WEST LAFAYETTE – Dan Dierking rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns to help Purdue beat Western Illinois 31-21 on Saturday in its home opener.
Keith Smith caught six passes for 43 yards, but Purdue’s top receiver left the game in the fourth quarter with an injured right knee.
Robert Marve threw for 171 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Boilermakers (1-1), who bounced back from last week’s loss at Notre Dame. It was Marve’s first win as Purdue’s quarterback after transferring from Miami (Fla.).
Matt Barr passed for 286 yards and a touchdown and former Michigan State running back Caulton Ray gained 73 yards on 21 carries for the Leathernecks (1-1).
Western Illinois, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, was tied with Purdue at 7 before the Boilermakers scored 10 points in the final 18 seconds of the first half.
For more on this story see Sunday's Journal Gazette or go to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m.