GAMEDAY College Football

Penn State 35, Purdue 31

By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Sean Clifford capped a masterful final drive by throwing a 10-yard TD pass to Keyvone Lee with 57 seconds left, rallying Penn State to a 35-31 victory over Purdue.

Penn State has won 10 straight in the series and six of its last seven season openers. Purdue hasn't beaten the Nittany Lions since 2004.

Purdue was on the verge, though, after Clifford's errant throw midway through the fourth quarter resulted in a 72-yard interception return for a score by Chris Jefferson. That gave Purdue a 31-28 lead.

But Penn State's sixth-year quarterback avenged that mistake with a masterful eight-play, 80-yard drive with less than three minutes to go. Clifford finished 20 of 37 with 282 yards and four scores despite leaving briefly in the third quarter with cramps.

And it sure wasn't easy in front of a near-capacity crowd on the road in a game that featured seven lead changes.

King Doerue scored twice for Purdue, Aidan O'Connell threw for 356 yards and another score and he celebrated his 24th birthday by hooking up with childhood friend Charlie Jones 12 times for 153 yards and a 17-yard TD pass.

Penn State looked like it might run away after forcing a turnover with 30 seconds left in the first half. Two plays later, Clifford found Brenton Strange, who broke two tackles on his way to a 67-yard TD with 2 seconds left to give Penn State a 21-10 lead.

But Doerue opened the second half with a score, O'Connell hooked up with Jones and Clifford threw a 29-yard scoring pass to KeAndre Lambert-Smith to make it 28-24 before the finishing flurry.

THE TAKEAWAY

Penn State: The Nittany Lions needed this win to stay in contention in the Big Ten East Division and they got it - barely. Clifford may have averted a quarterback controversy with his late heroics. But the ground game averaged 3.2 yards per carry last season generated just 3.1 on Thursday.

Purdue: An opening-night win certainly would have made a big statement in the wide open West. Instead, the Boilermakers lost a little momentum after winning nine games last season.

EARLY EXIT

Penn State linebacker Abdul Carter's college debut was cut short by a targeting penalty early in the second quarter.

A replay review showed Carter making helmet-to-helmet contact with Boilermakers receiver Tyrone Tracy after Tracy dropped a pass near the line of scrimmage. Carter did not record a tackle.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter PSUPurdue
Purdue FG 3:38 Mitchell Fineran 36 yard field goal 0 3
Second Quarter PSUPurdue
PSU TD 13:09 Mitchell Tinsley 12 yard TD pass from Sean Clifford (Jake Pinegar Extra Point) 7 3
Purdue TD 9:43 King Doerue 3 yard TD run (Mitchell Fineran Extra Point) 7 10
PSU TD 1:44 Sean Clifford 2 yard TD run (Jake Pinegar Extra Point) 14 10
PSU TD 0:02 Brenton Strange 67 yard TD pass from Sean Clifford (Jake Pinegar Extra Point) 21 10
Third Quarter PSUPurdue
Purdue TD 11:16 King Doerue 2 yard TD run (Mitchell Fineran Extra Point) 21 17
Purdue TD 1:11 Charlie Jones 7 yard TD pass from Aidan O'Connell (Mitchell Fineran Extra Point) 21 24
Fourth Quarter PSUPurdue
PSU TD 10:44 KeAndre Lambert-Smith 29 yard TD pass from Sean Clifford (Jake Pinegar Extra Point) 28 24
Purdue TD 8:29 Chris Jefferson 72 yard interception return for TD (Mitchell Fineran Extra Point) 28 31
PSU TD 0:57 Keyvone Lee 10 yard TD pass from Sean Clifford (Jake Pinegar Extra Point) 35 31
Team Stats
  Penn State Purdue
First downs 23 23
  Rushing 4 5
  Passing 14 16
  Penalty 5 2
3rd Down Efficiency 5-14, 36% 6-16, 38%
4th down efficiency 1-1, 100% 2-2, 100%
Rushes-Yards 32-98 23-70
Passing Yards 308 356
Return Yards 71 115
Completions-Attempts-Int 22-41-1 29-58-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 1-6 2-17
Punts 8 7
Fumbles Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties - Yards 5-56 9-93
Penn State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
S. Clifford 20 37 282 4 1
D. Allar 2 4 26 0 0
Purdue Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
A. O'Connell 29 58 356 1 0
Penn State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
K. Allen 8 31 3.9 0
N. Singleton 10 31 3.1 0
K. Lee 9 30 3.3 0
P. Washington 1 4 4.0 0
S. Clifford 4 2 0.5 1
Purdue Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
K. Doerue 15 57 3.8 2
D. Downing 4 14 3.5 0
T. Tracy 1 9 9.0 0
T. Sheffield 1 7 7.0 0
A. O'Connell 2 -17 -8.5 0
Penn State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Tinsley 7 84 12.0 1
B. Strange 2 77 38.5 1
K. Lambert-Smith 4 58 14.5 1
P. Washington 2 30 15.0 0
T. Warren 3 23 7.7 0
K. Lee 2 15 7.5 1
D. Ford 1 12 12.0 0
K. Allen 1 9 9.0 0
Purdue Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
C. Jones 12 153 12.8 1
M. Rice 3 59 19.7 0
T. Sheffield 4 49 12.3 0
P. Durham 3 43 14.3 0
B. Thompson 3 28 9.3 0
K. Doerue 2 10 5.0 0
T. Tracy 1 8 8.0 0
D. Downing 1 6 6.0 0
Penn State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Purdue Interceptions
Player Int Yards
C. Jefferson 1 72
Penn State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Amor 8 374 46.8
Purdue Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Ansell 7 304 43.4
Penn State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
P. Washington 2 1 0.5
Purdue Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Jones 1 0 0
Penn State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
N. Singleton 3 64 21.3
D. Hardy 1 6 6.0
Purdue Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Jones 3 43 14.3
Penn State Missed FG
Player Length
Purdue Missed FG
Player Length




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