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Defense delivers

Purdue's defensive players had heard all week how special Indiana's skill players could be.

Damarlo Belcher, Tandon Doss and Darius Willis had their moments Saturday

But the Boilermakers' defense delivered, too.

Purdue forced four turnovers, its second-highest total of the season, to spark a 38-21 victory over the Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium.

Defensive end Kawaan Short had an interception and a fumble recovery, Torri Williams had an interception, and David Pender recovered a fumble for Purdue. Pender also had a blocked field goal.

Purdue's offense scored touchdowns after Williams' pick, Short's recovery and Pender's block.

"It was big for us to start out with that type of momentum," said Williams, who broke on a Ben Chappell pass in the middle of the field for his pick. "We knew they had talented receivers and a talented quarterback. We just looked at it as a game to come in here and show we're able to play with some of the best players in the nation."

Short's interception may have been the most impressive.

Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell intended on throwing a screen pass to Darius Willis, but defensive tackle Short had other ideas. The pass hit Short right in the chest, and he snatched it.

Here's how fellow tackle Mike Neal tells it:

"He read it. That play didn't go to him. He knew exactly what was going on. They set back, and they drew him up the field, and he dropped back like a DB and got his hands on the football."

  • Purdue's special teams were big in the victory, too. Al-Terek McBurse returned the opening kickoff of the second half 87 yards for a touchdown, and Pender added the blocked field goal.

    "I block field goals all the time in practice," Pender said. "They have to pull me off (the team) sometimes. (Saturday) I came off the edge, and I had a great jump on the ball. I really wasn't even trying to block it. I just stuck my hand out. It hit my hand. My hand was hurting for about 30 minutes. But it's something I've done a lot in practice, and I've just been waiting on the opportunity (in a game). I knew I could always do it, and (Saturday), it happened."