Evanston, IL (Sports Network) – Quarterback Rob Henry rushed for 132 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries to help the Purdue Boilermakers hand the Northwestern Wildcats their first lost of the season, 20-17, in a Big Ten Conference battle at Ryan Field.
Henry connected on just 6-of-18 pass attempts for 47 yards and one interception in the victory for Purdue (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten).
Northwestern (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) was led by quarterback Dan Persa, who threw for 305 yards and ran for a touchdown. Jeremy Ebert was his main target with 11 receptions for 124 yards in the defeat.
The Wildcats gained the initial advantage after Jacob Schmidt ran for a two- yard touchdown, the only score of the first quarter.
Purdue knotted the game up at seven after Henry ran the ball in for the score from one yard out. The Boilermakers then took a 10-7 advantage after kicker Carson Wiggs split the uprights from 36 yards out.
The game would head into halftime tied at 10 when Northwestern’s Stefan Demos connected on a 46-yard field goal with 41 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Wildcats scored early in the third quarter on a five-yard touchdown run by Persa. Northwestern now led 17-10, but it would be the last score of the night for the Wildcats.
Purdue cut into the seven-point deficit with another field goal from Wiggs, this time from 40-yards.
With just under four minutes remaining in the game, Dan Dierking put Purdue on top for good after scoring on a seven-yard run. The score capped a 14-play, 75-yard drive and the defense made the 20-17 lead stand.