Wildcats’ Strike Stuns Boilermakers, 13-10

From Associated Press

As if Northwestern Coach Randy Walker’s heart didn’t get enough of a workout this week.

Noah Herron ran three yards for a touchdown with 38 seconds left Saturday at Evanston, Ill., to give Northwestern a 13-10 upset of No. 17 Purdue, the Wildcats’ second victory over a top-25 team this month. Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton, once a Heisman Trophy favorite, was ineffective and pulled late in the third quarter.

Jeff Backes knocked backup quarterback Brandon Kirsch’s desperation pass out of Taylor Stubblefield’s hands in the end zone as time expired, securing the victory.

“I was critical somewhat of our players’ inability to keep this from being exciting,” said Walker, who spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the hospital with inflammation of the heart muscle.


“Noah corrected me quickly. He said, ‘Coach, you just said win it in regulation.’ ”

Northwestern, 4-4 and 3-2 in the Big Ten, has played three overtime games, including a 33-27 victory over then-No. 7 Ohio State on Oct. 2.

It was the third consecutive loss for Purdue (5-3, 2-3), which started 5-0.

“We’re disappointed,” Orton said. “We’ve got to go back to step one and try to start scoring points again.”

That won’t be easy if Orton continues to have games like this. He was dazzling early in the season, putting up one gaudy set of stats after another. But he was uninspiring in back-to-back losses to Wisconsin and Michigan, and downright blah against the Wildcats -- getting pulled for Kirsch after throwing his fifth interception of the season.

Slowed in the Michigan game because of a right hip injury, Orton said he hurt his left hip against the Wildcats, an injury that left him unable to twist or get any torque when he had to throw the ball. A howling, swirling wind that gusted to 40 mph didn’t help.

No. 23 Iowa 23, Illinois 13 -- Drew Tate threw two 19-yard touchdown passes to Ed Hinkel and added a five-yard run for a score at Champaign, Ill., as the Hawkeyes (6-2, 4-1) dealt the Fighting Illini (2-7, 0-6) a 14th consecutive Big Ten loss.

Indiana 30, No. 24 Minnesota 21 -- Indiana’s Will Lumpkin returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown and Matt LoVecchio threw for two scores as the Hoosiers (3-5, 1-4) upset the Golden Gophers (6-3, 3-3) at Bloomington, Ind.


Ohio State 21, Penn State 10 -- Ted Ginn returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown and Tyler Everett ran back an interception for another score at Columbus, Ohio, as the Buckeyes (5-3, 2-3) handed the Nittany Lions (2-6, 0-5) a fifth consecutive loss.