Quarterback Aidan O’Connell came off the bench in the fourth quarter to lead Purdue to the game-winning touchdown with 68 seconds left as the Boilermakers beat Nebraska 31-27 on a cold Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette, Ind.
O’Connell drove the Boilermakers 82 yards in 3:13 with David Bell taking a reverse 9 yards for the winning score.
The Cornhuskers’ final chance ended when they turned the ball over on downs at their 27.
Purdue (3-6, 2-4 Big Ten) snapped at two-game losing streak while Nebraska (4-5, 2-4) lost for the third straight time.
Jack Plummer got the start for Purdue and completed 25 of 34 passes for 242 yards, including touchdown throws to King Doerue and Payne Durham before injuring his right ankle on a 14-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
O’Connell came in and completed the drive by handing off the ball to Doerue, who scored from 7 yards out to give the Boilermakers a 24-20 lead.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez, who had missed the past two games, finished a nine-play, 71-yard drive with a 4-yard lunge into the end zone to put the Cornhuskers up 27-24 with 4:21 left.
Martinez completed 22 of 39 pass attempts for 247 yards and one interception. He also led Nebraska with 58 yards on the ground.
Nebraska started off strong with Dedrick Mills scoring from a yard out to give the Cornhuskers a 7-0 lead. Barret Pickering’s 23-yard field goal after 325-pound Darrion Daniels picked off a Plummer shovel pass deep inside Purdue territory gave Nebraska a 10-0 lead after the first period.
Plummer heated up in the second quarter and drove the Boilermakers on two long touchdown drives.
The first drive covered 89 yards in 10 plays. Plummer connected with Doerue for a 3-yard touchdown to make the score 10-7.
Plummer then drove the Boilermakers 96 yards in 12 plays near the end of the period and hooked up with Durham for a 16-yard score and a 14-10 lead at intermission.
The teams exchanged field goals in the third quarter.
—Field Level Media