J.D. Dellinger made a 39 yard field goal with three seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as visiting Purdue posted a 24-22 victory over Northwestern on Saturday in Evanston, Ill.
The Boilermakers (4-6, 3-4 Big Ten) did not hold a lead until the field goal split the uprights, keeping the Wildcats (1-8, 0-7 Big Ten) from winning their first conference game this season.
After failing to find the end zone in over a month, the Wildcats scored a touchdown on its second play from scrimmage. Wide receiver Kyric McGowan, who has been playing running back due to injuries, took a handoff 79 yards for a touchdown.
On the following possession for Purdue, the Wildcats received something else that they hadn’t enjoyed in over a month - a turnover. Cornerback Cameron Ruiz picked off Aidan O’Connell for Northwestern’s first interception since Sept. 28.
On the ensuing drive, quarterback Aidan Smith drove the Wildcats down the field before finding Jace James for a 16-yard touchdown.
Purdue halved the lead with about nine minutes left in the game when King Doerue scored from 12 yards out for a touchdown.
With about a minute remaining, Purdue got the ball back inside its own 10-yard line. On the first play, Joe Gaziano chased O’Connell into the end zone before the quarterback threw the ball away.
O’Connell was whistled for intentional grounding, resulting in a safety, to give the Wildcats a 16-7 advantage heading into halftime.
Purdue came out firing in the second half as O’Connell led back-to-back touchdown drives.
On the first drive, O’Connell found his favorite target David Bell in the right side of the end zone for the touchdown. On the second, he found Amad Anderson on the other side of the end zone.
Northwestern scored early in the fourth quarter on a great grab by Riley Lees to retake the lead. Charlie Kuhbander had a chance to put the Wildcats up late in the fourth, but his field goal caromed off the post.
Smith finished 19 of 31 for 184 yards. McGowan had 165 total yards, 149 of which come on the ground, but he left the game in the fourth quarter due to injury.
O’Connell was 34 of 50 for 271 yards, with Bell making 14 catches for 115 yards.
—Field Level Media