62-17 at Wisconsin. Defensive lineman Kawann Short, who sacked Miller three times, said the defense had to come together after giving up 364 yards rushing and 605 yards total against Wisconsin. Purdue held Ohio State to 163 yards rushing and 295 yards total.

"Everybody was mentally and physically ready," Short said. "We just put last week behind us and came out and made it a whole different ball game."

Daniel "Boom" Herron ran for 62 yards on 18 carries. He had run for at least 100 yards in all three games since returning from his suspension.

"Their defense played a great game," Herron said. "We just couldn't get a handle on them today. Now, we just have to watch our form, learn from this game and get better from it."

Miller passed for 132 yards and ran for 43 yards on 16 carries.

Carson Wiggs made a 19-yard field goal on Purdue's opening drive to give the Boilermakers a 3-0 lead.

On its second possession, Purdue went 60 yards on 11 plays, and Akeem Shavers scored from 4 yards out to bump Purdue's lead to 10-0.

The Buckeyes were held to 11 yards and no first downs in the first quarter.

Ohio State finally got going early in the second quarter as Miller began creating passing opportunities with his scrambling ability. His 38-yard touchdown pass to Hall cut Purdue's lead to 10-7.

Marve then took the Boilermakers 88 yards on 13 plays. Bolden's 7-yard touchdown run pushed Purdue's lead to 17-7 with 3:19 left in the second quarter.

Basil missed a 50-yard field goal wide right as time expired, and the Boilermakers led 17-7 at the break. Purdue outgained the Buckeyes yards to 242-97 in the first half and held the Buckeyes to 18 yards on 17 carries. Herron was held to 16 yards on eight carries in the first half.

Purdue had a chance to perhaps put the Buckeyes away, but the Boilermakers went three-and-out to start the second half. Ohio State then moved right down the field, and Miller's 5-yard touchdown run cut Purdue's lead to 17-14 with 9:52 left in the third quarter.

Wiggs' 44-yard field goal with 13:06 to play put the Boilermakers up 20-14 and set up the dramatic finish.

The Boilermakers gained much-needed confidence from the win.

"It's significant because we know any given Saturday, we can go out and compete," Short said.